NLW 13121B, tt. 423–30:
Plan of the Analytical Dissertation on the Welsh Language, by E.W.
1. Its antiquity evinced by the peculiarity of its construction as it appears in the national appellatives, of Cymmru, Cymmro, Cymmry, Cymmraeg, &c also in Ammon, a name or Epithet of the Deity, whence it appears that the construction of its words and idioms or sentences, appear to have been the very same nearly 4000 years ago, as in the present day. a Construction that required as much time towards the gradual effectuating of it, not much if any thing less than the time which had elapsed from [replaces 'since'] the confusion at Babel to the time of Inachus. – state of the language at the time of the Roman invasion clearly indicated by the names of persons as Cynfelyn, Caswallon, Caradoc, Prydain, Boeddoc &c.
2. Origin of Letters in Britain, first Alphabet, number of characters 10, still a bardic secret, and the manner of using them. a more compleat Alphabet than any one yet known, and the most simple of any. – The ?dividged Alphabet 16 in Number, from the (424) time of Dyfnwal Moelmud, and it appears from the orthography of our oldest manuscripts, that they continued of this No. until about the 8th century, when they were augmented to 18, and afterwards to 20 & 22, which of single or simple Letters is to this day the whole number, all others are only compound of consonantal soun[d]s or articulations. notice in the course of this head, such as ch, ph, dd, ll, &c, Gwynet, Gruffut, Clet , &c, for Gwynedd, Gruffudd, cledd.
3. Orthography or pronunciation, appears to be the same at this Day as it was 4000 years ago. see the above instances of Cimmeri &c. yet on looking into our old MSS, there is seemingly a great difference but this was occasioned by the difference in the manner of applying the letters of an Alphabet of 16 characters from the mode of using 18, 20 & 22. the sounds or pronunciations were then the same as at present. every letter pronounced, not two sounds to one letter.
Late attempts to new model the orthography after a laps[e] of 4000 years, have been made on principles of the most grating and horrid Cacophony. Cynmry, anmraint anmon, Cynmor, cynmräes, Cynmraeg. modern orthography became fixed about the 1400 Century.
4. Cannons of Etymology – synoptical Tables of inflections, plurals, aggregates, verbs, &c and of the different parts of speech formation of words by derivatives drom roots prepositives, postpositives, by compounding words, and the commulations of letters on such occasions. Taste required in this to avoid cacophanous sound. on the copiousness of the Language and its general independency on other Languages. (425) Similarities of some of its roots to those of other Languages, to the Greek, the hebrew, the Latin, the Teutonic, the Perisan, the Sanscrit. and even of those of some of the north american Indians, this an indication of an original or primeval Language from which all others are in a measure derived. Caterva, smeirio, oculus, populus, cant. Dialects, Silurian of most ancient cultivation partly because the Roman Colony of Caerlion upon Usk introduced and established the Roman Literature into Wales, whence the Silurians derived models and principles where on to cultivate their own Language, Testimony of Tacitus on the application of the Britons to Roman Literature and their rapid proficiency in it. Caerlion became the seat of British Govt after the Romans had abdicated Britain, hence the Language of the District, i.e. the Silurian became the Dialect of the Court and of the Government and of course the Literary and polite dialect, and was for those reasons adopted by the Courts of the other Welsh Govts and Princes in subsequent ages. and thro' all ages down to the 1300 century the Literary dialect continued to be Silurian, as in part the modern Literary dialect is, and in part Dimetian, what it has of what is exclusively Venedotian, are all of them barbarisms.
Dimetian or gweudneudian, this dialect became literary about the 1300 century, i.e. works of literature began about that time to appear in it, and as this occurr'd before the mere Silurian was discontinued as the Literary idiom, both these dialects became equally known and (426) equally used, the consequence was that both these Dialects became blended as it were, and became the common literary dialect about the year 1350 or thence to 1400, when it became fixed in the state in which it still remains, and in the hands of our best writers without any corruptions and is equally understood in all parts of the Principality. but our selfconceited scribblers, and they are very numberous, fill the Country and Language with the most glaring, cacophonous and unmeaning barbarisms. (here give instances)
The Venedotian Dialect, notwithstanding its boasted purity, is by far the most corrupt of the Welsh Dialect. it never had any ancient cultivation, written specimens never appeared in it before the 1500 century and even then not very frequent or in all the nakedness of unpolished rudeness; we have no ancient writings by any Northwalian before the beginning of the 12th century, if so early, for the first Northwalian Bard Meilir wrote, if he did write at all, or rather composed his first poem about the year 1136, for the poem on the Death of Trehaiarn ap Cradoc about the year 1079, is by Southwalian Writers ascribed to Madoc ap idnerth, &c of the line or house of Urien Reged. and with great probab[il]ity, for from batle of Carno, to the death of Gruff ap Cynan and of Meilir's Elegy on him there are 46 years. The metre of the short ode on the Battle of Carno is more peculiarly South Walian, in S. W. it was very common then, long before, and long after, but hardly, if (427) at all, ever appears inn the Poetry of the North Walian Bards, besides we hear of no bards in N.W. before the Glynn Achlach Session in 1098, if even then, for it was a humstrum regulation of Harping and fiddling rather than of Bards was about that time instituted by Gruff, ap Cynan.
