Wmffre, Iwan


Wmffre, Iwan, The qualities and the origins of the Welsh vowel [ɨː], Berlin: curach bhán, 2014.

  • Book/Monograph
Citation details
The qualities and the origins of the Welsh vowel [ɨː]
curach bhán
Abstract (cited)
This book deals with a particular noteworthy vowel sound found in Welsh usually transcribed phonetically as [ɨ] and orthographically as <u> or as <y> (a sound not equivalent to the identically transcribed phonetic vowel [ɨ] of Russian).

The distribution of [ɨ], both geographically and historically as well as within various dialects is discussed and purported relict survivals of the sound in southern Welsh dialects are examined. A broader comprehensive look at the vowel systems of Welsh is necessitated to understand its structural context before addressing its phonetic characteristics. Further comparison to similar sounds in other languages conclude with the proposal of a number of additional phonetic categories and symbols for the International Phonetic Alphabet in regard to the high vowel space area. Finally the discussion of the historical development of [ɨ] alongside the other high vowels from 400 AD to the present-day is undertaken with a novel conclusion as to its genesis – a much later genesis than that hitherto proposed.

Apart from featuring original analysis, the work assembles disparate information dispersed between separate subdisciplines of dialectology, phonetics, language typology and language history, as well as data from a wide assortment of relevant dialects and languages, to give a stimulating and a wide-ranging treatment to this rather singular vowel.
Subjects and topics
Welsh language Phonetics and phonology (subject area) Dialectology (subject area)