You are on page 1of 41

M.C. Jones (ed.

) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages, Cambridge University Press, 2015

Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit
Steve Hewitt, stevehewitt49@gmail.com
Breton has a venerable, if increasingly skewed orthographical tradition, so there can be no
question of developing a Breton orthography from scratch. Early Modern Breton begins in 1659,
when Julien Maunoir introduced the iconic c’h against French ch to differentiate clearly between
ḩ~x and ʃ,1 and began to indicate initial consonant mutations systematically. For most of the 19th
century, one track continues traditional Early Modern habits, the other innovating and
systematizing (not always felicitously), leading ultimately to the 1908-11 KLT (Kerne-LeonTreger) standardization, which in turn fed into the 1941 Peurunvan (ZH; “fully unified” [with the
traditional Gwened, G, SE]) orthography. The 1955 Orthographe universitaire (OU) “while
removing certain inconsistencies, introduces new ones” (Jackson 1967). The 1975 Orthographe
interdialectale (ID), aimed at including the best of both ZH and OU while ensuring better coverage
of regular dialect correspondences, did not go as far as possible in that direction. My own
etymological orthography (E) builds on ID to demonstrate that several more powerful and useful
supradialectal conventions are possible. At each stage of modern spelling reforms, unfortunate
choices have been made, often owing to insufficient comprehension of etymological
considerations and the related interdialectal correspondences. At the same time, the implications
of the massive shift in users during the second half of the 20th century from native speakers to
learners have not been taken properly into account. Finally, at no point has there been an
informed debate on the relative merits of a simple monodialectal standard vs a more complex
supradialectal standard.

Thematic considerations
Breton is an endangered language because natural transmission has completely ceased (the
Breton of learner-activists is not really a continuation of the same language; native speakers do
not perceive it as such, at any rate). Most of the 200,000-odd traditional, mainly rural, native
speakers are today over 60 years old, and there are practically none under 45. There is no more
than 0.2-0.3% functional literacy (ability to write a personal letter) in Breton among such
speakers. The activist community consists overwhelmingly of learners, is not very numerous
(5,000-10,000 with a reasonable command of the rather artificial literary language and perhaps
another 10,000 with some exposure to it), and is almost completely cut off from the traditional
speech community, with whom learners most can barely communicate in Breton.
A good orthography for any language, whether endangered of not, would have a relatively
straightforward grapheme-to-phoneme mapping. In the case of languages like Breton, with
significant dialect variation, there are basically two possible approaches to orthography design:
(1) a mononomic (monodialectal) system based on a single, usually prestige, dialect, or (2) a
polynomic (supradialectal) system, where orthographic conventions make it possible to derive
local reflexes in fairly regular fashion; such a system is usually etymological, going back to a state
from which most modern dialect reflexes can be derived. We will argue that the latter is
preferable for Breton.
The main Breton orthography (ZH, Peurunvan, 1941) falls between two stools: it represents an
artificial merger of the mainly L-based KLT orthography with the traditional G (Gwened,
Vannetais) orthography of the highly aberrant SE dialect, without taking into account any of the
majority “innovating” central dialects along a NE-SW axis. Decisions on the orthography have
been largely out of the hands of the traditional native speech community, which is still
overwhelmingly illiterate in Breton, since the advent of ZH in 1941. It will be seen that the
majority ZH orthography is linguistically particularly ill-suited to Breton, and contributes
significantly to poor pronunciation by learners, thus helping to perpetuate the very significant
native/learner gap.
Of the three competing modern orthographies, ZH is used by a large majority (85% +). It was
chosen as the official orthography of the private, state-assisted Diwan “immersion” school system

1

In this article, italics will be used for graphemes: c’h, ch, and bold for phonemes ḩ~x and ʃ.

Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit

2

in 1980, with the result that nearly all pedagogical materials are now published in it. With
traditional native speakers now ageing and overwhelmingly illiterate in Breton, there is little
prospect that they are suddenly going to become literate in their mother tongue and begin using
the written language actively. Written Breton is thus likely to remain largely confined to the
learner-activist community, and to remain a minority interest. Breton is thus not about to become
a language of public administration – there are nowhere near enough people competent to staff
such a service, and public demand for it is insignificant. So even though the learner-activists are
still far less numerous than traditional native speakers, they are likely to remain the main users
of written Breton. Most of them take the ZH orthographical norm as primary, rather than the
living dialects, which they know poorly.
Breton seems to have stumbled into its current orthographical mess. Certainly, at no point has a
conscious methodology been used for orthography development, with the partial exception of
the two post-ZH orthographies: OU (1955) and ID (1975), neither of which has been particularly
successful.

Speaker demography
Type of speakers
Traditional
spontaneous
native speakers

Popularizing
activists

Neologizing
activists

Number of speakers

% of
activists

Orthography

Political views

?? any, if literate,
or more likely,
spontaneous
forms

95% same as
French
mainstream

10-14%

OU (Orthographe
universitaire –
Skolveurieg)

90% same as
French
mainstream, plus
support for
Breton language

1-2%

ID
(Interdialectale –
Etrerannyezhel)

support for
Breton, regional
autonomy

85-90%

ZH (Peurunvan –
‘fully unified’)

support for
Breton, regional
autonomy,
independence

200,000, all local dialects,
0.2-0.3% functional literacy in
Breton (ability to write a simple
personal letter)

Optimistic estimate:
10,000 – 20,000
95% of whom are
learners
(i.e. no more than 5001,000 Breton-literate
native speakers)

All traditional native speakers speak dialect; there is no generally agreed oral standard.
Functional literacy (ability to write a personal letter) is well under 1%. Literate native speakers
in formal situations speak their own dialect clearly, sometimes moving towards more literary
morphology.
Learners for the most part pronounce what they see with basically French phonetic habits. They
have little idea of Breton idiom or phraseology. Their syntax is either calqued on French or
hypercorrectly different from French (e.g. overuse of fronting with initial focus). Their lexicon is
much more purist than spontaneous Breton, most of the neologisms being quite opaque to
traditional speakers. While no single one of these factors (with the possible exception of the
lexicon) is sufficient to impede mutual comprehension outright, the cumulative effect is to make
communication between learners and native speakers laborious at best, and usually unfeasible
in practice.

