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

Owen Cook owen.e.cook at gmail.com
Sun Jul 6 21:21:05 IST 2008

2008/7/6 Mary Williams <marywilliams230 at yahoo.co.uk> rug scrifa:

> Well yes, I have to admit I'm quite lost.
> 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. But then why are you putting hats and things on i and y?

KS uses basically the same system as Welsh. That is, we use 'hats' to
mark an irregular long vowel. That's true of both <î> and <ê>. (KS
doesn't really need to use <î> very often, if at all.)

Welsh also uses grave accents to mark an irregular short vowel, and so
does KS. These are <ì> and <è>, but in both languages these are quite

> 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?
> If they're the same what are the dots for, if they're not the same how are we supposed to say
> them?

In KS, the vowel <y> always indicates a short vowel. But <ÿ> is a long
vowel. In Middle Cornish this was mostly /i:/ (this corresponds to the
long version of what you called a 'blunt' i-sound), while in Late
Cornish it mostly became /e:/. For this reason, you freely have the
option of writing <ë> if you want to.

> 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 ...

Let me try to lay the situation out concisely.

Basically, we have the following sounds:

/i:/ as in police -- spelled <i>, rarely <î>, and (Middle Cornish style) <ë ~ ÿ>
/e:/ as in great -- spelled <e>, sometimes <ê>, and (Late Cornish style) <ë ~ ÿ>
/i/ as in hill -- spelled <y>, occasionally <ì>, sometimes <i> (when
not in the final syllable)
/e/ as in pen -- spelled <e>, occasionally <è>

If it has no accent, <e> will be long in stressed final syllables IF
they come before certain consonants (b, d, dh, gh, j, l, m, n, r, s,
sk, st, th, v, or no consonant at all). This rule also applies in
exactly the same way to <a>, <eu>, <o>, <u>, and is very similar to
how they do things in Welsh.

Conversely, the vowels <a>, <e>, <eu>, <o>, <u> are short if they're
not stressed, OR come before the last syllable, OR are found before
consonants other than the ones listed above.


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