[Spellyans] redistribution of <i> and <y>

Jon Mills j.mills at email.com
Thu Jul 24 11:49:04 IST 2008


The variation that Lhuyd notes is typical of variation found in all
languages at all periods. In my idiolect of English, for example, I
sometimes say [i:k at nQmIks] and I sometimes say [Ek at nQmIks]. It would be
naive to think that Middle Cornish has no variation: dialectal,
idiolectal or free. Given that variation of one sort or another would
have existed throughout out all periods of Cornish and given that the
match of traditional spellings to phonology is inexact, we cannot be
precise about the phonology of any historical period. I am not suggesting
that the method that I demostrated in my previous post can be applied to
all words that contain unstressed syllables. Not all such words are
attested with additional affixes, for example. And those that are
attested with additional affixes may for one reason or another produce
ambiguous results. I maintain, however, that my method holds good for the
examples that I gave.
Regarding the examples you gave, consider the following attestations. In
the Ordinalia we also find 'newethow' and in Jordan we find 'nowethis',
'nowethys'; so no need to spell this word 'nowoth'. In the Ordinalia we
also find 'bannethow'; so no need to spell this word 'nowoth'. In PA we
find 'molloz' and 'molozek'; so perhaps it would not be wrong to write
'molloth'. Jon

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: "nicholas williams"
  To: "Standard Cornish discussion list"
  Subject: Re: [Spellyans] redistribution of and
  Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 10:39:04 +0100

  I take your point, Jon, but by the Late Cornish period I am not so
  sure of the status of schwa.Look at AB 248b where Lhuyd speaks of the
  ending of the verbal adjective:
  He says "I am sensible that the Modern Pronuncitation of the Cornish
  does notconform to the the Termination of this Participle's being
  always in yz: For they generallyend it in ez, Saying Kreiez, Called;
  Trehez, Cut; Miskemerez, Mistaken, Dylîez, Revenged,Guerhez, Sold,
  &c. and sometimes in az: As Ledhaz, Slain; Kyrtaz, Delayed; Guesgaz,
  Worn;tho' not seldom, also in yz: As Devydhyz, Quenched; Devedhyz,
  Come, Bidhyz, Drowned;Kelmyz, Bound; Huedhyz, Swoln."
  If I understand him, Lhuyd seems to be saying that the historic -ys
  is either [Ez], [Iz] or [aZ]and it does not seem possible to see why
  one is used rather than one of the others.Since the -ek ending in
  Late Cornish is either -ak or -ok, it would seem that reduced -ek canacquire
  u-colouring. 
  There are problems with you suggested spellings. The form <nowothow>
  is attested seven times. The pluralof bedneth, baneth is <bannothow>
  and of molleth <mollothow>. Are you thereforesuggesting that we write
  *<nowoth>, *<bednoth> and *<mollothow>?
  Nicholas
  On 24 Jul 2008, at 09:54, Jon Mills wrote:

    I agree that Cornish has three reduced vowels: schwa, i-schwa and
    u-schwa. This is an areal feature that Cornish shares with
    English. These are allophones of various other vowels. They are
    not allophones of the same vowel. When an affix is added to a
    word, the stress shifts to the new penultimate syllable and the
    syllable containing the previously unstressed schwa becomes
    stressed. This allows us to identify the phoneme of which the
    schwa in question is an allophone. In order to simplify, in the
    following examples, I have written all reduced vowels as [@].
    [lag at s] > Ordinalia: 'lagasow'; BM: 'lagasek'; Jordan:
    'lagasowe'; Kerew: 'lagagow'. Schwa is an allophone of /a/. We
    should write 'lagas'.
    [ben at n] > PA: 'benenas'; Ordinalia: 'benenes', 'venenes',
    'vynynes'; BM: 'benenes'. Schwa is an allophone of /e/. We should
    write 'benen'.
    [gorhem at n] > PA: 'woromynnys'; BM: 'gorhemynnes'. Schwa is an
    allophone of /I/. We should write 'gorhemmyn'.
    [gal at s] > Ordinalia: 'gallogek', 'gallosek', 'galosek' ; BM:
    'galosek', 'gallosek'. Schwa is an allophone of /o/. We should
    write 'gallos'.
    [prof at s] > PA: 'brofusy'; Ordinalia: 'profugy'. Schwa is an
    allophone of /u/. We should write 'profus'.
    Thus we see that the reduced vowels are allophones of /a/, /e/,
    /I/, /o/ and /u/. Jon

