Welsh(redirected from welches)
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a people living on the peninsula of Wales of Great Britain. The Welsh population is about 900,000, according to the 1970 estimate. Their native language is Welsh. Almost all Welsh people speak English. A significant number of believers belong to the Anglican Church; the other believers belong to nonconformist sects, mainly the Methodist Church.
The ancestors of the Welsh people were the Celtic tribes, the Cymru and Britons, which were driven into the hills of Wales by the Anglo-Saxons in the seventh century. Over the course of several centuries the Welsh steadily resisted their conquerors and were finally subdued only in the late 13th century. In southern Wales the people work mainly in industry (principally in the coal mines). In northern Wales the main occupation is agriculture (cattle raising). In the northern area, the Welsh language has been preserved to a certain degree, as well as indigenous features of material and spiritual culture.
REFERENCENarody zarubezhnoi Evropy, vol. 2. Moscow, 1965. (Bibliography.)
I. N. GROZDOVA
Cymraeg, the language of the Welsh, who inhabit the peninsula of Wales, Great Britain. There are approximately 900,000 Welsh (1970 estimate). Most are bilingual. Welsh, together with Cornish and Breton, belongs to the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages. All of these languages trace back to Common British and separated in the fifth and sixth centuries. Welsh is divided historically into Old (eighth to 11th centuries), Middle (12th to 14th centuries), and Modern (since the 15th century) Welsh. The Modern Welsh language has four dialects: Venodotian (northwestern), Powysian (northeastern, central), Demetian (southwestern), and Gwentian (southeastern). The Welsh literary language developed from the southern and central dialects. Characteristic features of Welsh include, mor-phophonologically, a well-developed system of initial consonant sound shifts and vowel alternations and a fairly simple noun system. The verb system is highly developed; a tendency to replace old synthetic forms with new analytic constructions is observed in Modern Welsh. There are many lexical borrowings from Latin. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Welsh began to acquire official status in Wales. (Books and periodicals are published, and Welsh is taught at the university level.)
REFERENCESMorris-Jones, J.An Elementary Welsh Grammar. Oxford, 1953.
Collins-Spurrell Welsh Dictionary. Reedited by H. Lewis. London, 1960.
A. A. KOROLEV