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Title: Language and history in Cardiganshire place-names
Author: Wmffre, I. L.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1999
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The thesis concerns itself with the phonetic realisations of Welsh place-names and is based on a large corpus of Welsh place-names collected in the county of Cardiganshire/Ceredigion (Wales, UK), with extensive references to the pronunciation of Welsh place-names outside the county. After discussing the varying conventions adopted by Welsh phoneticians of the past century and a half, improvements in International Phonetic Association notation for Welsh are suggested. The body of the thesis deals with the main features that characterise the pronunciation of Welsh place-names. Since place-names are anchored both in space and time the study of place-name forms give a dynamic picture of the evolution of language. Some new conclusions on the evolution of the Welsh language are advanced, with suggestions as to the motivation behind these changes. It establishes the connection between the Welsh of the Medieval period and the present-day dialects, and complements K.H. Jackson's Language and History in Early Modern Britain (1953) and J. Morris-Jones' A Welsh Grammar (1913), neither of which dealt methodically with the development of Welsh after the Medieval period. The emphasis on place-names rather than literary texts gives a different - I believe more reliable - standpoint from which to chart phonetic developments in language. The methodical description given to attested phonetic developments in Welsh place-names should constitute a useful tool for toponymists to elucidate Welsh place-names which otherwise seem opaque. By demonstrating the underlying patterns of phonetic development in Welsh the study hopes to dispel the notion that the disconcerting variety of place-name forms are mere dialectisms, localisms, or even corruptions. Included is the corpus of place-names which contains some 15,000 headworks. Each headword is followed by a location by grid-reference, often by a notation of pronunciation phonetic script, by historical forms, and often by a discussion of etymologies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available