Welsh

Welsh

Welsh pronunciation is illustrated in the characters of Fluellen in Henry V and Evans in The Merry Wives of Windsor. The majority of the distinctive features follow the same trend, but there are some exceptions. There is usually just one localized feature per word.
The most noticeable feature is that voiced consonants (those with vocal cord vibration, such as /b, d, g, v/) lose their voicing.

/b/ becomes /p/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
Pabylon Babylon MW III.i.23
pad bad MW III.iii.207
pashful bashful H5 IV.viii.70
pattle battle H5 IV.vii.93
pear bear H5 IV.viii.35
peard beard MW IV.ii.182
peat beat MW I.i.66
peds beds MW III.i.18
peseech beseech H5 V.i.21
petter better MW I.i.39
pibble-pabble bibble-babble H5 IV.i.70
pid bid MW V.iv.3
pless bless MW I.i.67
plows blows H5 IV.viii.14
plue blue H5 III.vi.101
plood blood H5 IV.vii.105
ploody bloody H5 V.i.40
pody body H5 IV.vii.105
pold bold MW V.iv.2
porn born H5 IV.vii.11
poys boys H5 IV.vii.1
prabble brabble MW I.i.51
pragging bragging H5 V.i.5
prain brain MW I.i.40
prave brave H5 III.vi.62
prawls brawls H5 IV.viii.65
pread bread H5 V.i.8
preeches breeches MW IV.i.73
pridge bridge H5 III.vi.12
prief brief MW I.i.134
pring bring MW I.i.41
putter butter MW V.v.139
py by MW I.i.26
trempling trembling MW III.i.12


/d/ becomes /t/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
digt digged H5 III.ii.60
goot good MW I.i.41
Got God MW I.i.34
offert offered H5 IV.vii.3
tam dam MW I.i.139
Tavy Davy H5 IV.vii.101
tevil devil MW I.i.139


/v/ becomes /f/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
aggriefed aggrieved H5 IV.vii.158
falorous valorous H5 III.ii.74
fehemently vehemently MW III.i.8
fery very MW I.i.46
focative vocative MW IV.i.49
prerogatifes prerogatives H5 IV.i.67


/z/ becomes /s/ or /sh/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
ass as H5 V.i.4
Jeshu Jesu MW III.i.11 [Q only]
possitable positively MW I.i.220


/j/ becomes /ch/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
Cheshu Jesu H5 III.ii.61


The general pattern is clearly ‘voiced becomes voiceless’, hence the occasional instances of the reverse process are noteworthy. They include Evans’ pronunciation of Latin as well as English.

/p/ becomes /b/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
Hibocrates Hippocrates MW III.i.61
taber taper MW IV.iv.67
trib trip MW V.iv.1


/t/ becomes /d/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
tiddle-taddle tittle-tattle H5 IV.i.70


/k/ becomes /g/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
cogscomb coxcomb MW III.i.80
hic, haec, hoc hig, hag, hog MW IV.i.39
knog knock MW III.i.13
stog stock MW III.i.108


/f/ becomes /v/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
vagram fragrant MW III.i.24
vlouting flouting MW III.i.108


In a few cases, voicing stays the same and the Welshness is signalled by a change in the manner of articulation.


/ch/ becomes /s/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
pinse pinch MW V.v.129
seese cheese MW V.v.139


/ch/ becomes /t/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
voutsafe vouchsafe H5 III.ii.92


/sh/ becomes /s/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
sall shall H5 IV.vii.23
silling shilling H5 IV.viii.71


/w/ becomes /v/

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
verefore wherefore MW III.i.73

There are also some cases where a consonant is omitted at the beginning of a word - usually /w/.


Sound omission

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
’oman woman MW I.i.211
’oord, ’ort word MW I.i.236
’ork work MW I.i.135
’orld world MW I.i.46
’udge judge MW I.i.171


It is unusual to show a variation in vowel quality.

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
louse luce MW I.i.17


And there is the occasional case where the spelling looks distinctive, with little difference in pronunciation.

Welsh pronunciation
English word
First usage in H5 or MW
chollors cholers MW III.i.11


The representation of the dialect makes great use of distinctive grammatical features, such as the stereotypical discourse tag, look you (H5 III.ii.57). Nouns and the occasional adverb are made plural - conjectures, disparagements, atonements, compromises (MW I.i.28,ff), and peradventures (MW I.i.72).   Grammatical agreement can be non-standard - a joyful resurrections (MW I.i.49). And words are frequently assigned to the wrong part of speech or given the wrong ending.

with as great discreetly MW I.i.136
I will description the matter MW I.i.200
if you be capacity of it MW I.i.201
can you affection the woman MW I.i.211
a very discretion answer MW I.i.235
how melancholies I am MW III.i.13
I will desires MW III.iii.208
this is lunatics [= lunacy] MW IV.ii.117
possitable [=positively] MW I.i.220

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