Linguistics Celtic Mutations
by
Pavel Iosad
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 February 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0146

Introduction

The term “initial consonant mutations” refers to a set of alternations that affect word-initial segments (overwhelmingly, consonants) in different phonological and morphosyntactic contexts. For example, in Modern Welsh the citation form of “paper” is papur [’papɨr]. However, the word may also appear as bapur [’bapɨr] (ei bapur “his paper” or Ddarlenais i bapur “I read a paper”); mhapur [ˈm̥ʰapɨr] (fy mhapur “my paper”); or phapur [fapɨr] (ei phapur “her paper”). The form of the word may change because of the presence of certain lexical items (in this case, ei “his,” fy “my,” or ei “her”—in which the mutation can be the sole disambiguation device in certain cases) or in certain syntactic contexts, as when the item is the direct object in a VSO (verb–subject–object) construction with an overt subject. Traditionally, these word-initial mutations are considered together with historically related phenomena that manifest themselves at the left edge of roots rather than whole words (as in Modern Welsh posib “possible” vs. amhosib “impossible,” or Old Irish beir [bʲerʲ] “carries,” ní-beir [nʲiːbʲerʲ] “does not carry” vs. ní-ḃeir [nʲiːvʲerʲ] “does not carry it”). These also are seen with the appearance of certain consonants before word-initial vowels (as in Welsh erthygl “article,” ei herthygl “her article,” or Modern Irish an “the,” ainm “name,” but an t-ainm “the name”), which are often driven by similar considerations. The Celtic languages are particularly well known for their complex and diverse mutation systems that remain an important and pervasive part of their grammar—almost any sentence of any complexity is likely to contain at least a potential context for mutation. The initial mutations in the modern Celtic languages (Welsh, Breton, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic, plus Cornish and Manx—the latter two became quiescent in the modern period, but are now the subject of ongoing revival attempts) do not go back to a common Proto-Celtic system, but instead represent parallel developments in the different branches of the family. Despite the existence of nontrivial parallels in their mutation systems, the Celtic languages also show a surprising diversity of factors driving initial consonant mutations, including phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and lexical properties of both the triggers and targets of the process. The Celtic languages are reasonably well described, and the many descriptions are quite accessible. Perhaps as a consequence of this, Celtic mutations have been the subject of sustained attention from theoretical linguists of many persuasions. Many aspects of their behavior have proved to be challenging puzzles for linguistic theory; therefore, these phenomena remain important testing grounds for theoretical development.

General Overviews

Few comprehensive treatments of mutations in all Celtic languages are available, although the classic paper by Hamp 1951 is pan-Celtic in intent. Pyatt 1997 comes close to providing a comprehensive model; Hannahs 2011 is a general overview focused on perspectives from theoretical phonology. Russell 1995 is an introduction to Celtic linguistics with a chapter devoted to mutations, and several chapters in Andersen 1986 discuss Celtic mutations as a “sandhi” phenomenon. Ball and Müller 1992 is a comprehensive, book-length description of the state of the art at the time regarding numerous facets of the mutation system of Welsh. It is more common to find general works that focus on a particular language while utilizing within-Celtic comparison, or at least proposing approaches that are intended to apply to all Celtic mutations. Willis 1986 is one attempt at such a comprehensive treatment.

  • Andersen, Henning, ed. 1986. Sandhi phenomena in the languages of Europe. Trends in Linguistics 33. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

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    This handbook of sandhi phenomena contains a number of brief but often useful descriptions of sandhi in Celtic languages, often largely dedicated to mutation.

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    • Ball, Martin J., and Nicole Müller. 1992. Mutation in Welsh. London and New York: Routledge.

      DOI: 10.4324/9780203192764Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      A comprehensive description of the mutation system of modern Welsh, covering the facts of mutation, its diachrony, phonological analyses of the changes themselves, and theoretical accounts of its triggering, sociolinguistics, and acquisition. This book remains indispensable, even if theoretical advances have been made since its publication (this is particularly true of syntax and, to a lesser extent, phonology).

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      • Ball, Martin J., and Nicole Müller, eds. 2009. The Celtic languages. 2d ed. Routledge Language Family Series. London and New York: Routledge.

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        This revised and improved edition of an important compendium of Celtic language descriptions provides the background on individual languages and descriptive data on the mutations themselves.

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        • Hamp, Eric P. 1951. Morphophonemes of the Keltic mutations. Language 27.3: 230–247.

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          A classic paper that uses a structuralist framework to account for the triggering of mutation in terms of free-standing “morphophonemic” elements concatenated with mutation targets.

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          • Hannahs, S. J. 2011. Celtic mutations. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 5, Phonology across languages. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colen J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 2807–2830. Oxford: Blackwell.

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            A general overview of the synchronic data and theoretical approaches to the phonology of mutations.

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            • Pyatt, Elizabeth J. 1997. An integrated model of the syntax and phonology of Celtic mutation. PhD diss., Harvard Univ.

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              A rare example of a comprehensive analysis (focused on Welsh and Breton) that covers both the morphosyntactic aspects of triggering and the phonological rationale of mutation. Also includes some typological comparison.

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              • Russell, Paul. 1995. An introduction to the Celtic languages. London and New York: Longman.

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                A wide-ranging, general introduction to Celtic linguistics that provides both much of the necessary background and a sustained discussion of mutation.

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                • Willis, Penny. 1986. The initial consonant mutations in Welsh and Breton. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Linguistics Club.

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                  An extended comparison of several aspects of Welsh and Breton mutations, with attention to both written and spoken languages and a focus on establishing their place in the grammatical architecture.

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                  Descriptions of Individual Languages

                  With the exception of Welsh, accounts of individual languages focusing specifically on mutations are rare; it is more common to find the mutations treated within larger descriptions of the individual languages. Such descriptions normally dedicate specific chapters to the treatment of mutations. It is important to note that although many available descriptions focus on written (or in any case, standardized) varieties, the systems in spoken dialects can be quite different, in some cases quite drastically; where possible, it would be advantageous to refer to the dialect descriptions.

                  Welsh

                  Two important monographs on Welsh mutation are Morgan 1952, a traditional descriptive work focusing on philological evidence, and Ball and Müller 1992 (cited under General Overviews), a theoretically oriented compendium. The classic historically oriented grammar by Morris-Jones 1913 is still excellent for the diachronic background, and some modern comprehensive grammars (such as Thomas 1996 and King 2003) provide quite extensive information. Awbery 1986 provides a shorter overview of the essential mutation data. Dialect descriptions of Welsh do not always dedicate much space to mutations (as it is assumed the system does not differ greatly from that of the standard language), but Thomas 1993 is a good example of one that does.

                  • Awbery, Gwenllian. 1986. Survey of sandhi types in Welsh. In Sandhi phenomena in the languages of Europe. Edited by Henning Andersen, 415–433. Trends in Linguistics 33. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                    A brief but useful handbook-style overview of sandhi processes in Welsh, with particular attention to mutations.

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                    • Ball, Martin J., and Nicole Müller. 1992. Mutation in Welsh. London and New York: Routledge.

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                      The description of the data here is focused on Standard Welsh, although older stages and living dialects are also referenced throughout.

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                      • King, Gareth. 2003. Modern Welsh: A comprehensive grammar. 2d ed. London: Routledge.

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                        A grammar focused on the generally accepted standard of modern colloquial Welsh; pedagogic in intent but fairly comprehensive in data coverage.

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                        • Morgan, Thomas John. 1952. Y treigladau a’u cystrawen. Caerdydd, UK: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru.

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                          An exhaustive if philologically demanding description of the mutation system as observed in texts from the Middle and Modern Welsh period.

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                          • Morris-Jones, John. 1913. A Welsh grammar, historical and comparative. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                            A grammar of the standard written language on traditional Neogrammarian principles, providing both synchronic descriptions and much of the necessary historical background.

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                            • Thomas, Ceinwen H. 1993. Tafodiaith Nantgarw: Astudiaeth o Gymraeg llafar Nantgarw yng Nghwm Taf, Morgannwg. Caerdydd, UK: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru.

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                              A very complete description of the grammar of a South Welsh dialect giving a wealth of information about the mutation system.

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                              • Thomas, Peter Wynn. 1996. Gramadeg y Gymraeg. Caerdydd, UK: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru.

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                                A compendious reference grammar containing a wealth of information about mutation in (mostly) written Welsh. No description available in English contains quite the same amount of data.

