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

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Thu Jul 10 22:11:28 IST 2008

At 16:15 +0000 2008-07-10, Tom Trethewey wrote:

>  >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].
>That may well be the case. But it would be 
>foolish to base an orthography on the 
>speech-habits of a small unstable community of 
>second-language learners.

Everybody in the Revival including all of the 
teaching books and dictionaries agrees to say 
<res> as [re:z]. Nobody wants to say it {ri:z], 
so descriptively we are on safer ground accepting 
this. It would be foolish to try to change this.

The fact is that is an [i:] class of words and an 
[e:] class of words and an [i:]~[e:] class of 
words. The SWF writes the first class with <i> 
and the second class with <e> and the third class 
with <y>~<e>. This causes intolerable ambiguity 
so in KS we write the third class <ÿ>~<ë>.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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