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

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Mon Jul 7 15:16:55 IST 2008

And Mary does have a valid point here that we all need to bear in mind.  
We have to be able to put the finished product across to ordinary 
learners.  Very few of us are actual linguists, just enthusiasts.  Our 
learners are the language's future and we must ensure that they remain 
confident with what we are doing, and to ensure that we do not blind 
them with science.  KS did this extremely well and should set the 
standard for what we are trying to achieve, and to ensure that everyone 
is kept aboard the ship, regardless of the level of their knowledge and 

Of course, each point has to be argued out on linguistic grounds and 
with technical language but can we ensure that these are fully and 
clearly explained to those of us who are not linguistic experts?


Mary Williams wrote:
> I'm not very knowledgeable about Late Cornish, so I've just had a look 
> at my copy of  Jowann Chi an Hordh which has a exact copy of Mr 
> Llwyd's text alongside how we write it now. I can see now how most of 
> the words match up and wherever we have an "i" he puts an "i" too or 
> "ei" at the end of words, and for our "y" he nearly always writes "e" 
> and sometimes puts a hat on it. So if you want to put dots on all the 
> "y"s that turn into "e" that's nearly all of them, and then you can't 
> have your hat's too can you? So wouldn't it be better to mark the "y" 
> that stay "y", if there really are any? But can this be right, because 
> I see all the little words like "yn" and "y" go to "en" and "e" and so 
> on. So if an important word like "bys" for "world" gets turned into 
> "bez" then shouldn't a little word like "bys" for "to" get changed as 
> well? Just seems common sense to me (but then what do I know?) I don't 
> think I've ever muddled up these words, I don't know the clever way to 
> say it, but they're just not words you confuse, they don't come in the 
> same places if you follow me.
> Now I can see if some people can't manage to say the "y" sound (like 
> "fear beer" without the r's) you could tell them say "e" and they'd be 
> no worse off than the Late Cornish people, but they could still write 
> "y" couldn't they? And if you'd learned Late then how would you know 
> which "e" are our "y"s? I'm asking how a Late person would know where 
> to put your dots. And do you really think they'd go to the trouble? I 
> don't. And anyway if they wanted to show the difference they could 
> just type a "y" like we do. I've no idea how to get dots on top of 
> things anyway.
> Well maybe I really can't understand all this, but I've never even 
> imagined saying "bibble" for "bibel" wherever did you get that idea 
> from? I don't think Cornish even has a double b. And isn't b what you 
> mean by a voiced sound, so you say the vowel before ought to be long?
> I'm sorry, but the reason I never got very far with UC was because we 
> never really knew how to say anything. All the books contradicted each 
> other and sometimes contradicted themselves! So KK was really a 
> godsend. If you want to beat that then you'll have to give clear 
> instructions that ordinary learners (and teachers too) can follow. All 
> this "well you can do this or then again you can do that" doesn't 
> work. All you clever people can argue all day if you like but 
> beginners need to be told "this is right and that's wrong" otherwise 
> they'll give up.
> --- On *Sun, 6/7/08, Michael Everson /<everson at evertype.com>/* wrote:
>     From: Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com>
>     Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Fw: Re: All these I's and Y's etc
>     To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>     Date: Sunday, 6 July, 2008, 7:41 PM
>     At 19:29 +0000 2008-07-06, Tom Trethewey wrote:
>     >  >As Michael said
>     >>"If you prefer to say [i:], you should write <bÿs>."
>     >>"If you prefer to say [e:], you should write <bës>."
>     >
>     >What about those who prefer to say [I:]?
>     Do you know anyone who actually manages to do so? 
>     I am informed that every KK user either says [i:] 
>     (because of Unified Cornish) or they 
>     misunderstand the "recommended pronunciation" and 
>     they simply say [I].
>     The SWF pays lip-service to
>      this [I:], in fact 
>     ignoring UC [i:] -- which is objectionable 
>     enough. And then the SWF fails to distinguish 
>     between <bÿs> 'world' and <bys> 'but'. Even if 
>     some people want to say [bI:z], <bÿs> still lets 
>     them distinguish it from <bys> 'but' which is 
>     pronounced [bIz].
>     -- 
>     Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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