Two problems in the phonological history of the Ushant dialect
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For this MA-thesis I have made a database that contains more than 2,400 Ushant dialect words. From this database I have selected two phenomena that set apart the Ushant dialect from the other Breton dialects and also have a problematic phonological history. In the first chapter I discuss a problem that concerns one of the most distinguishing features of the Ushant dialect. It is traditionally described as the retention of the Middle Breton consonant clusters -zl-, -zn-, -zr- as -dl-, -dr-, -dr- in the Ushant dialect (and not -l-, -n-, -r- like in the other Breton dialects), e.g. Ushant gwedrenn ‘glass’ instead of gwerenn. During this chapter I show that Middle Breton -zl-, -zn-, -zr- actually became Ushant -dl-, -n-, -dr- and present the exact phonological development of the consonant clusters between the Middle Breton and the Modern Ushant dialect phase. In the second chapter I have discussed a relatively unknown problem, namely the appearance Ushant dialect i’s where other Breton dialects have e’s, e.g. Ushant brizhouneg ‘Breton’ instead of brezhoneg. These i’s cannot be explained with our current knowledge of the historical phonology of Breton. Therefore I ultimately argue for the adoption of a new sound-law (e becomes i before u in the next syllable) to solve this problem.