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                                Breton

                                The mutation system of Breton is the most extensive of all the Celtic languages, which can be a challenge to the nonspecialist. Many descriptions compound the complexity by failing to distinguish between morphosyntactically triggered mutations and phonological processes that happen to affect word-initial consonants (see also Mutation and Other Components of the Grammar). Significant dialect variation also exists that is not always reflected in the written language, on which most sources focus. The best descriptive grammars grounded in dialects are Kervella 1947, Trépos 1964, and Favereau 2001, whereas Jackson 1967, despite being historically oriented, contains a wealth of synchronic information (and is particularly strong on distinguishing between mutations proper and postlexical phonology). Le Dû 1986 provides a short overview of the main facts, together with other sandhi phenomena in the language. Press 1986 has fairly complete descriptive coverage of the written language available in English, but is less comprehensive on dialect variation.

                                • Favereau, Francis. 2001. Grammaire du breton contemporain. Morlaix, France: Skol Vreizh.

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                                  A very complete pandialectal description. An important advantage is the frequent reference to primary sources on the dialects in question.

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                                  • Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. 1967. A historical phonology of Breton. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                    This book not only provides the historical background to the development of Breton mutations but also serves as a repository for a huge amount of synchronic information on the dialects of the language. It reflects the state of the art when it was published, and although progress has been made in documenting the language (particularly the central, so-called Cornouaillais dialects, the lack of whose descriptions Jackson bemoans) the generalizations made remain largely valid.

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                                    • Kervella, Frañsez. 1947. Yezhadur bras ar brezhoneg. La Baule, France: Skridou Breizh.

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                                      Although not widely accessible, this is an excellent grammar of the written language firmly grounded in dialect reality.

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                                      • Le Dû, Jean. 1986. A sandhi survey of the Breton language. In Sandhi phenomena in the languages of Europe. Edited by Henning Andersen, 435–450. Trends in Linguistics 33. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                        A brief overview that covers both mutations and postlexical sandhi.

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                                        • Press, Ian. 1986. A grammar of Modern Breton. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                          Still the most comprehensive grammar of the language available in English, this book focuses on the written language and makes little reference to dialects. However, the coverage of mutations in the standard system is quite complete.

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                                          • Trépos, Pierre. 1964. Grammaire bretonne. Rennes, France: Imprimerie Simon.

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                                            This brief grammar of the written language concisely covers most of the facts of mutation.

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                                            Cornish

                                            The mutations of medieval Cornish are described in the standard sources on the language, notably Lewis 1946 and George 2009. A reasonable number of sources exist that describe the mutations of modern revived Cornish, but they are pedagogical rather than descriptive in intent.

                                            • George, Ken. 2009. Cornish. In The Celtic languages. 2d ed. Edited by Martin J. Ball and Nicole Müller, 488–535. Routledge Language Family Series. London and New York: Routledge.

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                                              A handbook chapter covering most of the history of Cornish, with a section on mutations.

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                                              • Lewis, Henry. 1946. Llawlyfr Cernyweg Canol. Caerdydd, UK: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru.

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                                                A relatively brief but complete description of Middle Cornish, including a section on mutations. See also an updated German edition by Lewis, Handbuch des Mittelkornischen (Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, 1990).

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                                                Irish

                                                A wealth of descriptions of Irish is available, including both the standard language and the dialects. With respect to the written language, Na Bráithre Críostaí 1960 remains the most comprehensive, Christian Brothers 1999 is an abridged and compressed English translation, and Ó Murchú 2013 is a complete and expanded English version. Two parallel programs of dialect research based in Dublin and Belfast have produced several descriptions of individual varieties that provide much information about initial mutations. Particularly comprehensive are Ó Curnáin 2007 and the Irish-language monographs De Bhaldraithe 1953 and Ó Sé 2000. Ó Siadhail 1989 provides more of a pandialectal perspective on Irish phonology and morphology (including mutations), broadly within a generative framework. Ó Cearúil 2016 provides a corpus study of the use of lenition in Irish writing, albeit only focusing on a subset of potential contexts.

                                                • Christian Brothers. 1999. New Irish Grammar. Dublin, Ireland: C. J. Fallon.

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                                                  This abridged English version of Graiméar Gaeilge na mBráithre Críosta (Na Bráithre Críostaí 1960), still very widely available in many editions, contains a wealth of information about the mutation system of written Irish.

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                                                  • De Bhaldraithe, Tomás. 1953. Gaeilge chois Fhairrge: An deilbhíocht. Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland: Institiúid Árd-Léinn Bhaile Átha Cliath.

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                                                    A traditionally oriented but very detailed description of the morphology of a western (Connacht) dialect, with a dedicated chapter “Athraithe Tosaigh” on the initial mutations. An earlier English-language work on this dialect by De Bhaldraithe, The Irish of Cois Fhairrge, Co. Galway (Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, 1945), is focused on the phonetics and phonology (although much of that material is reused in the later book), but the dedicated chapter on mutation is absent from it.

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                                                    • Na Bráithre Críostaí. 1960. Graiméar Gaeilge na mBráithre Críostaí. Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland: M. H. Mac an Ghoill & a Mhac.

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                                                      This Irish-language book remains the most comprehensive description of the mutation system of the written language, although its focus means that the dialect variation is not described systematically. Also available in a 1985 edition and in a slightly revised and compressed 1999 edition (both Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland: An Gúm).

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                                                      • Ó Cearúil, Mícheál. 2016. An Séimhiú: Ar an ainm briathartha agus ar an ainmfhocal éiginnte sa ghinideach ar lorg ainmfhocail eile. Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland: Coiscéim.

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                                                        A corpus-based study of lenition in certain morphological contexts (verbal nouns and the genitive of indefinite nouns), aimed at clarifying the prescriptions of the official written standard.

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                                                        • Ó Curnáin, Brian. 2007. The Irish of Iorras Aithneach, County Galway. 4 vols. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                                          An extremely comprehensive four-volume description of a western (Connacht) dialect of Irish, with attention not only to the system of the dialect but also to intra- and even inter-speaker variation. Volume 3 contains a dedicated chapter on the initial mutations.

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                                                          • Ó Murchú, Pól. 2013. A grammar of Modern Irish: An annotated guide to Graiméar Gaeilge na mBráithre Criostaí. Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland: Teangaleanga.

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                                                            This is a full, revised, and expanded English translation of Na Bráithre Críostaí 1960. The additions include an improved index. It can still be slightly difficult to use without at least some knowledge of Irish, as the example sentences on which the grammar heavily relies are not translated.

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                                                            • Ó Sé, Diarmuid. 2000. Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne. Dublin, Ireland: Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann.

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                                                              A grammar of a southern (Munster) dialect with a comprehensive description of the mutation system.

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                                                              • Ó Siadhail, Mícheál. 1989. Modern Irish: Grammatical structure and dialectal variation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                This work aims to present both a pandialectal description of the grammar of modern Irish and a phonological analysis of the system. The description of the mutation system is quite comprehensive, and due attention is paid to dialect variation within the language.

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                                                                Scottish Gaelic

                                                                An authoritative reference grammar of Scottish Gaelic is not available as of the mid-2010s, and many dialect descriptions that can be found, while containing much synchronic detail, are largely diachronic in emphasis and/or presentation (such as Oftedal 1956). The best concise description of the grammar in English is contained in the appendix to Lamb 2008. Gillies 2009 is a handbook overview, and some of the overview chapters in Watson and Macleod 2010 also provide relevant data. Dorian 1978 gives a very complete picture of mutations in an obsolescent dialect. Bosch and Scobbie 2009 describes cross-dialectal variation in one phenomenon traditionally counted as part of the mutation system.

                                                                • Bosch, Anna, and James Scobbie. 2009. Fine-grained morpho-phonological variation in Scottish Gaelic: Evidence from the Linguistic Survey of Scotland. In Variation in indigenous minority languages. Edited by James N. Stanford and Dennis R. Preston, 347–368. Impact: Studies in Language and Society 25. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                  This chapter focuses on dialect survey data concerning the realization of nasal-stop sequences across a word boundary in Scottish Gaelic, which is often considered to be the same phenomenon as the Irish “eclipsis” mutation but could arguably be a phonological sandhi process. See also Historical Development of Mutations.

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                                                                  • Dorian, Nancy C. 1978. East Sutherland Gaelic. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                                                    A comprehensive description of an obsolescent dialect, with significant attention to the mutation system. See also Dorian 1977 and Dorian 1981, cited under Language Variation and Change.