The Venedotian, or Deudneudian Dialect differs from the Silurian and Dimetian in the formation of its Verbs which in N.W. is by auxiliaries, and in the Siln and Dimn by inflexions. It is also fond of expletives, as mo, mor, moro, redundant adjective terminations as in paradol, honodol, Dedwyddol, uniongyrchol, &c is defective in the participle, few N.Wns knowing how to form the participles but in lieu thereof use adjective, as unol lywodraeth for Llywodraeth gyfun, or gyfuniedig, and such absurdities. It seems to have a tincture of the Irish from its compound names of places as aberffraw, Llanfair, Llanfor, Y Greigwen, Treflan, Llanycil &c and in its words or orthography, as hindda Gwrda, Gwreigdda, &c, in its letters as moch, blochda, Rhechdyr & for mwth, blith, Rheithior or Rheithiwr, brych, ?nocht for brith, nwyth. It has also a great fondness for an anglicised idiom and construction, see Grëal Llundain &c and S.Wn fools taking the northwalian braggings for truth, adopt those barbarisms, Cockney Dialect of London.-
5. The Welsh in tis Genuine Construction delights in substantives, and sentences of many lines together and that in the clearest manner by substantives only in proper apposition. in this peculiar characteristic we discover the Dominant principle of Welsh Grammar, and the prevalency which it justly claims on all occasions in the gramatical construction. of the Grams of Edeyrn, Einion offeiriad, Diwlith, Hiraddug &c.
6. The prosody and versification of the Welsh language have not been treated of in print by any of our Grammarians since J.D.Rhŷs, who published his grammar in 1592, Prosody not understood by our modern Grammarians and Lexicographers, hence their numerous and glaring blunder, Iambic versification the least congenial of all others and why to the Welsh, Trochaic the most so and where Dactyls are formed with ease and have but we have no simple dactyls in the language, verbs from adjectives, Iambic or rather spondaic. u-u+-u-.
Defects and Errors of modern Grammarians and Lexicographers, and how to remedy and correct them.
7. Of the pr[op]riety of ascertaining and preserving the peculiarities of each of the dialects, of their improvements as the vernacular[r] of their respective districts, and of the improvement of the modern literary and by what means, adopting it to the occasions and purposes of modern literature in all its branches.
8. Hints on the Alphabetical improvements, chiefly by adopting a few characters from the bard's Alphabet. (429)
9. On orthographical improvement on euphonical principles, not by attempting or introducing innovations which would be altering the language, but by a selection of the most euphonical modes of forming compounds and derivatives, the modes of doing this are and always have been redundantly copious or exuberant, by rejecting except or peculiar occasions, the least euphonical word and selecting its perfect synonyme, i.e. reject mygr, and use teg, cain, eiriau, &c prefer seiliwr, to seiliawdr, &c.
10. propose the Italic as the Established Welsh character, and its ?two y.yr. &c and because it is almost the same as the modern writing in round hand.
11. The state of the Language about the time of the Reformation and thence to the Cromwelian Revolution, of the first translators of the Scriptures, Salesbury, Bishop Davies, &c Dr William Morgan, Dr John David Rhys's noble effort and successful to restore the Language to its true and Essential Principles, with its Dialects, Prosody, versification, &c Perry's Retoric, middletons Psalms Kyffin's Do, Edmund Prys' Di The Gramr of Dr Davies, Gambold, &c the Dictionarys of Thomas Williams, Dr Davies, Books published by Vaughans of Hengwrt ?Caer***, Vicar Pritchard Dr Davies &c, the tolerably pure Language of some of them, stiffness and affectations of others. &c. (430) of later writers modern Northwalian dialect seemingly unaltered from what it ever was, as all its archaisms, rudeness of idiom &c may be traced up to the 1300 century, and in it names of Places much higher. – Modern Dimetian barbarous. pwdri, mwni, Beli, i gili, &c, – modern Silurian vernaculum, Sion Treredyn Songs &c. Methodistic dialect from the barbarous Dimetian without any attempts of purity of language or stile, Unitarian Dialect not less barbarous, but more so, its barbarisms of a different nature, and originating in that little learning which is a dangerous thing, its disgracefully anglicised idiom and Construction, affording the most convincing proof of the ignorance of its writers in the ancient languages with which they pretend to be acquainted, a just idea of idiom, and its peculiarities in various languages enables the true schollar to apply the correct principle thence arising to every other language with which he may be acquainted, but when it appears that he continues shamefully ignorant of his own native language and its true idiom, the language which he took in with his mothers milk and in which he has conversed all the days of his life, but cannot write half a dozen lines or even words, in it with any degree of purity, how can we give him credit for any correctness of knowledge in the latin greek &c, languages to the pretended acquisition of which he has not been able to afford only a few years and in which it cannot possibly be believed he has been able to converse so as to be understood.
12. of the Cockney and Southcottian Dialects, and their pernicious effects on the practice of recent Scribblers who adopts the barbarisms, and hobby horsisms of those Jargons.