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CONTAINING CURSORY SKETCHES OF
THE WELSH TERRITORIES,
A DESCRIPTION OF THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS, AND GAMES
OF THE NATIVES.
THE WHOLE CORRECTED, AND CONSIDERABLY ENLARGED.
PRINTED FOR GEO. B. WHITTAKER,
THEN W YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ -- PRINTED BY H.-GILBERT, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.
THE FORCE OF THE LETTERS-LIST OF PRIMITIVE WORDS→ CHARACTER OF THE LANGUAGE AND OF THE POETRY.
Ir is supposed, that there were anciently, in the Welsh or British language *, no less than thirty-six letters, sixteen of which were radicals, that expressed the primary sounds; and the rest, modulations or dependents on them. For each of these, it is probable that there was formerly a simple appropriate character; but, since the invention of printing, and the introduction of Roman letters, it has been necessary, for want of a sufficient variety of cast for
* For much of the present essay I am indebted to the following works: Commentarioli Britanniæ descriptionis fragmentum, Auctore Humfredo Llwyd; Powel's History of Wales; Edward Llwyd's Notes, in Gibson's edition of Camden's Britannica; Rowland's Mona Antiqua Restaurata; Stukeley's Medallic History the Preface to Owen's Translation of the Elegies of Llywarch Hen; Jones's Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards; the Monthly Magazine, and the first and second volumes of the Cambrian Register.
the purpose, to adopt two, and in one instance even three, of those letters, to express one sound or character, by which much of the simplicity and beauty of the proper alphabet has been lost.
The present printed books contain only twenty-seven characters: A, B, C, Ch, D, Dd, E, F, Ff, G, Ng, H, I, L, LI, M, N, O, P, Ph, R, S, T, Th, U, W, and Y; having neither J, K, X, nor Z. C answers the purpose of K, when joined with W or Q; and when placed with S, of X. It is said that Z is used in the Armorican language, which is a dialect of this, but the Welsh disown it. No letter has any variation of sound, except the accent
ed vowels â, ê, î, ô, û, w, y, which are lengthened, or otherwise, according to the power of the accent, and all are pronounced, as there are no mutes.
A has the same sound as the English open a in the word bard.
C is always hard as k.
Ch, which is accounted but as one consonant, is a guttural, as Chi in Greek, or ch, Cheth, in Hebrew.
Dd is an aspirated d, and has the sound of th in the words this, that. Dda, good, is pronounced Tha.
F has the sound of an English v.
I is sounded as in the Italian, or like our ee in been: thus cíl, a retreat, is pronounced keel.
Ll is an aspirated 1, and has much the sound of thl. Llangollen is pronounced Thlangothlen.
R, as in the Greek language, is always aspirated at the beginning of a word.
U sounds like the i in limb, him, &c.
W is a vowel, and has the power of oo in soon.
Y is in some words pronounced like i in third; in others