[Spellyans] bys/bes words

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Wed Jul 16 12:01:18 IST 2008

From: A. J. Trim
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 1:01 AM
"The UCR dictionary gives Marhajow for "markets". This indicates to me
that the <s> is <s>/<j>. "Thursday Market" is Marhas Yow, but if the <h>
is hard (almost a [k]) and if <s> is pronounced [Z], and if <ow> is
pronounced as <oo> in "loo", the sound will be something like Marka Zhyoo
[mark@ Zju:].
Andrew J. Trim

I believe the <h> in <marhas> is pronounced as [h], not like [k]. Using
[k] for [x] (the sound in Scots and Scottish Gaelic <loch>) is a typical
mispronunciation of native English speakers. Development in Late Cornish
suggests that the sound went from a presumed earlier [x] (as in Welsh) to
[h] and was often lost altogether, as is shown in Thomas Tonkin’s spelling
<arrans> for “silver”, which also appears as <arhans> and <arghans> in
Middle Cornish.
Concerning the existence of [Z], I also have had my little theories
floating around in my head and thought it could be, as you indicated, a
supra-segmental form of assimilation. The Cornish word <cales> “hard”
appears as <calish> or <kallish> in Late Cornish and may have developed
the [S] sound because it frequently occurred before the front vowel
<yw/ew> “is”. So [“kalIs] + [IU] may have given [“kalIzIU], [“kalIZIU]
and/or [“kalISIU]. But all this is impossible to prove without native
speakers. The development of initial [j] to [Z], that is recorded in
traditional Cornish dialect and place names for Cornish <yeyn> “cold” (and
other words), finds a parallel in Low German where <myn jung> [mi:n jUN]
“my boy” is often pronounced [mi:n ZUN] or [mi:n dZUN].

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