3

M.C. Jones (ed.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages

Figure 1: Estimates of percentages of Breton-speakers in 2004
Source:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/Distribution_relative_des_brittophone
s_en_2004.png

Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit

4

Dialects of Breton

Figure 2: Dialects of Breton
Source: http://www.geobreizh.bzh/geobreizh/fra/carte-langue.asp
Breton dialects are traditionally divided into Leon/Léon (L), Treger/Trégor (T),
Kerne/Cornouaille (K), Gwened/Vannes (G). This has some validity, although isoglosses naturally
do not necessarily follow the boundaries of these traditional pre-revolutionary bishoprics.
L and G are peripheral, linguistically conservative dialects; these were traditionally devout areas,
both of which produced numerous priests who used their native dialect with the faithful. There
thus arose separate L and G semi-standards; there was much less dialect writing in T or K. K, L, T
on the one hand and G on the other are not really mutually intelligible, especially to traditional
speakers not literate in Breton; for such speakers, intercomprehension is also difficult between L
and the more distant varieties of K and T; BROUDIC 1995 notes numerous testimonials to the
difficulty T and K speakers, especially those in areas remote from L, had in understanding their
L-speaking priests.
There is a T-K, NE-SW innovating axis (aire de Carhaix, a medieval centre radiating linguistic
innovations) along which there is relatively easy intercomprehension, but these dialects have
little literary tradition (a weak tradition in T, and none at all in K). L was used by the Catholic
Church in L, K and T, G in G, but, contrary to the learner-activists’ claim, it is not really true that L
was actively accepted as a literary language by speakers from T and K.

where -z/-zh patterns exactly with the reflexes of OB -θ. ModB ḩ~h. β. -tz ff zz. -z may have been dental tθ rather than alveolar ʦ. v. ḩ is an abstract symbol representing a lenis fricative with various realizations: either with some velar friction [hx. ɡ. mainly from Old French ç. derived from Brythonic m. Or c’h. h ? ? sh. in which case it is not separate from h (historically initial h-). sh tθ?6/ʦ 4 -g- ch. γ > MB.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages From Old Breton (OB) to Middle Breton (MB) and the Modern Breton (ModB) dialects: Approximants/fricatives and graphemes Table 1.-h- - ð’h s - ż - żż - - - ð̤ Table 5. ð) in the grapheme. ð. ð. γ are intervocalic approximants.5 M. çz. ss ? h Most common graphemes (ɣ) ff. it is the result of “neolenition” of OB f. MB has true voiced fricatives: v͂ . ɣ. ɣ (ḩ). ð̤ . Or c”h. ð̤ had more breath and friction than a normal ð. zh f zh z. zh ss. Old Breton Approximants and fricatives2 1 μ 2 3 β δ f θ γ s x (f’h) (θ’h) (s’h) Most common graphemes -m- h (x’h) Table 2. etc. it was the result of “neolenition” of OB θ. h s j. ç Underlying lenis and fortis series of initial fricatives in modern dialects Table 3. ɣ̊ ]. h ch ch h cz. v̤ has more breath and friction than a normal v. Geographical reflexes in Modern Breton of the dental fricatives of Middle Breton ð z. OB f. v. ModB dialect reflexes are somewhat complex. -s j c’h f sh s ch c’h h OB μ. fu h v. e. Simplified modern system of fricatives 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ͂v v z ʒ h f s ʃ (x) z zh z. see Table 4.g. . The MBr affricate variously written cz. - z ð̤ ’h > θ s s h zzh s h “Peurunvan (ZH)” orthography ñv v z. dt s ch. Middle Breton Fricatives and one affricate v ð 2 v̤ 3 ð̤ 4 z ʒ ḩ5 3 f θ s ʃ x 1 v͂ -b- -d- f th. Thus OB θ.C. Jones (ed. Modern Breton – fricatives 1 ͂v “Etymological” orthography v ñv 2 v̤ 1 z ʒ ḩ3 3 f s ʃ x h v ż f zh s j x7 ff zzh ss ch xx8 h Table 4. çc. ModB v̤ . d. g ch. u z f z. That would account for the frequent (80-90%) use of z (MBr θ. “Neolenition” = lenition/voicing of voiceless fricatives from Early MB.. çc. Thus OB x. ç. çz. it is the result of “neolenition” of OB x or the reflex of OB γ (the two fell together). danczal ‘dance’. b. δ. and also for the behaviour of certain Old French loanwords such as voiz ‘voice’ > MB moez ModB mouezh. δ > MB ð̤ . Thus. or a purely glottal voiceless [h]. β > MB.

E Plogoneg (Kernew Izel) da skwer e lârer : chupenn / ar chupenn med chiletenn / ar jiletenn. Learners who try to sound like T are usually unaware of this rule: selled. xw (c’hw-) and a fortis series ff-. in E orthography. which is not being actively promoted) indicates neoprovection. -t. I am PROG looking’ T ˈzelët. There appear to be two underlying series of initial fricatives. ss-. see also Figures 6.” (In a single place it is sometimes difficult to establish a straightforward rule. Underlying L lenis and F fortis series of Modern Breton initial fricatives and realization according to geographical area and mutation status 9: radical / lenition / provection fff- L F sss- j. xɥ. in the far SW. the smock’ but sac’h / ar zac’h ‘sack. Thus far. ZH decided not to show any neo-lenition at all. which means that Plogoneg lenites after the article where Treger has the voiced fricative as radical.] Initial fricatives and neo-lenition and neo-provection (from the MB period on) have been unevenly addressed in the various orthographies. lenited. -d. An orthography cannot be.c’hwch- Type 1: NW. the jacket’ but chiletenn / ar jiletenn ‘vest. no orthography (apart from E. see Figure 8. the sack’. -g / -p. Linguistic issues Sandhi rules final –b. ˈme zo ˈselët. me so o sselled ‘look. as it is mostly inoperative in G. Also. and messy over the whole area of KLT. far W. j-. -k and Breton sandhi rules  ↓ 9 10 Final obstruent devoicing in pause or before voiceless consonants: b p d t ɟ c ɡ k v̤ f z s ʒ ʃ h̦ x Effective mutation within a given type highlighted and in bold + italics. KLT showed some neo-lenition. s-.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 6 Table 6. The important thing is that both xw and xɥ undergo lenition. OU systematized neo-lenition. the vest’ or saro / ar saro ‘smock. At Plogoneg (Kerne Isel). and. Faltazius kenañ eo ar yezh war ar poent-se. Un doare-skrivañ n’hell ket bezañ. but does not lenite where Treger has the voiceless fricative as radical. which practically no one says. but not very systematically. giving for E kals a ssukr ‘much sugar’ an improbable OU kalz a zukr. jiletenn ʒ-. .INF. f. sac’h z-. hɥ. but for both L and F series above.) [Treger radical (unmutated) forms: ssaro s-. The language is extremely capricious in that regard. ḩɥ. SW f f radical s ʃ s ʃ L F v̤ v̤ lenition6 z ʒ z ʒ L F (provection) f s ʃ xw f s ʃ L F Type 2 : CW xw10 f f ḩw v̤ f radical s ʃ s ʃ Type 3 : NE. provected as shown in Table 6 according to geographical area. and pronounce wrongly ˈme zo ˈzelët. chupenn ʃ-. people say chupenn / ar chupenn ‘jacket. for instance. C. pe saro / ar saro med sac’h / ar zac’h. 7 and 8 for greater detail. notoriously. an important rule over a significant part of the Breton-speaking area. with realizations as radical. ch-. variously. a lenis series f-. (CS) xw lenition6 z ʒ ḩw s ʃ (provection) f s ʃ xw f s ʃ radical z ʒ s ʃ v̤ f ḩw (lenition) z ʒ ḩw s ʃ v̤ f provection6 f s ʃ xw f s ʃ Type 4 : SE f f f f radical s ʒ s ʃ hɥ (lenition) s ʒ hɥ s ʃ provection6 f s ʃ hɥ f s ʃ KERGOAT 1974: 22: “Er memes lec’h eo diaes a-wechoù diazezañ ur reolenn eeun.

