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

Jon Mills j.mills at email.com
Fri Jul 11 14:30:20 IST 2008

Tom, I suggested a hypothetical phoneme /I_o/ with allophones [I] and
[e]. As you suggest, it might be more conveniently labelled /I/. However
before /I/ can be adopted, it is necessary to determine that there is not
some other phoneme /I/. That requires a minimal contrast set of all the
vowels. That is why I used /I_o/.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: "Tom Trethewey"
  To: "Standard Cornish discussion list"
  Subject: Re: [Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks
  Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 13:24:30 +0000 (GMT)

  --- On Thu, 10/7/08, Jon Mills <j.mills at email.com> wrote:
  >If the vowel were [I], as you suggest, Tom,  then why was it
  sometimes written <e>? I am using [I] to label a vowel which
  lay between [i] and [E].  Perhaps I should have used /e/, since the
  phonemic notation absolves one of the need to specify realizations.
  >Surely [I] would have been written <i> or <y>. Not necessarily.  The
  scribes were not trained phoneticians. >For the vowel to be sometimes
  written <e>, the vowel would have to be even lower than [I], but not
  as low as [e]. Perhaps it was.  The point is it was phonemically
  distinct from /i/ and /E/. >What might perhaps be more plausible is a
  phoneme /I_o/ with allophones [I] and [e]. Such a phoneme is more
  conveniently labelled /I/. Tom


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Dr. Jon Mills,
School of European Culture and Languages,
University of Kent

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