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                                                                    • Gillies, William. 2009. Scottish Gaelic. In The Celtic languages. 2d ed. Edited by Martin J. Ball and Nicole Müller, 230–304. Routledge Language Family Series. London and New York: Routledge.

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                                                                      A good handbook overview of the language.

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                                                                      • Lamb, William. 2008. Scottish Gaelic speech and writing: Register variation in an endangered language. Belfast Studies in Language, Culture and Politics 16. Belfast, Ireland: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona.

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                                                                        In this book, Lamb considers register variation in the use of mutations. The appendix contains an updated version of Lamb’s earlier brief grammar, Scottish Gaelic (Munich: Lincom Europa, 2001).

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                                                                        • Oftedal, Magne. 1956. The Gaelic of Leurbost, Isle of Lewis. A Linguistic Survey of the Gaelic Dialects of Scotland 3. Oslo, Norway: W. Aschehoug.

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                                                                          A classic dialect description in a phonemic framework, with a description of the mutation system.

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                                                                          • Watson, Moray, and Michelle Macleod, eds. 2010. The Edinburgh companion to the Gaelic language. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.

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                                                                            The chapters “Hebridean and Mainland Dialects” by Seosamh Watson and “Gaelic Morphology” by David Adger contain descriptive data on mutations in modern Scottish Gaelic.

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                                                                            Manx

                                                                            The most comprehensive description of the grammar of Manx is Broderick 1985. A number of pedagogical or prescriptive sources are also available, based on the traditional written language.

                                                                            • Broderick, George. 1985. A handbook of late spoken Manx. Vol. 3, Phonology. Buchreihe der Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 5. Tubingen, Germany: Niemeyer.

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                                                                              This grammar is mostly based on materials collected from the last generation of Manx speakers.

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                                                                              • Goodwin, Edmund. 1974. First lessons in Manx. Revised by Robert Thomson. Ilkley, UK: Scolar Press.

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                                                                                The appendix to this pedagogical work contains a full description of the contexts for mutation in traditional Manx.

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                                                                                Ancient Celtic Languages

                                                                                Initial mutations were also characteristic of the grammar of the Celtic languages in the medieval period. Much of the literature is very philological in orientation and does not focus on synchronic description, but good overviews do exist. The discussion of initial mutation in the literature is often complicated by the fact that they are often inconsistently or not at all reflected in the spelling at earlier stages.

                                                                                Old Irish

                                                                                The classic grammar of Old Irish is Thurneysen 1946, which contains a synchronic description of the mutation along with the historical background. Some aspects of the understanding of Old Irish grammar that Thurneysen assumed have since been contested (see Greene 1956, Feuth 1983, and the works cited under the Origin of Mutations). A more recent overview (both synchronic and diachronic) is given by McCone 1994. McCone 2005, although intended as a textbook, can also be used to extract much information about the mutations.

                                                                                • Feuth, Els. 1983. Gemination: An Old Irish mutation rule? Ériu 34:143–156.

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                                                                                  Provides further arguments against the treatment of gemination as a separate mutation rule of Old Irish phonology.

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                                                                                  • Greene, David. 1956. Gemination. Celtica 3:284–289.

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                                                                                    This important paper casts doubt on the traditional interpretation of spellings such as <pp> and <ll> in Irish as anything other than a graphic device, on the basis of which a “gemination mutation” was postulated in previous literature, including Thurneysen 1946.

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                                                                                    • McCone, Kim. 1994. An tSean-Ghaeilge agus a réamhstair. In Stair na Gaeilge in ómós do Pádraig Ó Fiannachta. Edited by Kim McCone, et al., 61–220. Maigh Nuad, Ireland: Coláiste Phádraig.

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                                                                                      A more recent but concise synchronic and diachronic description of Old Irish, describing the synchronic functioning of mutation and its origins.

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                                                                                      • McCone, Kim. 2005. A first Old Irish grammar and reader: Including an introduction to Middle Irish. Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts 3. Maynooth: National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

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                                                                                        This book is intended as both a synchronic description and a pedagogical grammar. It contains the most important data on Old Irish mutations.

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                                                                                        • Thurneysen, Rudolf. 1946. A grammar of Old Irish. Translated by D. A. Binchy and Osborn Bergin. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                                                                          The grammar is heavily historically oriented. Some aspects of the analysis of Old Irish it assumes have since been contested and sometimes abandoned; in particular, this applies to the existence of the “gemination” initial mutation.

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                                                                                          Old and Middle Welsh

                                                                                          The rules for mutation in Old Welsh are difficult to recover, as it is almost never reflected in the spelling. The situation in Middle Welsh is clearer, as the spelling is more consistent; however, many aspects of the mutation system in Middle Welsh remain poorly understood. Detailed studies are so far notably lacking, although both Evans 1964 and Schumacher 2011 provide comprehensive overviews. See also Historical Development of Mutations.

                                                                                          • Evans, D. Simon. 1964. A grammar of Middle Welsh. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                                                                            This is the standard grammar of Middle Welsh, which outlines the main mutation patterns.

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                                                                                            • Schumacher, Stefan. 2011. Mittel- und Frühneukymrisch. In Brythonic Celtic=Britannisches Keltisch: From medieval British to Modern Breton. Edited by Elmar Ternes, 85–236. Münchner Forschungen zur historischen Sprachwissenschaft 11. Bremen, Germany: Hempen Verlag.

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                                                                                              A more recent overview of the Middle Welsh data, taking into account some of the more recent research.

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                                                                                              Old and Middle Breton

                                                                                              The sources for this period are fairly sparse, and as in the case of Old and Middle Welsh, the orthographic representation is not always consistent. However, general overviews of the medieval language do include descriptions of the mutations. Hemon 1975 is the standard handbook, whereas Schrijver 2011 incorporates more recent research.

                                                                                              • Hemon, Roparz. 1975. A historical morphology and syntax of Breton. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                                                                                A brief historical grammar covering the Middle Breton material.

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                                                                                                • Schrijver, Peter. 2011. Middle and Early Modern Breton. In Brythonic Celtic=Britannisches Keltisch: From medieval British to Modern Breton. Edited by Elmar Ternes, 359–430. Münchner Forschungen zur historischen Sprachwissenschaft 11. Bremen, Germany: Hempen Verlag.

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                                                                                                  Another recent overview taking into account the more recent scholarship.

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                                                                                                  General Bibliographic Overviews

                                                                                                  Given how pervasive the mutations are across the Celtic languages, much useful information about them is scattered across works that do not focus on them specifically. For the Gaelic languages, Best, et al. 1912– is very complete and continues being updated. For Welsh, Hughes 1988 also remains useful. Annual updates are also published in the Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies.

                                                                                                  • Best, R. I., Rolf Baumgarten, Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, and Alexandre Guilarte, eds. 1912–. Bibliography of Irish linguistics and literature. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                                                                                    A bibliographic guide to literature on linguistic and literary topics related to the Gaelic languages, with annotations and extensive indexing. Now available online and continually updated. Apart from numerous references to literature on individual varieties, some works on mutation are found under classification E 4.2, “Grammar–Morphology–Initial Mutation.”

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                                                                                                    • Hughes, Marian Beech. 1988. Llyfryddiaeth yr iaith Gymraeg. Edited by J. E. Caerwyn Williams. Cardiff, UK: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru.

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                                                                                                      A bibliographic guide focusing specifically on works concerned with the Welsh language until the late 1980s.

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                                                                                                      • The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies. 1930–.

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                                                                                                        Annual bibliographic guide. Some, although not all, volumes include a section briefly listing new works concerned with the Celtic languages.

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                                                                                                        The Phonology of Mutations

                                                                                                        The phonological patterns of changes involved in initial consonant mutation systems are highly varied. First, most of the Celtic languages show more than one mutation process—that is, more than one kind of change to the initial segments of words, triggered in disjoint sets of contexts. Second, even “within” a mutation process, the phonological changes involved can be quite complex, showing examples of chain shifts or (apparent) subtraction in the form of consonant deletion. The systems in the Brythonic and Goidelic branches are also quite dissimilar; hence, the scope for comparison across the two subgroups is constrained. Given the complexity of the systems, it is perhaps not surprising that these branches have attracted phonologists’ attention for quite some time. As a consequence, analyses of mutation phenomena are available in a wide range of frameworks, from structuralist phonemics through classical rule-based phonology and representation-heavy approaches based on feature geometry and Element Theory to Optimality Theory.