have] ‘I have seen’ learners [gwelɛt ɛmœs] E s / ż / zh (and fortis ss / żż / zzh) Only ID and E distinguish clearly between s.-z/s] (Old Breton s) . mat eo ‘it is good.C. their sandhi habits carry over into French: du vin rouche. it’s OK’ 'maːd 'eː. it is important to write as many lenis/voiced finals as possible (for native speaker. The pernicious effect for learners of writing voiceless finals in ZH may be seen here. ż. it’s OK’ 'maːd 'eː (ZH) mat ‘good’ /maːd/ [maːt]. modern dialect reflexes in Figures 3. and in the recording of learners’ speech towards the end of this article: (E) mad ‘good’ /maːd/ [maːt]. mad eo ‘it is good.-z. with an increasing proportion of learners among the users of written Breton. it does not matter so much.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages  ↓ Final obstruent voicing before vowels and voiced consonants: p b t d c ɟ k ɡ f v̤ s z ʃ ʒ Neither of the Breton rules of final obstruent devoicing/voicing are natural for French-speakers. ˈmat ˈe-o (E) gweled meus [seen I. Figure 3: s: kaseg. keseg ‘mare(s)’ – z everywhere [s/z. Jones (ed. learners: mat. θ. Final obstruent voicing is a less natural rule than devoicing – more difficult for learners.7 M. 4. δ. 5. since they are incapable of pronouncing wrongly.have] ‘I have seen’ /ˈgwẹːlëd ˈmœːz/ [ˈgwẹːlëd ˈmœːs] (ZH) gwelet em eus [seen I. n’imporde où). zh < OB s.

7 and 8. see below. is pronounced only in L. Figure 4: ż: neweż ‘new’ – L z. going back to OB δ.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit Old Breton s is pronounced internally z everywhere. NW. elsewhere not pronounced – (Old Breton δ) The “z léonard”. Figures 6. Initially. 8 .

T z. G h (Old Breton θ) The zh digraph.C. Jones (ed. ID and E. used in ZH. L.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Figure 5: zh: kazh ‘cat’ – K.9 M. T z. G h. . L. has modern reflexes K.

Neo-lenition of initial fricatives operates in approximately the western third of the Breton-speaking area.and neo-lenition There is a NE-CS band where the radical of initial fricatives s-. neo-lenition. j. underlying lenis s-.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 10 Initial fricatives – voiceless/voiced. . f-. f-. j. neo-provection Figure 6: initial fricatives.is voiced. No voicing or neo-lenition at all in G.

C. ff-.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Figure 7: initial fricatives. Jones (ed.are less prone to neo-lenition than the lenis series s-. ff-.11 M. j-. f-.and neo-lenition Initial underlying fortis fricatives ss-. ch. ch. and this operates in a smaller area of the W. . underlying fortis ss-.

and f. bung’ ffoutr ‘[give] a damn’ ffriķañ ‘crush’ . see Table 7. the treatment is quite arbitrary and unpredictable. need’ ffèriñ ‘iron [clothes]’ ffin ‘end. blindness’ (fféiż ‘faith’) ffelloud ‘want. Voicing or not of initial fricatives in loanwords in Treger /v̤ -/ foenn ‘hay’” foñss ‘bottom’ fontañ ‘melt’ forest ‘forest’ forssiñ ‘force’ fourniss ‘furnish. but for loanwords. whizz along’ /f-/ ffamilh ‘family’ ffèbl ‘weak’ ffèblessite ‘weakness. ff-. chIn the NE-CS band of voicing of initial fricatives. f-. j. provide’ ar Frañss ‘France’ frisañ ‘curl. underlying lenis s-. Words of Celtic origin tend to have s.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 12 Figure 8: initial fricatives. need’ ffourañ ‘put.for initial fricatives. clever’ ffleur ‘flowers’ ffotañ ‘want. crafty.and neo-provection ss-. namely neoprovection operates. sly. Table 7. the corollary of neo-lenition.

-w. which rapidly split into w (E ẘ) before back vowels.for both. gather’ sigaretenn ‘cigarette’ sinañ ‘sign (document)’ siniffîoud ‘mean. nice’ choas ‘choose. service’ şikour ‘help’ jiletenn ‘vest’ şistr (N) ‘cider’ şoñjal. -eo. -aou (-əu) (G -iù. elsewhere c’hoa for xẘa. K Cɥ-. Traditional graphs were o for E ẘ and u for E w.) (sseiteg ‘17’ da seiteg.for xwe/i-.intervocalically.. aw/ao Another complex problem is the treatment of OB w. live’ chupenn ‘jacket’ Cẘa/Cẘoa..) ssèñtier ‘worksite’ sseulamant ‘only. and (3) G ɥ everywhere. -eù)..for E -w. c’hwe/i. spring’ sur ‘sure’ /s-/ ssampar ‘recovered. way of doing sth. ghost’ serriñ ‘close. -w-/-ẘ-. but these were unfelicitlously merged by Le Pelletier. kind’ ssukr ‘sugar’ ssystem ‘system. choice’ chom ‘stay. however’ ssîekl ‘century’ ssidr (S) ‘cider’ ssort ‘sort.. signify’ simant ‘cement’ soup ‘soup’ soubenn ‘broth’ sourssenn ‘source.’ /ʒ-/ jardin ‘garden’ şervij ‘serve. Cw. -èu.13 M. Jones (ed. . and finally. back in good health’ ssaro ‘smock ssautiñ ‘explode’ (sseizh ‘7’ da seizh. Le Gonidec and KLT (in order to make the gw > w mutation appear simpler in print) into (g)w. remain. -aù. T joñsal ‘think’ journal ‘newspaper’ /ʃ-/ chañss ‘luck’ chapel ‘chapel’ cheiñch ‘change’ chik ‘handsome. and ɥ (E w) before front vowels. -v-. (2) T w everywhere. -v. –iou.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages /z-/ sac’h ‘sack. as may be gathered from Figures 9-12.C. bag’ santoud ‘feel’ seblant ‘semblance. sign. -ao. There are three solutions for E -w-: (1) L.

