[Spellyans] reDistribution of <i> and <y>
everson at evertype.com
Thu Jul 24 18:20:24 IST 2008
At 19:20 +0300 2008-07-24, Owen Cook wrote:
> > Except that then you aren't even attempting to engage with the SWF.
>Neither are you when you substitute <au> for short <o>
That corrects an oversight and affects a dozen words.
> ... and <th, f> for final <dh, v> in unstressed syllables ...
That corrects pronunciation errors in the SWf.
>and <y> for unstressed <i>.
There's no rationale for the unstressed <i> but
that "George had it that way". His own
etymologies are questionable
>Sheesh. Are we trying to fix a mistaken and incoherent system here, or not?
Yes, but what's this about
>Dan's proposal makes sense, at least vis-à-vis
>stressed syllables, and is a bit more
>streamlined than what we've been working with. I
>don't think it can be dismissed without a
Eh? Dan did not propose to change <tir> and
<bÿs>~<bës> in stressed syllables. He proposed to
extend the <bÿs>~<bës> analogy to unstressed
vowels and I don't think that can be done without
hugely multiplying the number of diaereses
On top of that he wants to use <y> now as an
umbrella graph for RMC /i/ and RLC /e/ -- which I
won't accept any more than I did when the authors
of the SWF suggested that the <bÿs>~<bës> words
could all be spelt <bys>. That is why we HAVE the
<bÿs>~<bës> alternation now. In KS 15 we proposed
that all these words be written <bes>. We learned
that the KKers wouldn't accept that. We proposed
<beis>, a darn good solution. The KKers in the
AHG would accept that and got the first draft of
the SWF to use <bys> only. We pushed back and we
WON <bys>~<bes>. Now because there are crashes
there with <bys> [biz] and <res> [re:z] we have a
problem. We use the diaeresis, and behold! The
problem is gone.
I really don't want to go back to the drawing
board AGAIN to try to second-guess what might
satisfy the KKers by trying over and over to make
a system with the constraint "don't use
diacritics". I think that's preposterous. I think
it insults all of Europe, never mind the Irish
and Scots and IN POINT OF FACT all of the ***RLC
users*** who have been happily using diacritical
marks IN CORNISH for years.
>Actually, I think it might tread even more
>lightly on the SWF than does the diaeresis
>solution. The words that have consistent /I/ in
>both Late and Middle Cornish are admittedly
>numerous, but they mostly tend to be
>lower-frequency items than those in the
>alternating /i: ~ e:/ set (gryll, myrr, pyt).
>And trimming the number of diacritics without
>adding ambiguity to the system is a further
I'll say it again: we fought for and won the
<bys>~<bes> distiction. If we use diaereses on
these, we are within the system. EVEN IF THE SWF
doesn't say we can use diacritics, Ben and Albert
and Trond knew perfectly well that this was a
solution for us to what they were putting
together -- and they said so explicitly to me and
Dan and Nicholas in an online conference.
Right now we are chasing our tails and failing to
come to consensus. Owen, we cannot throw out the
whole thing and go to spell gwinn/gwidn when the
SWF offers us gwynn/gwydn for this. This is a
complete overturning of EVERYTHING. You're
putting me back to Square One, and the
orthography won't be even remotely compatible
with what kids might be learning if they learn
SWF. Those kids will learn <kyst> 'box' and
<Crist> 'Christ". If I understand what Owen has
written, he'll propose to change the first to
<kìst>. That just shifts the "diacritic problem"
to another place.
****ALL WE NEED TO DO**** is to use diacritical
marks judiciously to mark anomalous vowel
quantity and anomalous vowel quality as presented
in the SWF. If we do that then the word-shapes
for a great many words kids might learn in the
SWF will be JUST THE SAME except with some
decoration that makes pronunciation easier and
Yes, we have other deltas from the SWF, like
final unstressed -f and -th. Those are word-shape
deltas. So are the dozen <au> and dozen <ai>
words. The remaining deltas have to do with <i>
and <y> in polysyllabic loanwords, and then with
a certain number of other "etymological"
spellings "inherited" from KK. These should be
reviewed in a systematic fashion. I discussed
with Nicholas whether or instance the nouns could
be examined in terms of declension classes.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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