[Spellyans] Fw: Re: All these I's and Y's etc

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sun Jul 6 21:17:23 IST 2008

At 12:44 +0000 2008-07-06, Mary Williams wrote:

>I understand you want to show which ones are 
>long sounds. You could mark them like UC and 
>Welsh do, (put hats on them) or you could do it 
>like KK where its short if there's more than one 
>other letter before the next vowel, or for i and 
>y you could say that i is always long and y is 
>always short.

No, that's not how it is done. The *general* rule 
in both the SWF and in KS is that vowels are long 
when they precede voiced consonants, and they are 
short when they precede voiceless consonants.

>But then why are you putting hats and things on i and y?

The hat (circumflex ^) is only put on the i in 
words of more than one syllable where the i would 
normally shorten but is actually long. For 
instance, the word <bibel> would be pronounced 
like English "bibble" (according the the rules of 
SWF and KS) but if we mark it <bîbel> that will 
show that its pronounced like "beeble". The SWF 
can't make that distinction. We make it because 
we consider that a fault.

>I'm completely foxed by the double dots. I think 
>you must be trying to do too many things at 
>once, so they all get muddled up. Does y with 
>dots sound the same as y without, same for e?

Y with dots sounds like the vowel in English 
"dee" or English "day". E with dots also sounds 
like the vowel in English "dee" or English "day". 
You should write which ever one you use. If you 
say "beez" for 'world', write <bÿs>. If you say 
"bayz", write <bës>. Either way you will be able 
to recognize what someone else has written.

>If e with dots is for Late Cornish people not to 
>have to write y for the 'blunt i-sound', what's 
>y with dots needed for? Or is one long and the 
>other short ...

The dots are there so that Late people can write 
<bës> because that's what they say ("bayz"). But 
Middle people will know that this is what they 
would pronounce as "beez". Remember, there are 
words which everyone, Middle and Late, pronounce 
the same. Everybody pronounces <mis> 'month" like 
"meez". Everybody pronounces <res> 'necessary' 
like "rayz". Y with dots and E with dots is used 
on words which could be one thing or another.

In a previous version of KS we wanted to write 
<beis> for these words, so there would be one 
spelling even though it could be both "beez" or 
"bayz", but that didn't get selected for the SWF. 
So we use the dots to distinguish <mis> and <res> 
words (with no alternation) from <bÿs>~<bës> 
words (with alternation)

>I didn't have any real problems with the other 
>systems, but so far this is 'as clear as mud'. 
>Just if it's too difficult people won't use it , 
>or they'll ignore all the funny marks and guess.

As I said, I think it's easy enough to get used 
to. I'll revise the Olly Orsyk story and post it. 
Do you prefer <bÿs> pronunciation or <bës> 
pronunciation? And do you prefer pre-occlusion 
(mabm) or non-pre-occlusion? (I ask because I 
want to make it easiest for you.)
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

More information about the Spellyans mailing list