Modern Gallaecian mutation
Modern Gallaecian features, as other Celtic languages, a word-initial consonantal mutation system. While there is some evidence that other Continental Celtic languages such as Gaulish might have evolved mutation, it is impossible to ascertain whether Gallaecian would too.
Soft mutation (bucoscaso)
The so-called soft mutation affects plosive consonants. It is the result of plosives voicing between vowels or voiced consonants.
- Feminine nouns of either number in the direct case after the definite article: bea → em vea, terba → em derbas.
- Singular masculine nouns in the locative case after the definite article: torhedo → en dorheide.
- After singular possessive pronouns, that is, mo ‘my’, to ‘your’, and so ‘his/her/its’: queno → mo gueno, pá → to bá, gaña → so haña.
- After certain prepositions:
- In singular existential constructions: té → Ta dé uba ‘There is tea here’
- After the numbers 2, 5, and 8: tomate → dau domate, quesso → quenque guesso, polbo → otu bolbo.
- After the negative particle ne: cobruñe → Ne gobru ‘I don't want’
Nasal mutation (esloñaloscaso)
Nasal or hard mutation is far less common than its soft counterpart. Celtic nasal endings *-om, *-ām evolved into nasalized vowels, which lost the nasalization in most environments. In those where it was kept, it mutated the following consonant, hence the name.
- After a genitive plural pronoun, i.e. asero ‘our’, suero ‘your’, and so ‘their’: duno → asero nuno.
- After the number seven: garo → seta caro.
- After the preposition i: mí → i ví camerze.
- Hard g
Outside soft and nasal mutations, the letter g shifts to c (before a, o, or u) and qu (after e and i) after a word ending in n, namely the definite article en.
- M-to-b mutation
While regarded as a kind of soft mutation, it is the only mutation in Modern Gallaecian that is not triggered by the preceding sounds. Instead, if a syllable starts with m and its coda or the onset of the following one is an n, the former mutates into a b.