Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog



Tiger eating his meat
Originally uploaded by Tambako the Jaguar

Anna has her own vocabulary.

Most of the words are based on English or Danish ones – /?a?a/ for ‘flower’, /ka/ for ‘cat’, /m?/ for ‘sheep’ (Danish mæh ‘bah’), etc.

However, her word for ‘meat, sausage, burger’ doesn’t seem to be based on any word known to us: /(t)?a/ (that is, as if it had been a Welsh word spelled lla, or a Zulu one spelled hla, but sometimes the fricative becomes an affricate as in Nahuatl ‘tl’).

Funnily enough, although I find it easy to recognise what she’s saying thanks to my training in phonetics, the rest of the family make their own approximations: Marcel says /?la/, Charlotte opts for /kla/, and Phyllis is adamant that Anna says /xla/.

I believe similar things happen to Welsh place names in English.

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