Welsh Journals

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THE CAMBRO-BRITON. JULY, 1820. NULLI QU1DEM MMI SATIS ERUDITI VIDENTUR, QUIBUS , NOSTRA IGNOTA SUNT. Cicero de Legibus. WELSH LANGUAGE. MUTATIONS OF INITIAL CONSONANTS. J HE more minutely the Welsh language is examined, the more remarkable the phenomena, which it will present to the cri¬ tical observer, and the more convincing the proofs, which will be discovered of its originality and its antiquity. Its elementary properties,—the source of all its beauty, its energy and its har¬ mony,—have already undergone a partial discussion: and the subject is one, which would well repay the candid inquirer for all the pains of the most ample investigation. This principle, how¬ ever, belongs peculiarly to the vital character of the language: it is the basis on which it rests,—it is the spirit, by which it breathes. But it is now bur business to examine another feature, which is more particularly allied to the external attributes of the Welsh tongue, and by which its grammatical construction is materially affected. This is the mutation of its initial consonants, a charac¬ teristic, which possesses equal evidence, with any other, of a pri¬ mitive origin. That certain articulations of the human voice have a natural tendency to coalesce \vith others, coming in collision with themP is a principle, of which the effect may be traced more or less in all languages. Even in those of a more recent date this peculiarity is, in some degree^ perceptible, as in those particular cases, where, for the sake of euphony, elisions or prefixes are adopted. And a variety even of literal mutations might be pointed out in the English, Italian, and French languages, apparently the remains of the same principle, which pervades the Welsh tongue, and in which and its sister-dialects alene its systematic operation is now VOL. !. . 3 P