KU xwgw- T G w ɥ Cɥ- -w-. béwañ ‘live’. =w- -v- -w -w xẘgẘ-ẘ-. W. =ẘ- w 14 . L ˈgoːaz ẘ/w ẘ diẘall ‘be careful’ everywhere -w-. but pewar ‘four’.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit Figure 9: ẘa: gẘas ‘husband’ ‒ everywhere gwaːz. like w.

Jones (ed.15 M. T -w-.C. L -v-. G -ɥ- .) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Figure 10: -w-: neweż ‘new’ ‒ K.

=v-. ar re wenn ‘the white ones’ ‒ NW gœ̯-. =ɥ- 16 . =w-. =v-. =w-: gwenn ‘white’. SE ɟɥ-. C.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit Figure 11: gw-. NE gw-. SW gɥ.

17 M. Jones (ed.C. hw-. extreme SW f-.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Figure 12: xw: xwex ‘six’ ‒ N xw-. SE hɥ- .

for wa everywhere. NE-SW gwaːd.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 18 Distribution of E oa Figure 13: ẘoa: gẘoad ‘blood’ – NW ˈgoːad. and gẘoad for KLT wa. SE we (ˈoːa is an automatic adjustment in L for wa in stressed monosyllables. whatever the origin). G. SE gweːd Only E distinguishes between gẘas. .

C. Jones (ed.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Figure 14: oa: koad ‘wood’ – NW ˈoːa. NE-SW wa.19 M. SE we .

KT /poːt/.g. G /pəut/ Figure 15: ao: paotr ‘boy’ – L aˑo. e. braw ‘fine’ (KLT aˑo. G aɥ). G əu Only E distinguishes between ao (L ao. T oː. . G əu) and aw.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 20 aw/ao braw KLT /braw/. G /braẅ/ paotr L /paot/. NE-SW oː. K.

.21 M. sow’ – W ‒. E hInitial h.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Initial h- Figure 16: initial h-: had.C. hadañ ‘seed. Jones (ed.is never omitted from L texts even though not pronounced there.

No present or past orthography has ever systematized oun for on. except in pure L texts not expected to be used outside L.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 22 -oN > L ouN Figure 17: -oN: don ‘deep’ ‒ o͂ ːN > L uːN This was rarely written. there is no change of vowel: tomm ‘hot’ tom even in L (tuem in G). . It operates in L only when there is contingent nasality on the o. where there is no nasality.

Jones (ed. SW ãõ (Old Breton μ) The reflex of OB μ has been written ñv ever since KLT. written ñù in G.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages -ñv Figure 18: -ñv: klañv – ãː. . but the map shows no final diphthong in ɥ.23 M.C.

T -o.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit Plural -où Figure 19: plural ending -où ‒ W -u. G əɥ 24 . EKU -ɛo. WG əu.

) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Plural -joù/-doù Figure 20: palatalization in plural of words in -d: koajoù ‘woods’ ‒ K. L. G -ḏIn ZH. T -ʒ-. Jones (ed. the unpalatalized plural in -doù is preferred even though it is found only in G.25 M. .C.

T -ʃ-. 26 . the unpalatalized plural in -toù is preferred even though it is found only in G. G -tIn ZH.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit Plural -choù/-toù Figure 21: palatalization in plural of words in -t: henchoù ‘roads’ ‒ K. L.

Jones (ed. ET -ĩ.C.27 M.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Infinitive endings -iñ and -añ Figure 22: infinitive ending -iñ: dibriñ ‘eat’ ‒ W -i. G -ɛ͂ ĩɲ (similar distribution for -añ) . C -o.

ZH.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 28 3PL preposition ending -e/-o Figure 23: -e/-o 3PL ending of prepositions: gante / ganto ‘with them’ – L. . G -e. This is a reflection of the dominance of L for the KLT written standard. EK. even though -e is more widespread. T. WK -o. OU tend to prefer -o as the standard 3PL ending for conjugated prepositions. Cap Caval -œ. Pays Bigouden -ɛn KLT.

C.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages Conditional infix -ff-/-eff-/-eh Figure 24: conditional infix -ff-. Jones (ed. G -eh- . -ɛf-. -eff-.‒ K. L. -eh. EK. T -f-.29 M.

the more likely reason is that the old proclitic system is isomorphic with French: si je la voyais. Literary Breton tends to favour the old system. Other morphological problems Space does not make it possible to show maps of all of these. hon eus. G ha p’he gwelehenn There is a profound difference between the old (G) and new (KLT) systems. have prompted news broadcasters to make excessive use of the passive in order to avoid having to use one form of ‘have’ rather than another: Maniffested so bed gant al labourerien-douar… ‘It has been demonstrated by the farmers…’ rather than Al labourerien-douar o deus maniffested… ‘Farmers have demonstrated…’ because of the difficulty of choosing a consensus form for ‘they have’. hor beus. pop. nign. o deus. obsolete: ma he gwelffenn. neuint ‘we’ lit. peus.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 30 Object pronoun: post-verbal independent or preverbal clitic Figure 25: object pronoun construction ‘if I saw her’: KLT post-verbal a-marking. > neusont. nei. pop. neusomp ‘they have’ lit. ffeus ‘we have’ lit. for instance. deuint. neus. It should nevertheless be clear that Breton faces serious problems in standardizing some of its most frequent grammatical items. az peus. nimp. hom meus > meump. ‘you have 2SG’ lit. deus. even though it is no longer well understood in KLT. teus. While this may be attributable to linguistic conservatism. and therefore more natural to French-speaking learners. hon deus. G proclitic pronoun KLT ma welffenn aneżi/’nei. The great variety of forms for a given person of ‘have’. ac’h eus. mimp. mump . pop. KLT literary. pop. ni.