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "nicholas williams"
      To: "Standard Cornish discussion list"
      Subject: Re: [Spellyans] redistribution of and
      Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 17:12:25 +0100

      I have discussed the question of schwa to some degree in
      Cornish Today.It seems that in MC there were three unstressed
      vowels: schwa, i-coloured schwaand u-coloured schwa (in
      gallus and arluth, for example). In LC all three had a
      tendency to fall together. One finds Cornowok in 1572and
      Frenkock in NBoson. 
      Flehes  x 14, flehys x 42, and flehas x 11 are all attested
      in Middle Cornish, whichseems to me to indicate that schwa
      and i-schwa are allophones, perhaps conditionedby the
      following consonant or by vocalic harmony. 
      The word for 'one' is onen x 12, onan x 52, onon x 9 and onyn
      x 90 in Middle Cornish.
      In Late Cornish the verbal adjective in -ys is not
      infrequently spelt with <as>, <az>:e.g. En Termen ez passiez
      thera Trigaz en St. Levan JCH § 1.
      Moreover in Middle Cornish itself benegas 'blessed' and
      malegas 'accursed' are common (x 60 and 10 respectively).
      In Late Cornish forms like crenjah and venjah seem to suggest
      that schwa in auslaut hada low allophone close to [a].
      We write arlùth with <ù> in KS but in Late Cornish it appears
      as <arleth> 54 times! And as <arlith> 10 times.Nicholas Boson
      writes <arlyth> once.
      The word profus 'prophet' is exclusively Middle Cornish,
      since it is replaced by profet in Tregear and LC. The
      attested spellings are: <profus> 13, <profes> 1, <profys> 1,
      <profos> 3.
      <eglos> occurs 22 times in MC and LC, <egglos> 197 times
      (mostly in Tregear who had a special interest in the church).<egles>
      occurs twice in Late Cornish and <eglez> three times.
      <egglys> occurs once in Sacrament an Alter.
      The word cafus, cafos is written <cafes> twice in Origo
      Mundi.
      The collapse of unstressed vowels into schwa is by the way an
      indication that the prosodic shift has occurred by the timeof
      the earliest MC texts i(late fourteenth and early fifteenth
      centuries). The specification of the SWF allows fora
      pre-shift phonology with half-length and pure unstressed
      vowels. This again is an attempt to salvage the underlying
      phonology of KK.It is inauthentic as well as being
      irrelevant, since nobody uses it.
      Any attempt, however, to distinguish unstressed -en, -es from
      -yn, -ys is, I think, doomed to failure.We have schwa,
      i-schwa and u-schwa (if I may be allowed to use the terms)
      and that is all.And all three are by the Late Cornish period
      (if not before) allophones of the same phoneme.
      Nicholas----------





      On 23 Jul 2008, at 14:18, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

        I would support Nicholas's view here.  The place name
        Langostentyn is
        Langustentyn, Langustenstyn and Legostentyn in the C14.
         A final -in
        creeps in in 1447, followed by -en (1501) and -on (1574
        twice) and -n
        again in 1574.  The saint's name is S. Constantinus (pure
        Latin) in
        1086, 1284, 1287, 1291; then Costentyne 1468, Costentyn
        1441.  Only in
        the C16 does -in appear (note the lack of "saint" in
        these examples).

        For Constantine Bay, we have only two Cornish examples:
        Egloscontantyne
        c1525, and Constenton 1568.

        Please note, too, that there is a place-name element
        <kegyn>, "ridge"
        (Pengegon), cognate with W. cegin.  To avoid confusion, I
        would
        recommend that "kitchen" is represented by <kegen>.

