Wmffre (Iwan)

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Wmffre, Iwan, The qualities and the origins of the Welsh vowel [ɨː], Berlin: curach bhán, 2014.  
This book deals with a particular noteworthy vowel sound found in Welsh usually transcribed phonetically as [ɨ] and orthographically as <u> or as <y> (a sound not equivalent to the identically transcribed phonetic vowel [ɨ] of Russian).

The distribution of [ɨ], both geographically and historically as well as within various dialects is discussed and purported relict survivals of the sound in southern Welsh dialects are examined. A broader comprehensive look at the vowel systems of Welsh is necessitated to understand its structural context before addressing its phonetic characteristics. Further comparison to similar sounds in other languages conclude with the proposal of a number of additional phonetic categories and symbols for the International Phonetic Alphabet in regard to the high vowel space area. Finally the discussion of the historical development of [ɨ] alongside the other high vowels from 400 AD to the present-day is undertaken with a novel conclusion as to its genesis – a much later genesis than that hitherto proposed.

Apart from featuring original analysis, the work assembles disparate information dispersed between separate subdisciplines of dialectology, phonetics, language typology and language history, as well as data from a wide assortment of relevant dialects and languages, to give a stimulating and a wide-ranging treatment to this rather singular vowel.
Wmffre, Iwan, “Post-Roman Irish settlements in Wales: new insights from a recent study of Cardiganshire place-names”, in: Jankulak, Karen, and Jonathan M. Wooding (eds.), Ireland and Wales in the Middle Ages, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007. 46–61.
Wmffre, Iwan, Breton orthographies and dialects: the twentieth-century orthography war in Brittany, 2 vols, Contemporary Studies in Descriptive Linguistics 18–19, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007.  

This work is for comparative linguists and celticists who are keen to study Breton but may be too daunted to undertake such a venture by the wide variety of orthographical conventions which exist in Breton.

The chronological development of the Breton orthographical debates during the twentieth century is charted along with an attempt to discern the ideological, political and personal motivations which lay behind those debates. Based on a substantial corpus of hitherto unpublished original documents and personal interviews, the research throws new light on the nature of the political, ideological and linguistic divisions of the Breton movement of that period (not least the events that occurred during the 1939-45 war).

The historical and societal background of the language is succinctly delineated and points of orthographical contention are discussed, each in turn, so that their correlation to the spoken varieties of Breton can be judged by the reader.

The work should dispel once and for all the notion – boosted by the existing orthographical instability and variety – that Breton is too dialectally fragmented to be studied profitably without an inordinate amount of effort.

Wmffre, Iwan, The place-names of Cardiganshire, 3 vols, Oxford: Archaeopress, 2004.
Wmffre, Iwan, “Penrhyn Blathaon ac amgyffred yr Hen Gymry o eithafion Gogledd Prydain”, Studia Celtica 38 (2004): 59–68.
Wmffre, Iwan, Language and place-names in Wales: the evidence of toponymy in Cardiganshire, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2003. 447 pp.
Wmffre, Iwan, “Mynydawc: ruler of Edinburgh?”, Studi Celtici 1 (2002): 81–104.
Wmffre, Iwan, Central Breton, 2nd ed., Brest: Brud Nevez, 1999.
Wmffre, Iwan, Late Cornish, Munich: Lincom Europa, 1999.
Wmffre, Iwan, Central Breton, Languages of the World/Materials 152, 1st ed., Munich: Lincom Europa, 1998.
Wmffre, Iwan [ed.], Koroll an Ankou, Brest: Brud Nevez, 1998.


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