There is no official standardised way of representing hypothetical Cumbric forms and different authorities use different methods. The orthography given here is not intended to be a definitive one, but it is a convenient way to represent possible Cumbric forms on this site.

The tables below give the correspondences between the Cumbric orthography and those of the existing Brythonic languages. No attempt is made to describe the actual phonology of Cumbric here, the symbols only represent the possible reflexes influenced by the evidence we have of Cumbric.

Vowels & Diphthongs

CumbricWelshCornishBretonMain Sources
aaaaBr. a
eeeeBr. e
ɛ̄oeo, oooe, oaBr. ai
ēwyo, oooue, oe, oaBr. ē
ǝyeeBr. i (non-final)
ıye, yeBr. i
iiiiBr. ī
ooooBr. o
ɔaw, oeu, eeu, eBr. ā
uwou, oou, oBr. u
üuuuBr. au, eu, ou
yiiiBr. ū
ɵyeeBr. u (non-final)
owauow(a)ouBr. ow
eieieeBr. a_i, o_i
ayaeeeBr. agC, axC, adC
eyai, eiey, eeBr. egC, exC, edC
oyoeooue, oe, oaBr. ogC, oxC, odC
uywyooBr. ugC, uxC, ugC


  • The length of vowels follows roughly the same rules as Welsh.
  • The quality of Cu. *ɛ̄ and *ē are unclear. In WCB the sounds developed into rounded diphthongs, but there is very limited evidence that this occurred in Cumbric, the sounds usually occurring as e in place names (e.g. Dalkeith, Culcheth) and occasionally, in late names, as ai (e.g. Culgaith, Kincaid).
  • There is some evidence that Br. was fronted but retained its rounding in Cu. – this would explain instances such as Culgaith, Culcheth which may contain Br. *cūlo- ‘nook’ and the early reference to Dunbar as Dyunbær.
  • The symbol ‹ǝ› represents both reduced ‹ı› and the epenthetic vowel.
  • Any vowel can be followed by w.


CumbricWelshCornishBretonMain Sources
bbbbBr. b-, -p-
vfvvBr. -b-
ccc, kkBr. k-
chchghc’hBr. kk, ks
hwchwhwc’hwBr. sw-
ddd-, sdBr. d-, -t-
ðdddhzBr. -d-, -j-
ggggBr. g-, -k-
gwgwgwgw, gou, goBr. w-
ɣi, –Br. -g-
hhhhBr. s
lll-, lllBr. l
mmmmBr. m
fvñvBr. -m-
nnnnBr. n
ngngngngBr. ng
ppppBr. p < kw
rrh-, rrrBr. r
ssssBr. ss, st
ttttBr. t-
thththzhBr. -tt-, -Ct-
wwwvBr. w


  • It is possible that Cumbric had ‘strong’ l and r, as in Welsh ll, rh but it is not shown in this orthography.