paotr) Early Modern Traditional (begins 1659 with Maunoir >1800~1900+) mainly Leon (L. peripheral dialects – no account is taken. paotr ‘boy’ (E glaw. ma ‘our’ hon. da welet (E gẘaskañ. but not systematic: dioüall ‘take care’ instead of diwall. and the useful summary in http://fr. also Gwened (Vannetais – G. For greater detail. binomic (bidialectal) system: ZH is a single system based on L. ð̤ . -ã(v͂ ). with orthographies in use split into traditionalist and reformist (activist) camps. goed ‘blood’ (E gẘas. some ZH conventions are meant to include G. historically. da velet ‘(to) see’ become gwaska. KLT -ff-. goa. ch ʃ ~ x. -aff. x/xx confusion. da weled) . ç/çz/cz ʦ(tθ?). ģi ‘my’ va.us’) future plural and conditional. -off -ĩṽ. in this solution. sechaff ‘driest’ (E sexañ. da waska. da ẘaskañ. Le Pelletier (LP. gẘoad) aw/ao confusion glau. s/zẹ xa) ẘa/oa confusion goas ‘husband’. most iconically. Middle Breton ((1350) 1450-1659) orthography has become French-based with a few extra conventions: -iff. OU has parallel systems for L and G (the OU G standard is little used). brezonec ‘Breton’ (E neweż. and ch is now unambiguous for ʃ and. -õ(v͂ ) are replaced by -in. 1996.wikipedia. x/xx confusion. gwi instead of trad. ḩ. c’h is introduced for x. L and G are two conservative.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages ‘they’ i. sexxañ s/zẹːḩa. pautr. hom. spontaneous EMT orthographies continue alongside LG. ż/zh confusion. Drawbacks: ż/zh confusion. glao ‘rain’. ẘa/oa confusion.31 M. diveza ‘last’ instead of diweza(ñ) Drawbacks:. hon/hor/hol. -off -ĩ(v͂ ). -ãṽ. -an. ẘa/oa confusion. gweled. -on. WMFFRE 2007. MB -iff. of the majority innovating central dialects. 1753) introduces gwa. but gue.org/wiki/Orthographe_du_breton. int-i. which cater to the main modern dialect reflexes (see Figures 3-22 above). hint. (see Table 2) Drawbacks: ż/zh confusion neuez ‘new’. NW)based. aw/ao confusion (as for MB) Throughout the 19th century. Orthographies of Breton In the following chronological review of the main orthographies. gui. E goes considerably further in this direction. -tz -θ. EMT orthographies are probably actually dominant in terms of volume. there have been separate norms for KLT and G. da (v)oaska ‘(to) press’ and guelet. brezhoneg) x/xx confusion sechaff ‘to dry’. initial consonant mutations written for first time. SE). G -ehFuture plural: 1pl 2pl 3pl W -imp -ot/-ox -int T. -õṽ. Jones (ed. hê. int. ID was the first attempt at a true supradialectal system. Old Breton (800-1250) continues the Insular Celtic Brythonic tradition (see Table 1). drawbacks and good points are indicated with reference to E graphemes. gwe. polynomic (supradialectal) umbrella system: inherent in this approach is the problem of the amount of variation to be allowed. ḩ. gwelet. see AR MERSER 1980. goad. z ð. K -ffomp -ffet/-îet -ffont G -eemp -eet -eent Orthographic principles There are three basic possible approaches to orthography design:    mononomic (monodialectal) system: problem of choice of dialect base – Bretonspeakers will not accept imposition of single dialect. aw/ao confusion (as for MB and EMB ) ẘ/w confusion earlier goaska. -aff. ho’ X domp (‘our X to.C.

(< OB θ. aw/ao confusion (as before) mat/mad confusion earlier mad written mat because not a noun (possible in L. k instead of gu-. rather than ZH. name of language’ (no possible difference in pronunciation anywhere. Breton’) Gwened (Vannetais) finally stabilized 1902.for earlier -s. The surprising thing in this blow-by-blow survey of the evolution of Breton orthographies is that it was actually KLT which introduced the greatest number of regrettable conventions. gwi instead of goa-. Bourg-en-Bresse buʁk ã bʁɛs.internally. x/xx confusion. but brezoneg ‘Breton. ẘ/w confusion.. ZH – Peurunvan (fully unified) 1941 – mechanical merger of KLT and Gwened. nevez. when it is actually phonemically /-z/ (this becomes increasingly pernicious as proportion of learners among users increases). choum for brezoneg. ẘa/oa confusion. G is an excellent fit for Upper Gwened (around the town of Gwened/Vannes). L-based. ẘa/oa confusion.(< OB s) and -z. -k for all categories except nouns. gue-. E always mad) s/ss confusion old lous ‘dirty’ luːz (Gonidec louz) and douss ‘soft’ dus (Gonidec dous) fall together as lous. new. which is seen as the big culprit by most linguistically aware Breton scholars. for learners. which is pronounced h in Gwened (E zh). merwel ‘die’ > marv. ẘa/oa confusion. f/ff confusion (as previously) . T. ẘ/w confusion. introduced f/ff confusion and. Guillevic & Le Goff. -t. gwe. but differañs ‘difference’ -f.. s/ss confusion. everywhere /maːd/ – goes against native speaker intuitions and distorts learners’ pronunciation (not a major factor at the time).for earlier intervocalic -ss-. Pre-Modern Reforming (Le Gonidec. confusing final –v for KLT –o/-ou where T has –w and G –ù: e. because all monosyllables lengthened: pesk ‘fish’ peːsk. uses gwa. aw/ao confusion. aw/ao confusion (as previously) s/ż/zh confusion (z for E s.of KLT and imposes final -p. especially for French speakers: grand oncle ɡʁãːt ɔ̃ ːkl. brezonek (E bras. 1807-1900+) mainly L-based adopts hard g. LG. mervel. adopts gwa-/gwe. δ. uses -s. Drawbacks: s/ż/zh confusion. suggesting /-z-/ pronunciation in K. kouezhañ ‘fall’. adj. But it was KLT that confirmed the ẘ/w confusion of LP and LG. so mat ‘good’. ẘ/w confusion. and which is pronounced z everywhere (E s). diferañs generalization of voiceless finals except for nouns so brezonek ‘Breton. brezhoneg ‘big. E marw ‘dead’. because s is now -s. ż. who apply final obstruent devoicing/voicing automatically. continues undifferentiated gwa-/gwe. Like LP. et al. dous even though everywhere distinguished by length and lenis/fortis consonant. Some people today look back fondly to KLT as constituting a kind of prelapsarian ideal before the acrimonious stand-off between ZH and OU. Failure to apply final obstruent voicing is rampant among learners today. everywhere /maːd/ – goes against native speaker intuitions and distorts learners’ pronunciation. so mat. KLT (Kerne-Leon-Treger) 1908-11 mainly L-based (without L oN > ouN brezouneg. -k for all categories except nouns. f/ff confusion old difenn ‘defend’ -v̤ -. neweż. -k in finals except for nouns. It is only with KLT (1908-11) that the reformist camp finally wins out. Drawbacks: s/ż confusion. -t. zh) braz. continues Le Gonidec s/z confusion. etc. zh for L z and G h – a number of common words in E ż have zh because of hiatus consonant in G: anezhañ ‘of him’. gui. both s/ss confusion and the generalization of -p. imposes final -p. No problem for native speakers. lak ‘put’ laːk.become difenn.g. -t. mat/mad confusion. Drawbacks: x/xx confusion. noun.confusion (to please T). ð) – so it is henceforth impossible to tell which is not pronounced outside Leon (E ż). but not outside L. with disastrous results for learners’ pronunciation. chom). x/xx confusion.before front vowels.’. and -z.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 32 LP (1753) introduces (in E terms) ẘ/w confusion. along with s/ż/zh confusion (hitherto only ż/zh confusion). it is important to use the voiced final as often as possible because final obstruent devoicing is a much more natural and easily acquired rule than final obstruent voicing. which is also re-introduced by LG. it is often interpreted by learners as -s finally. MB ð̤ . qu.

