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Extra resources for A Grammar of Modern Breton
Strength We have seen that there may be some weakness in the positing of a consonantal correlation of voice in Breton. In addition, vowel quantity presents an opposition only under stress and is bound with the quality or quantity of the following sound. Will the character of the following sound provide us with our distinctive feature? So far there have been the restraints imposed by positional considerations. The major distinctive feature should, within reason, be non-restricted for position. A neutralization of fortis and lenis as voiceless lenis has been noted.
Lochenn [Ηώ! s e n ] "hut" - e loien [(e)'llo:z€n] "I lodged" (loanword). And they are accompanied, as so often, by a difference in vocalic quantity. Just as the native speaker "feels" a difference between the "voiced" and "voiceless" palatal fricatives, a difference not easily justified in phonological terms, so there may be felt to be a [χ]-[γ] difference. These are velar fricatives, though the voiced lenis may be laryngeal. g. c'hoazh [*7wa:Z] "still, yet". Between vowels after the stress [x] is infrequent sac'han ['ssaxxa] "(to) stagnate" - sac'han ['ssar^or] "(to) put in a bag".
This extra-open realization is clearly definable; the others, however, despite the correlation with quantity and thence with the following segment, are somewhat randomly distributed, and it seems more acceptable to propose /0/ alone as a phoneme. 4. Nasal Vowels Basically, all the vowels can be nasalized. Particularly in the west and north-west -an. -iä (very common as infinitive and, only for the first, superlative endings) are pronounced orally. Examples: Phonology 31 dansal [ ' d ö s a l ] " ( t o ) d a n c e " , skanv [ ' s k e w ] "light ( A J ) B finval [ ' f l v a l ] " ( t o ) move", debrin ['debrl] "(to) eat" tenval [ ' t e : v a l ] " d a r k " , blench ['bl'es] " e x t r e m i t y " , tren [ ' tr e: ] " t r a i n " , krenv [ ' k r e ( : ) ] " s t r o n g " bleunv [ ' b i n ] " f l o w e r s " , (eun occurs open only) pyns t ' p y s ] "well ( w a t e r ) " , plunv [ ' p l y ( : ) ] " f e a t h e r s " donjer [ ' d o z e r ] " d i s g u s t " , donv [ ' d o ] " t a m e " (on occurs close only) It does seem that we have the phonemes /«/ - /e/, as the environments are impossible to delimit.