[Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks
everson at evertype.com
Thu Jul 10 16:09:15 IST 2008
At 12:30 +0000 2008-07-10, Tom Trethewey wrote:
>So when the word for 'finger' is spelled both <bis> and <bes> in Old Cornish,
>it means that the vowel was between [i:] and [E:].
You sound very sure.
>The same observation may be made for the
>spelling of many words in Middle Cornish, such
>as <dyth~deyth~deth> 'day'.
Well, the fact is that Revived Middle Cornish
speakers say [bi:z] (almost all of them even if a
"tiny minority" of them manage [bI:z] and Revived
Late Cornish speakers say [be:z] (and the same
for <dÿdh>~<dëdh>). And everybody says [re:z]
which never goes *[ri:z] or *[rI:z].
There is a class of words which has this
alternation in Revived Cornish, and that's not up
for negotiation. The SWF too recognizes this
distinction, and allows people to write <bys> or
<bes>. The problem is that there are words like
<bys> [bIz] 'but' and <res> [re:z] 'necessary
which are not part of that class.
We have a solution to this problem of the SWF. It
is to mark members of this class with the
diaeresis. There aren't any other solutions that
will work without completely changing the
wordforms themselves, which would be a revision
so great that I don't believe we can get away
Tom, if you're a UC or KK speaker, you'll
probably be writing <bys> in your KK or UC
anyway. So <bÿs> is the form you will be most
comfortable with if you want to write KS. If you
don't want to write KS, you can write SWF or KK
or UC. It's entirely your choice.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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