like OU. making it useless as a predictor of reflexes in K and T. KLT and G. as were the elimination of the s/ss. c’hw. OU – Orthographe universitaire / Skolveurieg 1955 – turns its back on zh and –v of ZH. E piw. However ZH supporters tend to claim that ZH is already perfect and hence not in need of costly and confusing modification. and the confusing use of final -v for E -w. glav. adopts the -b. CALVEZ 2000. -g finals of OU. j-.C. s-. at the insistence of Sonderführer Leo Weisgerber. -d. The generalization of voiced final obstruents was very welcome. The dubious political origins of ZH (see BLANCHARD 2003. diferañs ‘difference’ (at the price of E f/v confusion) Drawbacks: introduces h/x confusion: had ‘seed’ h not pronounced in W. most G writers continue to prefer traditional G) Good points: generalizes voiced finals -b. WMFFRE 2007) are breezily dismissed by most nationalist activists today. imposes. but felt that it was time to merge the two literary standards.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages erroneous ż/zh distribution confusing final –v for E –w. bev. blev. e. This reaction against ZH was bound to produce a counter-reaction among the more nationalist-minded ZH supporters.33 M. da zukr ‘your sugar’. -z in many cases – good for learners’ pronunciation eliminates mat/mad confusion. a process which became complete by about 1970. G ẅ.> ’f-. gad ‘hare’. blew. AR MERSER 1999. (ZH piv. The main innovations were the iconic zh.. which was also incorrectly assigned to a number of ż words. But the new h/x confusion was less desirable. Drawbacks: maintains ẘ/w confusion – realization rules complex somewhat complex to learn . at the same time. an hini sec’ha ‘the driest’ – the first orthography to do so eliminates f/ff confusion. G ẅ. -d. as was the imposition in writing of neolenition for both the lenis and fortis series (Falc’hun was a WL speaker). béw. mad ‘good’/ da vat ‘ eliminates s/ss confusion: louz / dous eliminates x/xx confusion: seha ‘to dry’. who do not always understand that others may not be so indifferent to these circumstances. There have recently been calls. Weisgerber did not know much Breton. introduces parallel standards for KLT and G (G version very little used. OU was launched in 1955 by the anti-nationalist Falc’hun (a native speaker from Ar Vourc’h Wenn / Le Bourg Blanc in WL) with the twin aims of enhancing the grapheme-phoneme correspondence for teaching purposes and. ID – Interdialectale / Etrerannyezhel 1975 adopts 3-way s-z-zh / ss-zz-sh distinction. as in ID. notably by Le Ruyet (whose personal preference goes to ID) to rectify the three worst aspects of ZH by introducing voiced finals. -g. z-. ch-.(for both underlying lenis and fortis series. a German Celticist bilingual in French (born in Metz) who was sent to Brittany to act as a kind of Nazi cultural commissar for Breton matters. da had ‘your hare’ h/ḩ pronounced everywhere. and put pressure on Roparz Hemon to do so. and the resulting stand-off between ZH and OU has lasted until the present day. Good points: eliminates s/ż/zh confusion eliminates mat/mad confusion (like OU) eliminates s/ss confusion (with s/ss rather than z/s of OU) generalizes w for T w. applying an etymologically correct z/zh distribution. generalizes w for T w. grammaticalizes “neo-lenition”: f-. which it seems no one says with z (for fortis series – very minority usage) After the war began a mass shift away from transmitting Breton to children. a non-native-speaker cultural activist on the Gestapo payroll in 1941-1945. Most of the linguistically undesirable conventions of ZH were already present in KLT. glaw) somewhat complex to learn ZH was promulgated in 1941 by Roparz Hemon. divenn ‘defend’. hw. and replacing final -v with -w. setting up a rival orthography to the nationalists’ ZH. x/xx and f/ff confusions (E f confusingly written as ’f-v.g.-v). Jones (ed.

combining the phonetic advantages of OU with the supradialectal ambitions of ZH. 3-way distinctions h/x/xx and v/f/ff. żż. it is linguistically the best public attempt at a true polynomic system. An Divskouarn o nijal: Picasso hag ar maouezed 2 (Ears flying: Picasso and women) The following link is to a discussion in French-sounding Standard Breton between two young learners. pending the improbable day when a more serene debate becomes possible in Brittany. about an exhibition on “Picasso and Women”). I see it as an intellectual exercise aimed at demonstrating that it is perfectly feasible to have a more truly polynomic and linguistically accurate system without undue complexity. Unfortunately. taken from the first few minutes of the interview. There is also confusion over whether or not to pronounce the ż: second example e vez anavezet /e ve ãna'vezɛt/. xx. s. It was launched prematurely in May 1975 with the publication of MORVANNOU’s Le Breton sans peine (Assimil). with the addition of regular distinctions ao/aw. The examples in the table. ż. zzh. by that time. A sample of learners’ Breton. DESHAYES 2007 has elaborated ID further. ẘ/w. but not the mixture produced. j. the other a staff member of the Quimper Arts Museum. lenis f. ẘa/oa. clearly influenced by the ZH orthography Radio Kerne. ID never gained widespread acceptance. In view of the tense atmosphere surrounding any attempt to discuss the orthography in public. and without their green light. Good points: eliminates s/ż/zh confusion eliminates mat/mad confusion (like OU) eliminates s/ss confusion (with s/ss rather than z/s of OU) eliminates x/xx confusion (with x/xx or c’h/c”h rather than h/c’h of OU) eliminates f/ff confusion eliminates ẘ/w confusion eliminates ẘa/oa confusion eliminates aw/ao confusion Drawbacks: somewhat complex to learn Following HEWITT 1987. Rather. which native speakers find upsetting. and indeed going much further than ZH in that direction. introducing. show how the ZH orthography (column 1) has influenced the learners’ pronunciation (column 2). I continued to refine my “etymological” (E) system. Especially numerous are examples of voiceless pronunciation of final obstruents before initial vowels or sonorants. which is not true of the subsequent audio links of real native speakers from T. which stabilized in its current form around the late 1990s. zh. x vs fortis ff. normal would be either L /e vez ãnaˈveːzɛd/ or TK/ə ve anˈvẹ ːed/. That “coup” prompted many ZH and OU supporters to claim that they had been “stabbed in the back”. ch. and most reverted to their inflexible pre-talk positions. Nevertheless. corresponding to E orthography (column 4). some of the innovations of E. and fell off sharply following Diwan’s 1980 adoption of ZH as its official orthography. without consulting the parties to the talks. The general impression is of a strong French accent.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 34 ID was the result of talks between ZH and OU supporters in the early 1970s. E – Étymologique from about 1999: a personal elaboration of ID. including acrimonious ad hominem attacks. which should be different (column 3). etc. and the need for a polynomic system will no longer be so acute. I have never sought to promote it actively. one a radio journalist. independently. . ss. most traditional native-speakers will have disappeared.

