[Spellyans] del 'leaves' and dèl/dell 'so, as'

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sat Dec 13 14:19:49 GMT 2008

In the SWF and KS we have a rule that in monosyllables a vowel is  
short before -ll. So the expected form of the word 'so, as' is <dell>,  
just like <pell> 'long'. We can distinguish <del> 'leaves' and <dèl>  
'so, as', but why not <dell>? <Dell> also happens to be the form in  
KK. Why do we have <del> for 'so, as' in the SWF?

Ray Chubb told me that Albert Bock had argued against <del> (our  
<dèl>) because it would imply that we ought to write <warr> 'on'. We  
write <wàr>, but in terms of orthography design I think Albert's view  
is incorrect. Yes, both *<warr> and <dell> follow the rule and give  
nice predictable short vowels. But <dell> occurs 152 times in the  
corpus, so there's certainly no reason to avoid it. True, we don't  
like <warr> which contrasts with <war> [wæ:r] 'beware'. But in good  
orthography design we should use the predictable rule whenever  
possible and mark only exceptions.

I think we should write <dell> and not <dèl> in Kernowek Standard.

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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