                                                                                                        Structuralist Approaches

                                                                                                        In structuralist approaches, mutations are commonly seen as a “morphophonemic” process that involves interchange of listed sets of phonemes, starting with the classic paper by Hamp 1951 (cited under General Overviews). The attention of structuralist phonologists has therefore been concentrated on the triggering of the mutation process rather than on providing a phonological rationale for the interchanges themselves. Most of the relevant work in this section concentrates on Welsh, especially in works by British scholars working in the Firthian tradition (Albrow 1966) or influenced by it (Thomas 1966). Kortlandt 1982 is an example of a historical phonological approach using a structuralist phonemic framework.

                                                                                                        • Albrow, K. H. 1966. Mutation in “Spoken North Welsh.” In In memory of J. R. Firth. Edited by C. E. Bazell, J. C. Catford, M. A. K. Halliday, and R. H. Robins, 1–7. London: Longmans.

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                                                                                                          An explicitly Firthian approach to mutation in Welsh.

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                                                                                                          • Kortlandt, Frederik. 1982. Phonemicization and rephonemicization of the Old Irish mutations. Ériu 33:73–83.

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                                                                                                            Although primarily diachronic in intent, this paper contains extensive discussion of the status of Old Irish mutations as phonemic or allophonic alternations.

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                                                                                                            • Thomas, Alan R. 1966. Systems in Welsh phonology. Studia Celtica 1:93–127.

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                                                                                                              A more comprehensive structuralist analysis of Welsh phonology that also relies heavily on Firthian ideas of “long components” and includes an analysis of mutations.

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                                                                                                              Rule-Based Phonology

                                                                                                              With the advent of rule-based generative phonology with its emphasis on structure-changing derivations, it became possible to offer analyses not only of the fact that mutation is triggered in a particular context but also of the phonological changes themselves. Ó Siadhail and Wigger 1975 is an early attempt at integrating Irish mutations into a comprehensive analysis of the entire language. Rogers 1972 and McBrearty 1979 propose rule-based analyses of Scottish Gaelic and Irish mutations using the tools of generative phonology, such as rule ordering, to resolve puzzles in the phonological patterning of mutation, such as chain shifts. Awbery 1975 and Cram 1975, working within early versions of the generative paradigm, discuss the grammatical status of mutations in Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, respectively. Kibre 1997 argues in favor of a rule-based analysis of Welsh over an account couched in Optimality Theory.

                                                                                                              • Awbery, Gwenllian M. 1975. Welsh mutations: Syntax or phonology? Archivum Linguisticum 6:14–25.

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                                                                                                                An early treatment of Welsh mutations using the mechanisms of rule-based phonology.

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                                                                                                                • Cram, David. 1975. Grammatical and phonological conditioning of initial mutations in Scottish Gaelic. Leuvense Bijdragen 64:363–375.

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                                                                                                                  This paper is concerned with putting the proposals in Rogers 1972 on a firmer footing within a generative grammatical architecture.

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                                                                                                                  • Kibre, Nicholas J. 1997. A model of mutation in Welsh. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Linguistics Club.

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                                                                                                                    An extended analysis of the soft mutation in Modern Welsh arguing for the use of diacritic features and “rule blocks” to derive mutation, which the author argues to be triggered in certain syntactic configurations (see also Direct Object Mutation in Welsh).

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                                                                                                                    • McBrearty, Jane Roscoe. 1979. Initial mutation in a generative phonology of Modern Irish. In Papers in Celtic phonology: Proceedings of the Celtic phonology conference held at N. U. U. 28 June–1 July 1977. Edited by Dónall P. Ó Baoill, 39–53. Occasional Papers in Linguistics and Language Learning 6. Coleraine, UK: New Univ. of Ulster.

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                                                                                                                      A rule-based account of mutations in a northern (Ulster) Irish dialect.

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                                                                                                                      • Ó Siadhail, Mícheál, and Arndt Wigger. 1975. Córas fuaimeanna na Gaeilge. Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland: Institiúid Árd-Léinn Bhaile Átha Cliath.

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                                                                                                                        This book presents a unified, pandialectal analysis of the phonology of Modern Irish. As the title (The Sound Pattern of Irish) indicates, it owes much directly to The Sound Pattern of English by Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1991). It extensively covers not just the mutations themselves but also their interaction with other phonological processes in Irish. Note that although the later, English-language book by Ó Siadhail (Ó Siadhail 1989, cited under Irish) relies heavily on the results of Ó Siadhail and Wigger 1975, the explicit phonological analysis of mutations is mostly absent from it.

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                                                                                                                        • Rogers, Henry. 1972. The initial mutations in Modern Scots Gaelic. Studia Celtica 7:63–85.

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                                                                                                                          This paper examines in detail the initial mutations of Scottish Gaelic and proposes a set of rules for deriving them.

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                                                                                                                          Nonlinear Phonology

                                                                                                                          Celtic consonant mutation has attracted significant attention from phonologists working with articulated theories using nontrivial phonological representations, such as privative feature theories (Ó Dochartaigh 1978, Ewen 1982, and Cyran 2010), or feature geometry (Gussmann 1986, Ní Chiosáin 1991, Rice 1993, and Grijzenhout 1995). This interest has been driven by several factors. First, many of the patterns involved in Celtic mutations are readily understandable as instances of lenition, which traditionally has been a focus of theorists, especially within element-based and privative frameworks of featural structure. Griffen 1985, in particular, strongly argues for a recognition of the notion of “strength” as a phonological primitive, whereas Carlyle 1988 uses the toolkit of 1980s suprasegmental syllabic representations to address the relationship between mutation and the historical processes of lenition. Second, the lack of overt triggers for mutations has made them a valuable testing ground for autosegmental approaches that allow phonological processes to be triggered by a floating structure (Lieber 1987 and Swingle 1993).

                                                                                                                          • Carlyle, Karen Ann. 1988. The syllabic phonology of Breton. PhD diss., Univ. of Toronto.

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                                                                                                                            An analysis of several aspects of the phonology of a Breton dialect, based on original field materials. The focus is on suprasegmental patterns such as syllabification, but in the process, the author offers an analysis of the lenition mutation.

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                                                                                                                            • Cyran, Eugeniusz. 2010. Complexity scales and licensing in phonology. Studies in Generative Grammar 105. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1515/9783110221503Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              This book is couched in a version of Element Theory within a Government Phonology framework and offers an analysis of both Welsh and Irish data.

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                                                                                                                              • Ewen, Colin J. 1982. The phonological representation of the Welsh mutations. In Language form and linguistic variation: Papers dedicated to Angus McIntosh. Edited by John M. Anderson, 75–96. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                This paper applies very similar principles to the Welsh facts.

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                                                                                                                                • Griffen, Toby D. 1985. Aspects of dynamic phonology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1075/cilt.37Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  The book presents an analysis of a range of phenomena, including Welsh mutations, in a nonlinear phonological framework that emphasizes the notion of “phonological strength.”

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                                                                                                                                  • Grijzenhout, Janet. 1995. Irish consonant mutation and phonological theory. PhD diss., Utrecht Univ.

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                                                                                                                                    A treatment of mutations in Irish at several historical stages. It uses Aperture Theory—a privative-feature framework with links to Dependency Phonology and Element Theory—to make explicit the interpretation of mutations as instances of lenition.

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                                                                                                                                    • Gussmann, Edmund. 1986. Autosegments, linked matrices, and the Irish lenition. In Linguistics across historical and geographical boundaries: In honour of Jacek Fisiak on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday. Vol. 2, Descriptive, contrastive and applied linguistics. Edited by Dieter Kastovsky and Aleksander Szwedek, 891–907. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                      An early application of the tools of autosegmental phonology (notably empty segmental slots) to account for some intricate aspects of the Irish mutation system.

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                                                                                                                                      • Lieber, Rochelle. 1987. An integrated theory of autosegmental processes. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.

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                                                                                                                                        This book-length treatment of mutation-like processes in autosegmental terms contains an extended analysis of Welsh mutations.

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                                                                                                                                        • Ní Chiosáin, Máire. 1991. Topics in the phonology of Irish. PhD diss., Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts.

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                                                                                                                                          This broad coverage of Irish phonology from a rule-based, nonlinear perspective addresses the behavior of mutation in Irish in its wider context.

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                                                                                                                                          • Ó Dochartaigh, Cathair. 1978. Lenition and dependency phonology. Éigse 17:457–494.

