From the Author
This book is for the most part a straightforward translation of the ninth edition of Roparz Hemon's Grammaire bretonne. In preparing this edition, I found that a number of sections in the grammar had to be changed for the benefit of the English-speaking reader. Many, but not all, of my additions may be found in the notes to the various sections.
Some of these differences are terminological. For instance, I have preferred "conjugated preposition" to "prepositional pronoun" and "verbal noun" to "infinitive". The verbal and prepositional paradigms have been reorganized and altered to make them clearer; in the table following §186, for example, I have followed the delineation of the prepositional conjugations in Kervella (1976). More substantially, much of the section on the pronunciation of Breton, especially the phonology, has been revised in response to the needs of the English-speaking reader. In restructuring the detailed analysis of Breton phonology, particularly that of the vowel system, I have endeavoured to synthesize the best of Jackson (1967), Kervella (1976) Trépos (1980), Favereau (1992); Lagadeg and Menard (1995) has been indispensible. For the difficult question of the consonants, see the Note to §219. The International Phonetic Alphabet is used quite strictly throughout this book. As this is a teaching as well as a reference grammar, I have endeavoured to follow the spirit of Hemon's remarks in §§206-09 below in standardizing the description and transcriptions. I trust that the reader first learning Breton will be served by such standardization in preparation for encountering real Breton dialects.