Ternes (2011b)

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  • Ternes, Elmar. 2011b. 'Neubretonisch', Elmar Ternes (éd.), Brythonic Celtic–Britannisches Keltisch. From Medieval British to Modern Breton, Bremen: Hempen Verlag, 431-530.


à propos

 Parina (2012), review:
 "It is loosely based on a previous description of Breton by the same author (in MacAulay 1992), but much more comprehensive here, especially in the discussion of typological and historical matters, and of dialectal variation. It starts with a note on terminology concerning several designations for Breton (pp.431–432), followed by the chronology and geographical spread of Breton, and particularly difficult questions regarding social status and the number of speakers, which the author estimates after several caveats to be about 200,000 (p.438). Ternes further discusses the Breton dialects, their major differences, and reliable descriptions of all major dialect areas (pp.439–445). A relatively short section on phonetics and phonology (pp.445–453) is accompanied by a section which is particularly important for Breton, i.e. 'Orthographie und Standard',describing in a very clear way one of the biggest problems of the Breton language. The author stays above the batle and explains the pros and contras of the different orthographies (pp.453–458). The next section is dedicated to morphophonology, aboveall initial mutations, where we gratefully find a very detailed list of mutation triggers (pp.458-464).
 The description of morphology is quite concise and is divided into noun morphology, brief notes on adjectives, pronouns, inflected prepositions, numerals and a slightly more detailed account of verbal morphology. This is where the reader regrets the lack of consistency between the chapters in this volume – though giving the authors freedom to describe in length the topics they consider to be of special interest, it sometimes makes the reading problematical. We can illustrate this by reference to various discussions of pronouns – whereas in the chapters on Old British (pp.47–53), Middle Welsh (pp.139–144) and Middle Breton (pp.393–394), personal and possessive pronouns are treated close to each other which enables one to get a clear picture of anaphoric devices in these languages, in the chapter on Middle and Late Cornish we find some “possessive adjectives” mentioned only in the description of mutation rules (p.305), with no word about them in the section on pronouns (pp.311–313); and in the chapter on Modern Breton personal pronouns are dealt with within the sectionon morphology (p.347), whereas possessive pronouns are described in the syntactic section (pp.384–385).
 The chapter is concluded by a section on the lexicon, discussing several strata of loanwords in Breton, followed by a selection of four texts, a bibliography and two maps."