[tied] Re: Initial 's' in Brittonic

From: richardwordingham
Message: 14430
Date: 2002-08-21

--- In cybalist@..., guto rhys <gutorhys@...> wrote:
> Thanks for your answer. You are, as far as I am aware, quite
correct concerning the fact that neither Breton nor Cornish developed
an epenthetic vowel before s+unvoiced plosive as Welsh did.
Consequently it is shown that Welsh st>s occured before the attaching
of the epenthetic vowel which I believe Jackson ascribes to the 9th
century or so? I have a feeling that an early Welsh gloss has `seren'
with `st-`. Another example is 'ystlum' Br. `stlumm' (bat) which
seems neither exalted nor rare. This is generaly
pronounced 'slumyn/stlumyn' in my part of Wales. Perhaps 'stl-'
itself does not fit in to the 'st-' pattern.

str- seems to have been unaffected by the change st- > s-, becoming
ystr- instead. I found three Welsh examples in Celtic str- in
Pokorny - Old Welsh strutiu 'ancient', Welsh ystrew 'sneeze' and
ystrad 'valley'.

I could not find any obvious PIE roots yielding Celtic stl-, but it
makes sense for it to be resistant to the change like str-. For what
it's worth, http://www.bretons.org/dico.cgi?
dico=breton&key=sl*&buton=Traduire yielded no words starting sl-, but
plenty starting stl-. (But not stlumm!)

Your example of Welsh ystlum 'bat', Breton 'stlumm' is the only one
we've got so far. How does one get 'stlumyn' from 'ystlum'?
Singulative? Does your dialect generally lack the epenthetic y-?