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                                                                                                                                            An early description of Irish mutations, especially lenition, in a Dependency Phonology framework.

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                                                                                                                                            • Rice, Keren. 1993. A reexamination of the feature [sonorant]: The status of “sonorant obstruents.” Language 69.2: 308–344.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/416536Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              This paper uses data from the Irish “eclipsis” mutation to elucidate the nature of laryngeal contrast.

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                                                                                                                                              • Swingle, Kari. 1993. The Irish and other mutations. In Proceedings of the Eleventh West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Edited by Jonathan Mead, 451–466.

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                                                                                                                                                An autosegmental account of Irish mutation, with some attention to the blocking of mutation.

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                                                                                                                                                Optimality Theory

                                                                                                                                                Celtic mutations have not attracted significant attention of phonologists working in Optimality Theory (OT). This may be due at least partly because the patterns involved in mutation are notoriously difficult to account for in a strictly parallel version of OT (see also Mutations and Morphology and Mutation and Other Components of the Grammar). The OT community has shown significant interest in morphologically conditioned mutation processes (see Typological Comparison), but unfortunately that interest has not yet been extended to sustained analyses of the Celtic data. However, some OT work addresses data from Celtic mutations, often continuing lines of inquiry from rule-based approaches. Gnanadesikan 1997 is concerned with phonological representations and chain shifts, whereas Wolf 2007 offers a vindication of autosegmental approaches to mutation in OT. Green 2008 analyzes the mutation behavior of Irish compounds, using OT to implement phonology–morphology interactions.

                                                                                                                                                • Gnanadesikan, Amalia. 1997. Phonology with ternary scales. PhD diss., Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts.

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                                                                                                                                                  This work is mostly concerned with featural structure and an implementation of certain kinds of alternation using ternary scales in an OT framework, and it uses Irish mutation data to support the argument.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Green, Antony D. 2008. Coronals and compounding in Irish. Linguistics 46.2: 193–213.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1515/LING.2008.009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    An analysis of the blocking of lenition in Irish (cf. Swingle 1993, cited under Nonlinear Phonology), framed in an Optimality Theoretic approach to morphology–phonology interactions.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Wolf, Matthew. 2007. For an autosegmental theory of mutation. In Papers in optimality theory III. University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics 32. Edited by Leah Bateman, Michael O’Keefe, Ehren Reilly, and Adam Werle, 315–404. Amherst: Graduate Linguistic Student Association of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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                                                                                                                                                      A defense of autosegmental approaches to mutation within an OT framework, with some attention to Breton data.

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                                                                                                                                                      The Syntax of Mutation

                                                                                                                                                      Evidence from consonant mutation plays an important part in many arguments around the syntax of the Celtic languages, and it would be fruitless to list all syntactic works that make some reference to this kind of evidence. The investigation of mutation as a syntactic phenomenon has been relatively limited, although some attention has been paid to elucidating the syntactic conditions under which mutation is triggered. The one big exception here is the so-called “direct object mutation” of Welsh, which has generated substantial controversy.

                                                                                                                                                      The Triggering of Mutation

                                                                                                                                                      Much theoretical work on the morphosyntax of mutation “outsources” the triggering of the phonological changes to the phonology, e.g., via the postulation of diacritic “morphophonemes” or floating phonological material (see Awbery 1976, Zwicky 1984, and Roberts 2005, the latter cited under Direct Object Mutation in Welsh; see also the syntactic aspect of the analysis by Lieber 1987, cited under Nonlinear Phonology). However, another body of work argues that mutation participates in the expression of certain syntactic relations, such as locality or functional head status (McCloskey 1983 and Duffield 1995). Stump 1988 and Tallerman 1999 address the relationship between mutation and linear order (rather than hierarchical structure), and Hannahs and Tallerman 2006 explores the connection between mutation and lexical insertion.

                                                                                                                                                      • Awbery, Gwenllian. 1976. The syntax of Welsh: A transformational study of the passive. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                        An early generative treatment of the syntax of Welsh passives, which introduces mutation-triggering material via transformations.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Duffield, Nigel. 1995. Particles and projections in Irish syntax. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1007/978-94-011-0155-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          This book-length treatment of Irish syntax focuses to a significant extent on mutations as a source of evidence and posits a distinction between “functional” mutations (sensitive primarily to syntactic structure, such as the sequence of functional heads) and “lexical” mutations (sensitive primarily to linear structure and phonological properties of the context), avoiding a general treatment of “mutations” as an undifferentiated single phenomenon. Parts of the argument are also presented in “Configuring Mutation in Irish” by Nigel Duffield (Canadian Journal of Linguistics 42.1–2 [1997]: 75–109).

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                                                                                                                                                          • Hannahs, S. J., and Maggie Tallerman. 2006. At the interface: Selection of the Welsh definite article. Linguistics 44.4: 781–816.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1515/LING.2006.025Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            This paper uses data from mutation and allomorphy to argue that lexical insertion proceeds in several stages, which are interspersed with the triggering of mutation, with the interesting consequence that in some cases mutation is triggered before the lexical insertion of its apparent trigger.

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                                                                                                                                                            • McCloskey, James. 1983. A VP in a VSO language? In Order, concord and constituency. Edited by Gerald Gazdar, Ewan Klein, and Geoffrey K. Pullum, 9–55. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                              Although not specifically focusing on mutation, this chapter argues that lenition in Irish can be triggered by the presence of a trace.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Stump, Gregory T. 1988. Non-local spirantization in Breton. Journal of Linguistics 24.2: 457–481.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S0022226700011865Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                This paper describes an empirical challenge to the locality conditions proposed by Zwicky 1984—the case of Breton holl (“all”), which can intervene between triggers and targets of mutation. Stump considers how Zwicky’s locality conditions could be relaxed without sacrificing too much of their power.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Tallerman, Maggie. 1999. Welsh soft mutation and marked word order. In Functionalism and formalism in linguistics. Vol. 2, Case studies. Edited by Michael Darnell, Edith A. Moravcsik, Michael Noonan, Frederick J. Newmeyer, and Kathleen Wheatley, 277–294. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                                                  This chapter suggests that in many cases mutation is used in Welsh to signal that a marked word order is being used.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Zwicky, Arnold. 1984. Welsh soft mutation and the case of object NPs. In CLS 20: Papers from the twentieth regional meeting, Chicago Linguistic Society 1984. Edited by Joseph Drogo, Veena Mishra, and David Testen, 387–402. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.

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                                                                                                                                                                    An early account of the Welsh “direct object mutation” that sees the mutation as the expression of morphological case assigned by a finite verb in the context of a wider point that “morphophonemic rules,” such as mutation, can only be triggered under strict locality conditions. See Direct Object Mutation in Welsh for further literature on that phenomenon.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Direct Object Mutation in Welsh

                                                                                                                                                                    The phenomenon of “direct object mutation” in Welsh involves the application of “soft mutation” to the object NP in a VSO construction with a finite verb (but not to the object of a verbal noun), as well as to some other constituents that do not immediately follow the verb. Broadly, we can distinguish between two approaches (see also Ball and Müller 1992, cited under General Overviews, for a more detailed review of the early literature on the topic). One relies on case assignment to explain the facts, following the proposal by Zwicky 1984 (cited under Triggering of Mutation); Roberts 2005 is the clearest example. On the other hand, Harlow 1989 and Borsley, et al. 2007 focus on the overall syntactic configuration (such as adjacency or c-command), culminating in the XP trigger hypothesis, whereby any XP c-commanding a following adjacent phrase triggers mutation on that phrase. Hannahs 1996 expresses a similar intuition but frames it in phonological rather than syntactic terms (see also Pyatt 2003, cited under Mutation and Other Components of the Grammar).

                                                                                                                                                                    • Borsley, Robert D., Maggie Tallerman, and David Willis. 2007. The syntax of Welsh. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486227Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Chapter 7 is dedicated to direct object mutation and defends the “XP trigger hypothesis” against earlier objections, including those by Ball and Müller 1992 (cited under General Overviews) and Roberts 2005, and provides references to more detailed discussion. Many of these arguments can also be found in “Phrases and Soft Mutation in Welsh” by Robert D. Borsley and Maggie Tallerman (Journal of Celtic Linguistics 5 [1996]: 1–49) and “The Syntax of Welsh ‘Direct Object Mutation Revisited’” by Maggie Tallerman (Lingua 116.11 [2006]: 1750–1776).

