Welsh as she should be spoken

Welsh as she should be spoken

GlawsyD 13 Jul 2020 16:31 pm said..

Part 1

With the current debates concerning Native North Americans and iconography, should we not be looking closer to home and consider the potential slight caused by the use of the words “Wales” and “Welsh”?
The words “Wales” and “Welsh” come from the Anglo-Saxon use of the term “wealas” to describe (Old English “Wielisc, Wylisc (West Saxon), Welisc (Anglian and Kentish) “foreign; British (not Anglo-Saxon), Welsh; not free, servile), the people of Britain who spoke Brittonic – a Celtic language used throughout Britain which later developed into Welsh, Cornish, Breton and other languages.

Old English writers viewed the inhabitants of Wales as different to themselves, but at the same time “wealas” wasn’t exclusively used to refer to the people of Wales.
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Re: Welsh as she should be spoken

GlawsyD 13 Jul 2020 16:32 pm said..

Part 2

In the tenth century, Kymry was used for the first time in Armes Prydein Vawr (The Great Prophecy of Britain), a Welsh poem calling upon the Kymry to unite with the Scots and Irish to rise up against the English and evict them from Britain once and for all.In modern Welsh, Kymry has become Cymru, referring to the territory of Wales and Cymry, to its inhabitants. In Armes Prydein Vawr, however, Kymry doesn’t just refer to the inhabitants of Wales, but to multiple Brittonic-speaking peoples. So, when referring to Kymry, the poet is also calling upon the Cornish, (referred to as Cornyw), the Bretons and the inhabitants of the Brittonic-speaking kingdoms of northern England and southern Scotland (inhabitants of Strathclyde as Cludwys), commonly referred to then as the “Old North”.
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Re: Welsh as she should be spoken

GlawsyD 13 Jul 2020 16:34 pm said..

Part 3
In the Life of King Alfred the Great, a biography composed in 893, the writer, Asser, refers to Offa of Mercia building a dyke – an earthwork denoting the border – between his kingdom and Britannia. Here Britannia clearly refers to Wales and presents it as distinct from other Brittonic-speaking areas. Likewise, Cornwall is called Cornubia rather than as part of one unified Britannia.

Here are hints of an alternative identity being constructed. When Asser looks to Britannia, his gaze is turned to the west, across Offa’s Dyke. It is possible that the geographical unit of Wales is beginning to play a role in ideas of identity.
We can’t point to exactly when the inhabitants of Wales became Welsh, but the works of writers and historians of the time provide tantalising glimpses of shifting and developing identities in the early medieval period. So perhaps we should all now say Cymru and Cymry.

Acknowledgement to Rebecca Thomas is a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge.
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Re: Welsh as she should be spoken

Gloucester Mute 13 Jul 2020 17:48 pm said..

GlawsyD wrote: With the current debates concerning Native North Americans and iconography, should we not be looking closer to home and consider the potential slight caused by the use of the words “Wales” and “Welsh”?


No
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Re: Welsh as she should be spoken

Sheddy Mcshedface 13 Jul 2020 17:50 pm said..

I agree with Mute on this one.
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Re: Welsh as she should be spoken

Gloucester Mute 13 Jul 2020 18:02 pm said..

And for me that makes you a hypocrite !! Can I say that ?? ;)
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