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Discussion Details

Title: The supposed Welsh-Hindi link
Submitter: Bernard Comrie
Description: As a follow-up to Briony Williams' comment (Linguist List 16.802) on
the relevance of a word-final high pitch to the perceived phonetic
similarity of Welsh and Hindi etc. accents in English: A similar
phenomenon is found in accents of the north-east of England
(Tyneside, Wearside), and indeed before my own accent started
undergoing massive dialect contact I had such an accent (I'm from
Sunderland). On a number of occasions in those days I was asked by
Welsh people, including native speakers of Welsh, if I was Welsh.

[Some irrelevant, if not irreverent, additions: (1) Wales and
north-east England also share a strong Methodist religious tradition
and were regions dominated by coal-mining; since India and Pakistan
do not share these features, they are presumably independent of the
prosodic feature. (2) I doubt if any of the Welsh people were
affected by any similarity of the family name "Comrie" to the Welsh
words "Cymru" 'Wales', "Cymry" 'Welsh people', since I assume they
would recognize the name as not being familiar to them as a Welsh
name; the family name in fact comes from the name of the village
Comrie in Scotland (District of Perth and Kinross).]

Bernard Comrie

Prof. Dr. Bernard Comrie
Director, Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for
Evolutionary Anthropology
Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, University of California Santa Barbara

For previous messages in this discussion, see:

Original article:
Date Posted: 17-Mar-2005
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
LL Issue: 16.824
Posted: 17-Mar-2005

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