html Maria Prat “Ar Meleżour” https://www.youtube. actually introduces fresh .com/watch?v=Lm9JeAEk2RU Maria Prat ha Roje Laouenan 2 Conclusion The striking thing about the evolution of Breton orthographies is that. as shown above.radiobreizh.com/watch?v=zQY44BhTTJY Maria Prat ha Roje Laouenan https://www. in T dialect: http://www.tv/audio/maria-prat-ar-melexour-13qu2_2g74z_.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages http://www.net/bzh/episode.ina.youtube.C.wat. practically each new version.fr/video/RN00001367127 Ur valss a garantez http://www.php?epid=11899 ZH IPA should be IPA E ur vaouez ‘a woman’ e vez anavezet ur vaouez ‘one can recognize a woman’ œʁ ˈvawɛs œʁ ˈvəwɛs ur vaoues e ve ãna'vezɛt œʁ 'vawɛs e ve ãn'veːəd œʁ 'vəwəs e veż anveżed ur vaoues c’hoazh ‘still’ emaomp dirak un dra ‘we find ourselves in front of something’ xwas hwas xwazh emɔm diˈʁak œn dʁa mom diˈʁag ˈœnː dʁa emomp dirag un dra mil nav c’hant ‘1900’ mil nao xãnt mil 'nao hãn mil naw xant gant ar blakenn ‘with the plaque’ ˈgãːt aʁ 'blakɛn gãn ɐ 'blakən gant ar blakenn Kemper (Quimper) a c’hell bezañ disheñvel ‘may be different’ kæːpɛːʁ ˈkempəʁ. with the notable exception of the recent ID (1975). ˈkepɐ Kemper a ˈxɛl bea diˈsæ̃ːvɛl ɐ ˈhel bea diˈsẽːvəl a xell beżañ disheñvel pouezus e oa ‘it was important’ 'pweːzys e 'wa 'pwẹːzyz ə 'waː pouesus e oa chomet e gwenn ‘it stayed white’ ha dedennus eo ivez ‘and it’s interesting’ 'ʃɔmɛt e 'gwɛn 'ʃõməd e 'gwen: chomed e gwenn a de'dɛnys e iːe a de'denːyz e 'iːe ha dedennus eo ive lakat al liv ‘put the paint/colour’ labourat e unan ‘work himself’ den ebet ober an drase ‘nobody do that’ 'lakat al 'liːu 'lakɐd ɐ 'liu lakad ar liw la'burat e yːnãn la'buːʁɐd i hỹːn labourad e hûn 'den e'bɛt o'bɛʁ ãn dʁa-ze 'de̝ ːn əbed 'obəʁ n draː-he den ebed ober an dra-se eñ ‘he’ ne oa ket ur vignonez ‘was not a female friend’ jɔ (h)ɛõ heñv ne wa 'kɛt œʁ vi'ɲɔnɛs nə 'wa këd œʁ vĩ'ɲoːnës ne oa ked ur vignones den ne oar ‘nobody knows’ dɛn ne waʁ 'dẽːn nə 'waːʁ den ne ẘoar mont a rae ‘he went’ mɔn a rae 'mõnː ə 'ʁɛː mond a rae evit ul levr ‘for a book’ evit œl lɛəʁ vid œ leœʁ ewid ur levr Examples of authentic native speech. Jones (ed.35 M.

The only form of Breton that is likely to persist. Better then that nonmotivated distinctions should serve that supradialectal purpose as fully as possible. E) contain numerous conventions which are not motivated in a given dialect. On the other hand. on the other hand. to most native speakers. There has never been a full public debate on the principles that should underpin Breton orthography. the most practical solution might be a mononomic standard based on CK. LE RUYET 2009). The current practice of adopting essentially French phonetic habits for what the user sees in ZH is highly unsatisfactory. ID. ZH supporters dismiss the linguistic shortcomings of ZH by claiming that an orthography need not be phonetically exact. All modern orthographies (ZH.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 36 linguistic drawbacks – it is in this sense that they constitute. the fact is that good Breton pronunciation is almost never taught (see MADEG 2010. in small networks of aficionados. While that is a defensible position. It is no pleasant task to have to deliver this gloomy diagnosis and forecast. this is the natural price of supradialectal aspirations. degenerate into little more than a kind of lexical xenophobia. It is much easier to do this with reference to ID or E than to ZH or OU. collectively. and certainly no clear conclusions on what kind of system is desirable. AR MERSER 1996. Maintenance of ZH without any modification as the dominant orthography is likely to ensure that the Breton of the future in no way resembles the living language of traditional native speakers. and constitutes a major obstacle to learner/native-speaker communication. one is bound to concede that prospects for the survival of traditional native Breton speech are now dim. there is a lack of a clear oral standard which actually corresponds to authentic native speech. and is thus quite out of the question. From the point of view of native-speakers. For learners without family roots in a particular dialect. all dialects need to have equal validity. “an increasingly awkward fit”. but that would be to ignore the longstanding L and G written traditions. For this reason. OU. arguments in favour of preserving it. Everything about the neo-speakers’ Breton is French except the. a polynomic standard is the only logical alternative. regardless of the orthography in use. for instance by adopting CK-like majority solutions across the board. is that of learner-activist neo-speakers. quite impenetrable stock of neologisms. If the Breton of the future is to be shorn of its native pronunciation and its unique syntax and idiom. there can be no question of imposing one dialect over another. and it is ID or E which best meet that ideal. It should be possible to stabilize the oral standard for learners. with the activists’ abnormally purist vocabulary. a mononomic standard is a non-starter in Brittany. mononomic or polynomic. with the disastrous results that one can hear daily from the great majority of learners. . If Breton were a language without a written tradition. and that proper pronunciation can always be taught.

37 L-Breton orthography table rotated. Jones (ed.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages .pdf M.C.

Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit Abbreviations 38 .

) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages. central East Etymological orthography (Hewitt.2. spirantization of voiced stops and m) provection (devoicing of obstruents) mixed mutation – lenition/provection spirantization first. Cambridge University Press. popular.3 ALBB C E E EMT F F G ID INF K KI lenition (voicing of voiceless stops. second and third persons Atlas linguistique de la BasseBretagne (LE ROUX 1924-1963) centre. stablized from 1999) Early Modern Traditional orthographies (pre-Le Gonidec) feminine fortis consonant Gwened – Vannetais. standardized G orthography (1902) Interdialectale / Etrerannyezhel (1975) Orthography infinitive Kerne – Cornouaille Kerne Isel – Basse-Cornouaille KLT Kerne-Leon-Treger (1908-11) orthography KU Kerne Uhel – Haute-Cornouaille L lenis consonant L Leon – Léon LG Le Gonidec (1807-47) orthography lit. 2015 = / ≠ º 1. non-literarh PROG progressive particle S South SG singular T Treger – Trégor W West ZH Peurunvan (fully unified) Orthography (1941) . literary LP Le Pelletier (1752) dictionary M masculine MB Middle Breton ModB Modern Breton NALBB Nouvel atlas linguistique de la Basse-Bretagne (LE DU 2001) N North OB Old Breton Orthographe universitaire / OU Skolveurieg (1955) Orthography PL plural pop.M. Jones (ed.C.

