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

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Jul 24 12:15:51 IST 2008


Jon,

*Molloz the form you cite from PA does not actually occur. The text at  
PA 66c clearly reads:

mollz den ha gour [ur superscript] ha gwrek

So molloz may have been intended but equally the scribe may have meant  
molleth.
nowethis and nowethys in CW have e by i-affection.

Still I agree with you for the most part.

Nicholas
On 24 Jul 2008, at 11:49, Jon Mills wrote:

> 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 not
> conform to the the Termination of this Participle's being always in  
> yz: For they generally
> end 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 can
> acquire u-colouring.
>
> There are problems with you suggested spellings. The form <nowothow>  
> is attested seven times. The plural
> of bedneth, baneth is <bannothow> and of molleth <mollothow>. Are  
> you therefore
> suggesting 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 schwa
>> and u-coloured schwa (in gallus and arluth, for example).
>> In LC all three had a tendency to fall together. One finds Cornowok  
>> in 1572
>> and Frenkock in NBoson.
>>
>> Flehes  x 14, flehys x 42, and flehas x 11 are all attested in  
>> Middle Cornish, which
>> seems to me to indicate that schwa and i-schwa are allophones,  
>> perhaps conditioned
>> by 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 had
>> a 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 time
>> of the earliest MC texts i(late fourteenth and early fifteenth  
>> centuries). The specification of the SWF allows for
>> a 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”
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>> _____________________________________
>> Dr. Jon Mills,
>> School of European Culture and Languages,
>> University of Kent
>>
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>
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> University of Kent
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