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Hannahs, S. J. 1996. Phonological structure and soft mutation in Welsh. In Interfaces in phonology. Edited by Ursula Kleinhenz, 46–59. Studia Grammatica 41. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                                                        This paper reframes the “XP trigger hypothesis” as referring to prosodic phrases rather than syntactic categories such as the extended projection.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Harlow, Steve. 1989. The syntax of Welsh soft mutation. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 7:289–316.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1007/BF00208099Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          This paper offers an early version of the XP trigger hypothesis, in which the direct object mutation is triggered by the fact that an NP intervenes between the verb and the mutation target.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Roberts, Ian. 2005. Principles and parameters in a VSO language: A case study in Welsh. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168211.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            The analysis of direct object mutation in chapter 2 builds on the suggestion by Zwicky 1984 (cited under Triggering of Mutation) that mutation is linked to case; specifically, it is suggested that a mutation-triggering preposition is present when a finite verb raises to v. An early version of the argument is also presented in “The Syntax of Direct Object Mutation in Welsh” by Ian Roberts (Canadian Journal of Linguistics 42.1–2 [1997]: 141–168).

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                                                                                                                                                                            Mutations and Morphology

                                                                                                                                                                            There exists a body of work arguing that Celtic mutations cannot be explained fully with reference to syntactic rules manipulating chunks of (morpho)phonological structure, such as “morphophonemes” or floating autosegments. Instead, these scholars propose that mutations are triggered within a morphological module that is separate from the phonological computation; thus, their effects are already present in the input to phonological grammar. An early version of this approach is presented in a structuralist framework by Ellis 1965, whereas Stewart 2004, Green 2006, and Gorrie 2011 explicitly argue for this position on the basis of an argument that phonological or syntactic theory is unable to cope with the facts. Hannahs 2013 presents a similar argument and also addresses the objection that taking mutations out of the phonology leaves their productivity unexplained.

                                                                                                                                                                            • Ellis, Jeffrey. 1965. The grammatical status of initial mutation. Lochlann 3:315–329.

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                                                                                                                                                                              This is an early attempt to account for Welsh mutation in terms of a set of listed allomorphs chosen depending on the syntactic context, using a Hallidayan framework.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Green, Anthony D. 2006. The independence of phonology and morphology: The Celtic mutations. Lingua 116.11: 1946–1985.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2004.09.002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                The argument for a morphological treatment of mutation in this article is based on the complications of providing a syntactic analysis of the contexts in which mutation is triggered, as well as the impossibility of reconciling mutation processes with the grammar required to account for other phonological patterns.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Gorrie, Colin. 2011. Adjective agreement in Gaelic: A case for morphophonological features. In Formal approaches to Celtic linguistics. Edited by Andrew Carnie, 321–336. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  This analysis of Scottish Gaelic argues that mutation should be visible to morphology and cannot be simply a matter of phonological structure.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hannahs, S. J. 2013. Celtic initial mutation: Pattern extraction and subcategorisation. Word Structure 6.1: 1–20.

                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.3366/word.2013.0033Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    A slightly different approach that also takes mutation out of the phonological component, but argues for the existence of lexical patterns connecting word-initial segments instead of by-item allomorph listing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Stewart, Thomas W., Jr. 2004. Mutation as morphology: Bases, stems, and shapes in Scottish Gaelic. PhD diss., Ohio State Univ.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Stewart presents an extended argument that an extended morphological analysis of mutation in Scottish Gaelic in terms of listed alternants is superior to a phonological or syntactic one, since no unified motivation for the different mutations can be discovered.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Mutations and Interfaces

                                                                                                                                                                                      Apart from the theoretical analyses of the phonology of the mutations themselves and their morphosyntactic context, some attention has been also been given in the literature to the interaction of mutations with other processes in the grammars of the relevant languages, both phonological and morphosyntactic, as well as to their acquisition (and attrition) and variable aspects of their use. Most of the work on “external” interfaces has focus on Welsh and Irish, the “big” Celtic languages, although more data has recently become available.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Mutation and Other Components of the Grammar

                                                                                                                                                                                      Initial consonant mutation has the potential to interact both with other phonological processes (particularly ones that apply in domains larger than the word) and with morphosyntactic patterns that do not directly involve mutations. The existing scholarship has not focused on these issues to a significant degree, and the data often remain poorly understood. The Breton language presents some cases of interaction between mutation and postlexical phonological sandhi, addressed in Stump 1987 and Iosad 2014. Ní Chiosáin 1994 analyzes the interaction of consonant mutation and the palatalization contrast in Irish, whereas Garrett 1999 and Pyatt 2003 focus on the relationship between morphosyntactic and prosodic domain structure and mutation.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Garrett, Andrew. 1999. On the prosodic phonology of Ogam Irish. Ériu 50:139–160.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Garrett analyzes some sound changes in Old Irish relevant to the rise of mutations with reference to prosodic constituency.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Iosad, Pavel. 2014. The phonology and morphosyntax of Breton mutation. Lingue e linguaggio 13.1: 23–42.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          This account of several mutations in the Breton dialect is concerned with identifying the morphosyntactic sources of different kinds of mutations and analyzing the interaction of mutation with postlexical phonological processes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ní Chiosáin, Máire. 1994. Irish palatalisation and the representation of place features. Phonology 11.1: 89–106.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0952675700001858Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            This feature-geometrical analysis of palatalization in Irish also covers the interaction between mutation and palatalization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Pyatt, Elizabeth J. 2003. Relativized mutation domains in the Celtic languages. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 9.1: 213–226.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              This paper focuses on cases of the blocking of mutation by prosodic boundaries and argues that such blocking can be driven by the prosodic size of the trigger.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Stump, Gregory T. 1987. On incomplete mutations in Breton. In A Festschrift for Ilse Lehiste. Working Papers in Linguistics 35. Edited by Brian Joseph and Arnold Zwicky, 1–10. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                This short paper points out the existence of a case in Breton in which mutation is blocked in certain phonological configurations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Language Variation and Change

                                                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps not surprisingly for such a complex phenomenon, the use of mutations in the different Celtic languages is highly variable. Such variation is part and parcel of vital traditional varieties (e.g., Thomas 1984 and Hennessey 1990), although many descriptions tend to gloss over it. Much attention has also been paid to differences in the use of mutation between traditional and standard varieties on the one hand and varieties in current use on the other, variously characterized as undergoing koinéization, attrition, obsolescence, or death. Dorian 1977 and Dorian 1981 are foundational works for the study of language obsolescence in general, and both provide quantitative data on mutation in the Scottish Gaelic of East Sutherland. Timm 1985, Jones 1998, and Broderick 1999 discuss similar developments in Breton, Welsh, and Manx, respectively. Some data on variation and change in mutation patterns is also provided in some general works, notably in Ball and Müller 1992 (cited under General Overviews) for Welsh and Ó Curnáin 2007 (cited under Irish) for Irish. Notably, Ó Curnáin 2007 discusses the mutation behavior of borrowings from the majority language, a subject also covered by Stenson 1990. Some studies (Dorian 1981 and Frenda 2011) consider changes in the mutation system in conjunction with related grammatical categories, such as gender and case. Several of the studies referenced provide some quantitative data, but there is a pressing need for more investigations using up-to-date quantitative methodologies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Broderick, George. 1999. Language death in the Isle of Man. Linguistische Arbeiten 395. Tubingen, Germany: Niemeyer Verlag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1515/9783110911411Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Provides a discussion of the loss of initial mutation among the terminal speakers of Manx.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Dorian, Nancy. 1977. A hierarchy of morphophonemic decay in Scottish Gaelic language death: The differential failure of lenition. Word 28.1–2: 96–109.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/00437956.1977.11435851Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This paper establishes a hierarchy of contexts showing loss of the traditional use of mutations and shows that this hierarchy is obeyed by all speakers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dorian, Nancy C. 1981. Language death: The life cycle of a Scottish Gaelic dialect. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.9783/9781512815580Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The author builds on data such as that reported in Dorian 1977 to provide a comprehensive account of changes in the mutation system in the context of overall grammatical change in an obsolescent variety.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Frenda, Alessio S. 2011. Gender in Irish between continuity and change. Folia Linguistica 45.2: 283–316.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1515/flin.2011.012Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        An account of ongoing changes in the gender system of Irish. Because mutation is an important exponent of gender distinction, much of this paper is concerned with mutation phenomena.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hennessey, John S., Jr. 1990. Spirantization to lenition in Breton: Interpretation of morphological variability. In Celtic linguistics=Ieithyddiaeth Geltaidd: Readings in the Brythonic languages; Festschrift for Arwyn T. Watkins. Edited by Martin J. Ball, James Fife, Erich Poppe, and Jenny Rowland, 209–224. Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and History of Linguistic Science: Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 68. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1075/cilt.68.18henSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This paper presents an argument that the replacement of a rare type of mutation by a more common one in Breton is an endogenous process rather than a sign of language death.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Jones, Mari C. 1998. Language obsolescence and revitalization: Linguistic change in two sociolinguistically contrasting Welsh communities. Oxford Studies in Language Contact. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            A book-length study of dialect obsolescence in Welsh, with quantitative data on the use of mutations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Stenson, Nancy C. 1990. Patterns of mutation in Irish loanwords. Éigse 24:9–25.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Study of (lack of mutation) in loanwords from English, based on the dialect of Ráth Cairn.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Thomas, Peter Wynn. 1984. Variation in South Glamorgan consonant mutation. In Welsh phonology: Selected readings. Edited by Martin J. Ball and Glyn E. Jones, 208–236. Cardiff, UK: Univ. of Wales Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                An early attempt to describe variation in the use of mutation in Welsh on the basis of observational data from traditional dialectological interviews.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Timm, Lenora A. 1985. Breton mutations: Literary vs. vernacular usages. Word 36.2: 95–107.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/00437956.1985.11435866Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A description of the use of mutation in a Breton dialect with an explicit comparison to the system of the written language.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mutations in “Non-Traditional” Varieties