Autour de l’orthographe bretonne. 1807. 1987. A Historical Phonology of Breton. 1659. for instance.Steve Hewitt – Breton orthographies: An increasingly awkward fit 40 References11 BLANCHARD Nelly. Rougeron. La Radio en langue bretonne ‒ Roparz Hemon et Pierre-Jakez Hélias: Deux rêves de la Bretagne. Paris. HEWITT Steve.. 2003. 1974. 2 vols.) FLEURIOT Léon. Delloye. Dictionnaire des gloses en vieux-breton. . GONIDEC (LE) Jean-François. FLEURIOT Léon. French ‘Le. Rennes. Saint-Brieuc. Dictionnaire étymologique du breton.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/abpo_0003391x_1953_num_60_1_1905 FALC’HUN François. Le vieux-breton: Eléments d’une grammaire. 2001. Leoriou bihan Brud Nevez Nº 11. the article (whether in French or in Breton) coming in parentheses after the surname. Bertho. first published as Histoire de la langue bretonne d’après la géographie linguistique. 1985. Un agent du Reich à la rencontre des militants bretons: Leo Weisgerber. Brest. 1499. MAUNOIR Julien. KERGOAT Lukian. Vannes. 2010. Paris. A Historical Morphology and Syntax of Breton. Les Graphies du breton (Etude succincte). Brest. Paris. Jehan Calvez. Galles. Grammaire celto-bretonne. Traité de pronunciation du breton du Nord-Ouest. La Bretagne Linguistique 3:41-54. 11 Many Breton surnames begin with the article. Ar Helenner. MERSER (AR) Andreo. LAGADEUC Jehan. 1975. Prud’homme. H. 1953. Nouvel atlas linguistique de la Basse-Bretagne. Dictionnaire breton-françois du diocèse de Vannes. Emgleo Breiz. Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO). André LE MERCIER usually publishes. An. Le Sacré-Collège de Jésus [Breton catechism with dictionary. http://www. 1963. GONIDEC (LE) Jean-François. Trémeau. Roazon [Rennes]. Dictionnaire celto-breton ou breton-français. DÛ (LE) Jean. 15. Chasse-Marée. 1964. Paris.persee. HEMON Roparz. Presses universitaires de Rennes (PUR) / Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique (CRBC). CHÂLONS (DE) Pierre. Klincksieck. MADEG Mikael. GONIDEC (LE) Jean-François & Théodore HERSANT DE LA VILLEMARQUÉ. La spirante dentale en breton. Grammaire bretonne du dialecte de Vannes. Tréguier. 1955. GUILLEVIC A. 1847. 1838. Brest. JACKSON Kenneth H. 1980. Vannes. Skol an Emsav. For ease of retrieval. Grammaire celto-bretonne. 1723. BROUDIG Fañch. 1995. even in French. Reolennoù an doare-skrivañ nevez [The Rules of the New Orthography]. La’ or Breton ‘Ar. 2003. 2 vols. Angoulême. Annales de Bretagne. 1821. Brest. La Pratique du breton de l’Ancien Régime à nos jours. Al’. Paris. Brest. 2nd ed. LE GOFF. Toronto. they are all alphabetized here under the actual surname. No. Union générale d’éditions. F. grammar and syntax]. Presses Universitaires de Rennes. A Dictionary of Old Breton/Dictionnaire du vieuxbreton: Historical and Comparative. Quimper. under the Breton form: Andreo AR MERSER. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. HEMON Roparz. FALC’HUN François. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 1964. English edition: Claude EVANS & Léon FLEURIOT. Dictionnaire françaisbreton. Réflexions et propositions sur l’orthographe du breton. Douarnenez. Paris. It is best then to alphabetize under MERSER (AR) or MERCIER (LE). Le Catholicon: Dictionnaire breton-latin-français. Perspectives nouvelles sur l’histoire de la langue bretonne. GONIDEC (LE) Jean-François. One can never be sure whether an author has published under the French or Breton form of their name. J. Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 25/1-2:59-87. Prepcorp. Klincksieck. & P. 1981. 60/1:48-77. 1951. 1985. 1902. 1967. Presses universitaires de France (PUF). CALVEZ Ronan. Hardouin. Centre de Recherche Bretonne et Celtique (CRBC). DESHAYES Albert. 2000. Emgleo Breiz. (revised and expanded version of his doctoral thesis.

1999. Assimil. Bern.blogs. Brest. . Dictionnaire François-Celtique ou François-Breton. etc. Brest.free. ROSTRENEN (DE) Grégoire. Breton Orthographies and Dialects: The twentieth-century orthography war in Brittany. new edition Brud Nevez. 1975. Rennes. 2007.) – Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages MERSER (AR) Andreo. Brest.fr/docs/00/45/82/17/ANNEX/thes http://tel. Rennes-Paris (reprint 1977: Éditions Armoricaines.ouest-france. Précis de prononciation du breton. Les Orthographes du breton. 1994).org/atlas_linguistique_bretagne/. liaison et norme: Étude présentée dans le cadre d’un corpus de qutre règles de pronunciation pour le Breton des écoles. Peter Lang. PIPEC (LE) Erwan. La palatalisation en vannetais.pdf http://breizh. Jones (ed. 1980. Thèse de Doctorat en Celtique.archives-ouvertes. 18 décembre 2009.pdfeLeRuyetResume. 2 vols. Rennes (reprinted Ouest France. MORVANNOU Fañch. available online in jpg format at: http://sbahuaud. 2009. Rennes. WMFFRE Iwan. 1996. Paris. Brest. La Bretagne linguistique 20:[forthcoming].fr/ALBB/ and http://projetbabel.html TRÉPOS Pierre. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue bretonne.archivesouvertes. Enseignement du Breton: Parole. 4e édition revue et corrigée. http://tel. 6 fascicules of 100 maps each. Atlas Linguistique de la Basse-Bretagne. 2015. 1732. 3e édition.fr/docs/00/45/82/17/PDF/theseLeRuyet. MERSER (AR) Andreo. Université de Rennes II. Emgleo Breiz / Ar Skol Vrezoneg. Brud Nevez. 1752. Simon. 1924-1963. PELLETIER (LE) Dom Louis.fr/archive/2011/01/26/faut-il-reformer-l-orthographe-dubreton. Grammaire bretonne. RUYET (LE) Jean-Claude. Le Breton sans peine. Chennevières-sur-Marne. François Delaguette. ROUX (LE) Pierre.41 M. [1968].C. Julien Vatar.