The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122008   Message #2670410
Posted By: MartinRyan
03-Jul-09 - 04:31 AM
Thread Name: Pronunciation of Gaelic/Norn in 'King Orfeo'
Subject: RE: Pronunciation of Gaelic/Norn in 'King Orfeo'
Came across this on the Celtic-L discussion forum:

The Norn language seems to have died with its last speakers some time before
the end of the 18th century, but it has left plenty of traces in the
dialects of Scots spoken in Orkney and Shetland, where there a great many
dialect words that are unknown elsewhere in Scotland, and some distinctive
features of pronunciation. Hardly any Norn was ever written down. One of the
best known fragments to have been recorded is the refrain of the ballad "Sir
Orfeo", collected in Shetland in the 19th century (first published in
1880) - the full text is in the "Oxford Book of Ballads". The first
verse -1st and 3rd lines in Shetland dialect, 2nd and 4th in Norn - goes
like this:

Der lived a king inta da aste,
Scowan ürla grün;
Der lived a lady in da wast,
Whar giorten han grün oarlac.