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  More recently, attention has turned to the study of mutations as used by individuals who cannot be described as being part of homogenous communities of Celtic language speakers. These include heritage speakers (Boon 2014), “new speakers” who have acquired the language through immersion education (Kennard and Lahiri 2015), and speakers of what is described as “post-traditional” varieties strongly influenced by the majority language (Péterváry, et al. 2014).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Acquisition and Psycholinguistics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mutations present a complex and opaque system of alternations intertwined with a number of phonological and morphosyntactic factors, and some available results indicate that the system of mutations might not be acquired fully until the early teens. Therefore, it is to be expected that mutations have attracted some attention from specialists in language acquisition and other areas of psycholinguistics. However, given the diversity of the contexts in which the mutations appear, such studies sometimes do not focus on the mutations as such but instead present them in connection with relevant grammatical phenomena, such as gender (as in Thomas and Mueller Gathercole 2007). However, several longitudinal studies are reported (Bellin 1984, Ó Baoill 1992, Stephens 1996, and Brennan 2004). Boyce, et al. 1987 and Vaughan-Evans, et al. 2014 establish links between mutation and important psycholinguistic processes, such as word recognition. Further study in this area is imperative, and urgently so, given that Celtic languages are endangered and, in particular, given the decrease in numbers of speakers who are dominant in the minority language.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bellin, Wynford. 1984. Welsh phonology in acquisition. In Welsh phonology: Selected readings. Edited by Martin J. Ball and Glyn E. Jones, 156–175. Cardiff, UK: Univ. of Wales Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A brief overview of the results from Bellin’s dissertation “Psycholinguistics and Language Learning” (Brighton, UK: University of Sussex, 1976), including some information on the acquisition of mutations. This dissertation is available online through EThOS.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Boyce, Suzanne, Catherine P. Browman, and Louis Goldstein. 1987. Lexical organization and Welsh consonant mutations. Journal of Memory and Language 26.4: 419–452.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/0749-596X(87)90100-8Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A priming study showing that mutation in Welsh does not inhibit lexical access despite involving the initial segments of words.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Brennan, Stephanie. 2004. Na chéad chéimeanna: Luathfhorbairt Gaeilge mar phríomhtheanga; Díriú ar an bhfóineolaíocht. Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland: Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        English title: First Steps: Early Development of Irish as a Primary Language; Focus on Phonology. Report on a longitudinal study of three children, including data on the development of the mutation system.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ó Baoill, Dónall P. 1992. Developmental stages in the acquisition of Irish phonology and initial mutations. In Insealbhú na Gaeilge mar chéad teanga. Edited by Dónall P. Ó Baoill, 54–73. Dublin, Ireland: Irish Association for Applied Linguistics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          English title: The Acquisition of Irish as a First Language. A focused description of the acquisition of Irish mutation. This book is valuable because the few studies available of the acquisition of Irish do not focus on this phenomenon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Stephens, Janig. 1996. The acquisition of mutations in Breton. In Lesser used languages: Project work in progress. Vol. 2, Language acquisition in preschool children in Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Edited by Cardiff Institute of Higher Education, Faculty of Community Health Sciences, 22–32. Cardiff, UK: Univ. of Wales Institute.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A brief report of a study of the acquisition of Breton mutations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Thomas, Enlli Môn, and Virginia C. Mueller Gathercole. 2007. Children’s productive command of grammatical gender in Welsh: An alternative to rule-based learning. First Language 27.3: 251–278.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/0142723707077056Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This paper argues that command of mutation in Welsh is just one aspect of the command of gender in acquisition. Contains a valuable overview of earlier relevant work.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Vaughan-Evans, Awel, Jan Rouke Kuipers, Guillaume Thierry, and Manon W. Jones. 2014. Anomalous transfer of syntax between languages. Journal of Neuroscience 34.24: 8333–8335.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0665-14.2014Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                An ERP (event related potential) study of Welsh–English bilinguals demonstrating that the use of mutations in Welsh also influences language processing in English mode.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Diachrony of Mutations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The diachronic study of mutations has focused on their origins from Proto-Celtic to the earliest attested stages of the modern Celtic languages. The mutations are found in the earliest manuscript attestations of all the Celtic languages, so this knowledge comes largely from reconstruction. Much of the relevant background can be gleaned from the literature cited under General Overviews. A second potential area of study is the development of the mutation systems in the Celtic languages from their earliest attestations to the modern period. This work is still largely in its infancy, no doubt partly because of the inconsistent orthography in the medieval manuscripts. The rise of digital corpora may facilitate research in this latter area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Origin of Mutations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The basics of the origins of the mutations are reasonably well understood. Mutations come from consonant changes, mostly in intervocalic position, that applied across word boundaries before the loss of final syllables made them opaque (see Russell 1995, cited under General Overviews; Pedersen 1909; and Lewis and Pedersen 1937 for more detail). However, arguments persist over the details. The classic accounts by Martinet 1952 and Jackson 1953 rely on a distinction between “fortis” and “lenis” consonants that does not coincide with the distinction between “voiced” and “voiceless” obstruents. An alternative account of the different changes in mutation that emphasizes process ordering takes as its starting point the rejection of the existence of geminates by Greene 1956 (cited under Old Irish). The “revisionist” account was first proposed in Harvey 1984 and supported by Thomas 1990, McCone 1996, and Sims-Williams 2008, but the analysis by Jackson 1953 was defended in, among other works, Koch 1989 and Isaac 2004. The controversy remains unresolved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Harvey, Anthony. 1984. Aspects of lenition and spirantization. Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 8:87–100.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  An account of the origin of mutation that posits two processes of lenition to explain the facts of initial mutation, without recourse to an additional “fortis”–“lenis” distinction. Instead, the /pp tt kk/ /f θ x/ change is seen as the product of degemination (a kind of lenition) followed by spirantization of the resulting singletons.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Isaac, Graham R. 2004. The chronology of the development of Brittonic stops and the spirant mutation. Journal of Celtic Linguistics 8:49–85.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A defense of the Jackson tradition, based on the premise that Proto-Brythonic “voiceless” stops were aspirated.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. 1953. Language and history in early Britain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The classic account of Brythonic Celtic historical phonology. Its analysis of lenition, influenced by Martinet’s work, posits a contrast between “fortis” and “lenis” voiced and voiceless obstruents, with “lenition” understood as a rule turning fortes into lenes irrespective of laryngeal specification. Notably, this analysis sees the change from Proto-Celtic /pp tt kk/ to Brythonic /f θ x/ (with further developments) as an example not of lenition but of the development of fortis consonants. Supplemented by Jackson 1967 (cited under Breton).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Koch, John T. 1989. Neo-Brittonic voiceless spirants from Old Celtic geminates. Ériu 40:119–128.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This paper defends Jackson’s interpretation of spirantization of voiceless stops as fortition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lewis, Henry, and Holger Pedersen. 1937. A concise comparative Celtic grammar. Gottingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is a shortened and revised English version of Pedersen 1909. The latter remains valuable because of the greater level of detail, but this volume is updated in some respects.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Martinet, André. 1952. Celtic lenition and Western Romance consonants. Language 28.2: 192–217.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/410513Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A classic paper that interprets the rise of mutations in a structuralist framework, explaining the outcomes of lenition with reference to properties of the entire inventory and the idea of a general articulatory weakening. This data is also considered within the broader context of Martinet’s structuralist historical phonology in his classic work Économie des changements phonétiques, originally published in 1955 (rev. ed. Paris: Maisonneuve & Larose, 2005).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • McCone, Kim. 1996. Towards a relative chronology of ancient and medieval Celtic sound change. Maynooth, Ireland: St. Patrick’s College.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Comprehensive analysis of the historical phonology of both Gaelic and Brythonic languages from the Proto-Celtic stage, with a Harvey-like approach to lenition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pedersen, Holger. 1909. Vergleichende Grammatik der keltischen Sprachen. Gottingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A classic philological account of the development of the Celtic languages that describes the changes relevant to understanding the origin of mutations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sims-Williams, Patrick. 2008. The problem of spirantization and nasalization in Brittonic Celtic. In Evidence and counter-evidence: Essays in honour of Frederik Kortlandt. Vol. 1, Balto-Slavic and Indo-European linguistics. Edited by Alexander Lubotsky, Jos Schaeken, and Jeroen Wiedenhof, 509–526. Studies and Slavic and General Linguistics 32. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A reply to Isaac 2004 defending the “two-lenitions” account of the origins of mutation. Also published in Sims-Williams’s Studies on Celtic Languages before the Year 1000 (Aberystwyth, Wales: CMCS, 2007).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Thomas, Peter Wynn. 1990. The Brythonic consonant shift and the development of consonant mutation. Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 37:1–42.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An extended analysis of the origins of mutation in the tradition of Harvey 1984, analyzing the changes as a kind of consonant shift.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Historical Development of Mutations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Although the origins of most of the mutations can be understood with reference to the Proto-Celtic forms in the relevant context, the mutation systems also underwent certain developments in the course of the attested history of the Celtic languages. Thus, the Breton “new lenition” (Jackson 1967) was a medieval development. Similarly, direct object mutation in Welsh only took its shape in the Modern Welsh period, and its roots and development in Middle Welsh are still poorly understood (Comrie 2000). This remains a productive area for future research. General developments in the mutation system over time are described in McCone, et al. 1994 on the Irish language, whereas individual case studies are available on the Gaelic languages (Ó Maolalaigh 1995–1996, Ó Maolalaigh 2013, and Hughes 2013) and on the Welsh language (Sims-Williams 2010).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Comrie, Bernard. 2000. Morphophonological alternations: Typology and diachrony. In Morphology 2000: Selected papers from the 9th Morphology Meeting, Vienna, 24–28 February 2000. Edited by Sabrina Bendjaballah, Wolfgang U. Dressler, Oskar E. Pfeiffer, and Maria D. Voeikova, 73–89. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The paper suggests that the Welsh “direct object mutation” arose as a kind of exaptation of the grammatically arbitrary debris of phonetic change affecting certain NPs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hughes, A. J. 2013. Late Old Irish lenition and the modern Gaelic verb. Berlin: Curach Bhán.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Book-length study examining the role of changes in the mutation systems in the verbal morphology of Irish and Scottish Gaelic varieties.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. 1967. A historical phonology of Breton. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This book includes, among other data, a discussion of the date and nature of the so-called “new lenition” in Breton dialects.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • McCone, Kim, et al., eds. 1994. Stair na Gaeilge in ómós do Pádraig Ó Fiannachta. Maigh Nuad, Ireland: Coláiste Phádraig.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The chapters on Middle Irish (“An Mhéan-Ghaeilge” by Liam Breatnach) and Classical Modern Irish (“An Nua-Ghaeilge Chlasaiceach” by Damian McManus) in this compendious history of Irish provide an indication of the most important developments in the Irish mutation system.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ó Maolalaigh, Roibeard. 1995–1996. The development of eclipsis in Gaelic. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye, August 1994. Edited by J. Derrick McClure, 158–173. Scottish Language 14–15. Aberdeen, Scotland: Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This paper argues for the recognition of an important difference between the Irish process known as “eclipsis” and post-nasal sandhi in Scottish Gaelic (see Bosch and Scobbie 2009, cited under Scottish Gaelic). Even though the outcomes of the two processes are not dissimilar, it is argued that Irish eclipsis is a “true” mutation with morphophonological conditioning, whilst the Gaelic post-nasal sandhi is a purely phonological phenomenon. Further, it is suggested that the difference reflects an old isogloss in the Gaelic-speaking area.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ó Maolalaigh, Roibeard. 2013. Gaelic gach uile/a h-uile and the genitive of time. Éigse 38:41–93.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A historical investigation of the differences between Irish and Scottish Gaelic varieties concerning the behavior of a h-uile/gach uile (“every”) as a trigger of mutation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sims-Williams, Patrick. 2010. The spread of “sandhi h-” in thirteenth-century Welsh. Transactions of the Philological Society 108.1: 41–52.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-968X.2009.01222.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Traces the spread of an ahistorical mutation process (h-prefixation) in the Middle Welsh record. The argument is also relevant to the controversy regarding the origins of mutations (for more on this, see Origin of Mutations).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Typological Comparison

