Palimpsest Rules Letter dated 2023-07-23
These proposed changes to the Welsh alternate title list come from Nest verch Gwilim, Crane Herald. I'd like to thank her for sharing her research.
OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.
[The text below is from Nest Crane, all I did was code it for the Rules Letter. -- JM]
It has come to my attention that our current list of alternate Welsh titles, while fairly extensive, has a couple of things that could warrant changing. Most notably, under non-Chivalry Peerage titles, we list Meistr and Meistres, and then several "gender neutral" titles. I see these being the only gendered options as problematic for two reasons: firstly, there are a growing number of folks in the Society who have expressed discomfort with using the titles "Master" and "Mistress" for post-period cultural and historical reasons. Secondly, while these are undoubtedly titles used in Wales during our period, they are English titles adapted to Welsh orthography, as part of an ongoing colonization of culture, place, and language.
Fortunately, there is also a relatively easy solution that addresses both these issues. Under "gender neutral" titles, we list the title Pendefig, which translates, among other things, to "Peer," and was presumably listed under Gender Neutral titles for that reason--I know it was one of the titles suggested by Harpy originally when the Welsh titles list was written. However, Welsh is not an ungendered language (there are, modernly, folks in Wales currently working on figuring out gender-neutral terms for concepts like sibling, aunt/uncle, parent, grandparent, etc. in the Welsh language because those did not exist even just a few years ago). While I understand and sympathize with the desire to have options which are not tied to a specific gender, it is disrespectful to a marginalized living language and culture to force the language into boxes it does not fit.
The term "pendefig" is masculine. However, as with other titles on our list (Iarll/Iarlles, Brenin/Brenhines, Arglwydd/Arglwyddes), it has a feminine counterpart: Pendefiges, which can be documented to our period.
Pendefiges appears in the online Welsh dictionary Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (abbreviated GPC) translated to (among other things) "peeress," with dated examples in the late 16th and early 17th centuries:
Note that some of these examples are mutated, changing the initial P to a B or ff, and some, ending in -au, are plural.
In light of all this, I would like to propose that we move the title Pendefig from "Gender Neutral" to "Masculine," and add the title Pendefiges to the list of alternate feminine Welsh peerage titles.
[Based on Nest Crane's comments above, these are the proposed changes to the List of Alternate Titles:]
As OSCAR does not handle tables, please see the attached image to see what the Welsh alternate titles table will look like if these changes are approved.