Timm (1985)

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  • Timm, L. 1985. 'Breton mutations: Literary vs. vernacular usages', Word, 35:95-107. texte.


 One of the most salient characteristics of the Celtic language is that of the initial consonant mutations. 
 In this paper I discuss mutational phenomena as they occur in the Breton language; more specifically, I consider the mutations recognized in the standard or literary dialect of the language vis-a-vis those current in the spoken language, especially in the subdialect with which I am most familiar, Carhaisien Breton, spoken in and around the town of Carhaix-Plouguer in Brittany's Finistere.
 This variety of Breton belongs to the Kerne (or, in French, Cornouaillais) dialect, one of four major regional dialects of the language. As will become apparent, there are some notable discrepancies between standard and  non-standard mutations. I am not claiming this as a new discovery, for Kenneth Jackson (1967), among others, has already pointed out many of the areas of mismatch between the phonology and orthography of the language. What I offer are some recently gathered data on the mutational system of a particular Kerne (henceforth, K.) subdialect and a consideration of some of the implications of the data introduced.