The suggestion that Cumbric syncopated syllables which remain in
Welsh is based entirely on the example galnes or galnys
from the Leges inter Brettos et Scottos, which is the
equivalent of W. galanas. There is some further evidence,
- the name Calder (and Kielder, according to
Ekwall), derived from Br. *caleto-dubro- 'hard water',
which gives W. caletwr via an earlier *Caled'duβr.
All the early examples of this name in the Cumbric region are
recorded with ld.
- possibly Catterick (North Yorkshire), which is from L. cataracta
'waterfall'. It is recorded in OE as Cetreht and
in the Domesday Book as Catrice and is presumed to be the
Catraeth of Aneirin's Y Gododdin. Both
English and Welsh forms show that the name was syncopated to
*Cad'raχt in British, which also
accounts for the provection of internal d.
- perhaps Balornock (Glasgow) if it contains a name equivalent to
W. Llywernog, OB. Louuernoc (< Br. *Luwernācos,
though this is far from certain.
Evidence against the theory is equally as rare and even more
- Drumpellier is recorded as Dunpeleder in 1203 and may
contain W. pelydr 'spear(s)' < Br. *palatrī,
but even if this connection is correct this is really a di- not a
- If Lauder (Louueder, Lawedir, Loweder
in 13th century records) is from Mills' Br. *lowV-dubro-
then it suggests that normal British syncope of the connecting vowel
did not occur - this can be seen in personal names such as W.
Dinogad < Br. *Dūnocatus.
However, if the name is from PC. *lowatro- (which is more
likely), then syncope would not have occurred in any case.
It is impossible to make a strong case for syncope being a regular
sound law on such a poor evidence base, though there is no compelling
reason to deny it as a possibility. The case for galnes,
galnys seems self-evident. Syncope in this case must have
occurred whilst the accent was still on the ultima, before the 11th
century according to Jackson's chronology for WCB, since stress was
subsequently moved to the first syllable judging by the reduction of the
second vowel. It is interesting that Cumbric apparently followed
WCB in restoring the penultimate stress, even in the later stages of the
|© Neil Whalley 2008-2015