        On the subject of <au> I find that I have to revise my
        advice to Jon.
        Nance gives chons, chonsya where I would expect to find
        chauns, chaunsya
        (chaunssya?).  It looks as though most of the <au> words
        are loan words,
        although they extend to Celtic personal (saint's) names
        such as Maunan,
        Maugan and Maudet.

        Craig


        nicholas williams wrote:

          In unstressed syllables there is no difference in
          pronunciation

          between, say, -in in kegyn and -yn in brentyn. Even
          KK (which spells

          "etymologically") admits that unstressed i and y are
          not to be

          distinguished. Moreover the texts always spell MC
          <brentyn>,

          <bryntyn>. There are no exx of *<brentin>. The name
          for "Constantine"

          is common in BM, where it is spelt <Costentyn> at
          least 20 times. It

          never has final <-in>. The only time the name has
          <in> is in the Latin

          form <Constantinus> in stage directions.  To attempt
          to distinguish

          kegyn from *brentin, *Costentin in spelling is not
          wise. It will make

          learning the orthography much harder and with no
          phonetic gain. It

          will merely look like an attempt to salvage a feature
          of KK, which was

          misguided in the first place. The SWF should write
          kegyn, Costentyn,

          brentyn, melyn, gyllyn, etc.

          Notice incidentally, that following KK the SWF at the
          moment writes

          gyllyn, gyllys, gyllyns but gylli!


          Nicholas

          -----------

          On 23 Jul 2008, at 08:40, Daniel Prohaska wrote:


            *I would like to hear everyone’s opinions on the
            following idea for

            redistributing <y> and <i> in the SWF. I would
            write <i> where bother

            Late and Middle Cornish have /i/ and /i:/, and
            write <y> ~ <e> (in

            dictionaries <ÿ> ~ <ë>) where Middle Cornish has
            /I/ and /I:/, but

            Late Cornish has /e/ and /e:/.*

            * *

            *Examples:*

            *SWF <brentin>; RMC /”brentin/, RLC /”brentin/;*

            *SWF <kegyn>; RMC /”kegin/, RLC /”keg at n/;*

            *SWF <tir>; RMC /ti:r/, RLC /ti:r/;*

            *SWF <bys> ~ <bes>; RMC */bI:z/ = [bi:z] ~ [bIz]
            ~ [beIz] etc., RLC

            /be:z/;*

            * *

            *Dan*

            * *

            * *

            *-----Original Message-----

            From: Michael Everson

            Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 11:31 PM*


            At 21:46 +0100 2008-07-20, Craig Weatherhill
            wrote:

              Good question - if <y> is a short i and <i> a
              long one, then this makes

              no sense at all.


            “That is the SWF (and KS) rule for monosyllables.
            In KS we are making

            an attempt to rationalize (and make teachable)
            the distribution of

            <i> and <y>.


            Nicholas and I tried many times to have this
            distribution dealt with

            during the AHG meetings when we were asked our
            advice. Our concerns

            were not addressed. Not even acknowledged.

            --

            Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com”


            _______________________________________________

            Spellyans mailing list

            Spellyans at kernowek.net <mailto:Spellyans at kernowek.net>

            http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net

            _______________________________________________

            Spellyans mailing list

            Spellyans at kernowek.net <mailto:Spellyans at kernowek.net>

            http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net


          ------------------------------------------------------------------------


          _______________________________________________

          Spellyans mailing list

          Spellyans at kernowek.net

          http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net




        _______________________________________________
        Spellyans mailing list
        Spellyans at kernowek.net
        http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net



      _______________________________________________
      Spellyans mailing list
      Spellyans at kernowek.net
      http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net



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


    -- Be Yourself @ mail.com!
    Choose From 200+ Email Addresses
    Get a Free Account at www.mail.com!_______________________________________________
    Spellyans mailing list
    Spellyans at kernowek.net
    http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net



  _______________________________________________
  Spellyans mailing list
  Spellyans at kernowek.net
  http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net



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

-- 
Be Yourself @ mail.com!
Choose From 200+ Email Addresses
Get a Free Account at www.mail.com

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://kernowek.net/pipermail/spellyans_kernowek.net/attachments/20080724/d78f1c1d/attachment-0001.html>


More information about the Spellyans mailing list