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Initial consonant mutations are a fairly rare phenomenon cross-linguistically, so their pervasiveness in Celtic has made them prominent in the literature. Nevertheless, comparable phenomena are attested elsewhere, and some of the theoretical work that engages with Celtic mutations also treats similar phenomena in other languages, e.g., Lieber 1987 (cited under Nonlinear Phonology) and Wolf 2007 (cited under Optimality Theory). It has often been recognized that Celtic mutations share diachronic and synchronic similarities with lenition phenomena in (Western) Romance, as discussed in Martinet 1952 (cited under Origin of Mutations); Oftedal 1985 provides extensive comparison with Canary Islands Spanish. There is, nevertheless, a body of work that directly discusses the typology of initial consonant mutations (Ternes 1990, Pilch 2003, Iosad 2010, and Hickey 2014). More generally, Celtic initial mutations are often seen as an instance of morphologically conditioned phonology, together with “mutation” processes that do not target left edges exclusively (Lieber 1987, cited under Nonlinear Phonology, and Hickey 2014). A useful overview of such “consonant mutations” is offered by Grijzenhout 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Grijzenhout, Janet. 2011. Consonant mutation. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 3, Phonological processes. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 1537–1558. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A very useful overview of consonant mutation phenomena cross-linguistically, without a focus on initial mutations; mostly addresses the phonological analysis of the phenomena.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hickey, Raymond. 2014. The sound structure of Modern Irish. Empirical Approaches to Language Typology 47. Berlin: De Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1515/9783110226607Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Although the discussion of mutation in this book is not necessarily more detailed than in other sources cited under Irish, it contains some comparisons with consonant mutation phenomena elsewhere, both in Celtic as well as in other languages.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Iosad, Pavel. 2010. Right at the left edge: Initial consonant mutations in the languages of the word. In Rethinking universals: How rarities affect linguistic theory. Edited by Michael Cysouw and Jan Wohlgemuth, 105–138. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The focus of this chapter is on cataloguing initial consonant mutations across the world, with some attempt at identifying parameters of typological variation and the importance of mutations for theoretical approaches.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Oftedal, Magne. 1985. Lenition in Celtic and in insular Spanish: The secondary voicing of stops in Gran Canaria. Oslo, Norway: Universitetsforlaget.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An extended comparison of the development of stops in Celtic and in Gran Canaria Spanish, where historical /p t k/ show intervocalic spirantization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pilch, Herbert. 2003. The Celtic mutations: How unique are they? In Language and life: Essays in memory of Kenneth Pike. Edited by Mary Ruth Wise, Thomas N. Headland, and Ruth M. Brend, 283–295. Glendale, CA: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another attempt to identify points of similarity between the mutation systems of Celtic languages and those found elsewhere.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ternes, Elmar. 1990. Initial mutation in Celtic and West African languages: Synchrony and diachrony. Afrika und Übersee 73:3–17.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A comparison of Celtic initial mutation systems with those found in the languages of West Africa, with attention to both the phonological rationale and the conditions that trigger the mutations.

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