[Spellyans] KK ha'n SWF - pronunciation

Harry Fraiser harryfraiser at googlemail.com
Sat Aug 9 15:09:57 IST 2008

My instinct would have been to side with the trained phonologist,
nevertheless urging him to provide recordings of how we should
pronounce the language.


On 8/9/08, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:
> On 9 Aug 2008, at 13:42, Penny Squire wrote:
>> I think that we will have to agree to differ on this, Nicholas. To
>> my ear there are distinct differences between the pronunciation of
>> Ken George and KK users and that of the UC users that I have heard.
> I am a trained phonologist and I can tell you that Ken George speaks
> Unified Cornish. None of the major features of KK phonology (and "eu"
> is not one of the major features) are present in his speech.
>> As for half length and long consonants - I can hear the difference
>> between the length of consonants (and the vowels) in <pel> and
>> <pell>, <del> and <dell> <mel> and <mell> and so on in KK users'
>> speech, but it's very hit and miss with the  UC users I have heard.
> I don't believe that you do hear the difference between the length of
> consonants in KK users' speech. It's certainly not a feature of Ken
> George's speech.
> In phonetic representation, I would write all of the words you have
> written above as [peːl pɛl deːl dɛl
> meːl mɛl]. An approximation in English would be "pale pell dale dell
> male mell". We have long vowels and short vowels here. We do not have
> long consonants. I have mentioned before that I speak some Estonian.
> They have three lengths of consonants and vowels, and nothing like
> that occurs in Revived Cornish. Ken George posited a system of
> phonology which he thought *ought* to have been the system in the
> earliest Middle Cornish (I doubt it) and which he though *ought* to be
> the way people learn to pronounce Cornish. The fact that he himself
> fails to do so is bad enough, but after twenty years we still do not
> hear geminate consonants in the speech of Revivalists, KK or otherwise.
>> I'll have to think about and listen out for the half-length vowels
>> (or lack of them!) in speech.
> You won't find them. The phonology of English has always affected the
> phonology of Cornish, and in Revived Cornish we find no different.
> Please note that the AHG *rejected* an orthography based on George's
> model of gemination and half-length, because they recognized to to be
> a *fiction*. You'll hear other descriptions. You'll hear that the SWF
> is based on KK. It isn't. It's based on the model of consonant and
> vowel length we described in KS. The SWF Main form looks a bit like KK
> because of a number of unhistorical graphs.
>> It would really be helpful to the discussions on Spellyans if
>> yourself and Michael were to record some Middle Cornish for us so
>> that we can hear what you believe it should sound like.
> For the present I have other things to do, like continue working out
> the changes which need to be made for us to have an orthography that
> doesn't leak as the SWF does.
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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