[Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks

Owen Cook owen.e.cook at gmail.com
Thu Jul 10 17:28:27 IST 2008

Which would bring us close in practice, if not in theory, to Nicholas'
idea of alternation between /i/ and /e/...

A great deal of ink has been spilt arguing over these questions, but
ultimately we cannot directly know much for sure when we're talking
about Middle Cornish phonology. I was looking at Jon's review of the
GLKK, and all the way back then he was talking about determining
Cornish phonology based on contrastive minimal pairs in Lhuyd. That's
still the only really secure source for Cornish phonology.


On 10/07/2008, Jon Mills <j.mills at email.com> wrote:
> If the vowel were [I], as you suggest, Tom,  then why was it sometimes written
> <e>? Surely [I] would have been written <i> or <y>. For the vowel to be
> sometimes written <e>, the vowel would have to be even lower than [I], but not
> as low as [e]. We might notate this hypothetical lowered [I] as [I_o]. However, I
> think it unlikely that Cornish speakers made a clear distinction between [I], [I_o]
> and [e]. What might perhaps be more plausible is a phoneme /I_o/ with
> allophones [I] and [e].
> Jon

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