BŮṠŮNẎRE / thicket, bushes, shrubs

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bůṡůnẏre“, s.f., pronounced [bʊ(ʂ/s)ʊ(n/ɲ)ɪ:ə̯r], commonly [bʊʂʊnɪ:ə̯r] 🔊, is the Sarkese word for “thicket”, “bushes” and “shrubs ” in plural, i.e. an area covered in bushes or thicket, such as “jǎnẏre“, gorse bush, “jhnêtẏre“, broom bush, etc. The word is directely derived from the Sark Norman word for bush/shrub, “bůṡon“. The word may have had forms such as “biṡůnẏre” or “bìṡůnẏre”, documented in the past, which are, however, inacceptable today. Taller shrubs of little value are called “chróbe“, rather than “bůṡůnẏre”.

origin: Frankish / first recorded for Sarkese: 1970s* (PB) / current status in the 21st century: preserved, in use

“bůṡůnẏre” is a feminine invariable countable noun (a she-word that may be counted but doesn’t change in plural). Its invariability concerns only the writting level – the pronunciation is highly variable depending on one’s speech, as indicated by the diacritics. The dotted ‘ṡ’ indicates, it may be pronounced as [ʂ], while the contact of “nẏ” leaves up to the speaker, whether the ‘ẏ’ softens the ‘n’. Moreover, ‘ẏ’, followed by the ‘re’-cluster, but has to be pronounced long.

On the origin

The Sark Norman word “bůṡůnẏre” is directly derived from the Sarkese “bůṡon“, bush, shrub etc. The Sarkese “bůṡůnẏre” corresponds directly to the Jèrriais “bîssonnièthe” and the Guernsey Norman “bissounière”, bramble thicket.

The expectable forms, such as “bìṡůnẏre”, with a long ‘ì’, which would correspond to the forms in the two genetically closest languages and which were actually documented even for Sarkese in the past, are, surprisingly, inacceptable today, and solely the form “bůṡůnẏre”, with a short ‘ů’ instead of a long ‘ì’ is used. The reason for this is most probably a former co-existence of forms, with the now lost “bìṡůnẏre” which in its form followed the path common for the other languages in the area, and today’s “bůṡůnẏre”, which through the older ‘uè’/’ů’ alternation, settled on a short ‘ů’ and by the 21st century completely replaced the former..

Another option is that Sarkese, an extremely archaic variety, simply conserved the older evolutionary form of the Norman word, “busshoun”, descended, from the Frankish “busk”, bush, which evolved on its own into “bůṡon” that gave our “bůṡůnẏre”. The last option is the influence of the English word “bush”, see the SNDO entry on “bůṡon“, since the form “bîṡůnẏre” was recorded in the past. Nevertheless, we may be never able to resolve the question and as the only form used today is “bůṡůnẏre”, with “bîṡůnẏre” being inacceptable, only the form “bůṡůnẏre” is recommended.


Citation: NEUDÖRFL, Martin. bůṡůnẏre/thicket. In: Sark Norman Dictionary Online [on-line]. https://www.bonjhur.net/sndo-vocab-busunyre

Relevant SNDO Entries:

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