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

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Mon Jul 14 16:22:58 IST 2008

At 14:01 +0000 2008-07-14, Jon Mills wrote:
>I did not mention [e:] and [i:]. What I said 
>was, that in traditional Cornish <i>~<y>~<e> 
>might either represent dialectal or allophonic 

And I said I didn't believe that was an across-the-board phenomenon.

>You appear to be saying that you do not care 
>what the phonology of traditional Cornish 

Not so.

>You say, "No dialect of Revived Cornish has 
>[mi:z ri:z di:d] or [me:z re:z de:d]. No free 
>variation is in current use." How do you know 

I have ears.

>Perhaps what you are referring to are the 
>recommended orthoepies that accompany the 
>various current didactolects of Cornish.

People who speak Revived Cornish have learnt from 
the recommended pronunciations given by Nance and 
Williams and George and Gendall, yes. The end 
result is a dialect difference amongst 
Revivalists, where [mi:z re:z di:d] and [mi:z 
re:z de:d] form significant classes. The SWF 
recognizes this as do we.

>Correct me if I'm wrong, the difference between us seems to be this:
>- I prefer a largely traditional orthography 
>that has been minimally regularised;
>- you prefer an orthography that has as its 
>basis several current pedagogical orthoepies: 
>"KS is descriptive of Revived Cornish".

I don't follow this. In the first place "has been 
minimally regularized" begs a lot of questions 
because we have two major streams of Traditional 
orthographic practice: the Glasneyan stream and 
the Lhuydian stream. Since there are two there's 
no single base from which to "minimally 
regularize" anything. And "minimally regularized" 
might well have more ambiguity in it than people 
want nowadays.

Your proposition also uses both "orthography" 
(correct spelling) and "orthoepy" (correct 
pronunciation) with regard to what you suggest 
that I prefer, but it says nothing about 
"orthoepy" in terms of what you prefer. So the 
propositions aren't equivalent.

I prefer traditional graphs, and KS was based on 
those, taking Jordan as a jump-off point since 
his text stands mid-way between the ends of the 
Middle-Late continuum and is representative of 
the end of the Glasneyan tradition. When we (a 
large group) devised KS, we had a care for the 
current pronunciations of Revived Cornish. As 
regards <dÿdh> and <dëdh> we considered at first 
that it might be possible to stick to Lhuyd and 
recommend only the latter. That was in our early 
development phase; it became clear quite quickly 
that this was a non-starter for UC and KK users.

SWF <mis>, <bys>, <res>, <bys>~<bes>
KS: <mis>, <bys>, <res>, <bÿs>~<bës>

The last pair in the former is ambiguous. Compare 
(using diaereses for UCR macrons):

UCR <my–s>, <bys>, <rês>, <by–s>
NK: <mîz>, <biz>, <rêz>, <bêz>

KS offers a solution here. I don't know what you would recommend otherwise.

>I rejected KK some years ago because it is based 
>on conjectural and, in places proveably 
>erroneous, orthoepy.


>The SWF gives us a so-called 'Traditional' form 
>which is not all that traditional.

We're here to put some that right as far as is possible and practical.

>In fact, the Traditional Late Cornish SWF does 
>not resemble Late Cornish orthographic practice 
>very much at all.

Because Glasneyan normalization and Lhuydian 
normalization are not very compatible.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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