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

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Thu Jul 24 18:56:17 IST 2008

As I understand it, consideration of <au> did not take place within the 
AHG discussions and was, indeed, an oversight.  The substitution of <o> 
for <au> was done outside of any discussion group, nor (and I believe 
I'm right in saying this) was it the subject of any ruling by Trond.  
Therefore, I would contend that <o> for <au> is not an agreed item of 
the SWF.

I certainly need to restore <au> in my recommendations regarding 
place-names.  I realise that place-names lie outside the scope of the 
SWF (and thank God for that) but I felt that I could produce 
recommendations which both respected the historical integrity of each 
name, and brought close to SWF orthography (traditional graph SWF, that 
is - main form graphs would remove the place-names too far from their 
history).  I have tried to keep departures from the SWF to an absolute 
minimum but the inclusion of <au> will certainly be one of them.  For 
historical reasons, I cannot possibly recommend Monan, and Lanvosa for 
Mawnan and St Mawes.  In fact, when I look at the historical record for 
each <au> toponym, I find that Pluvogan (1523, for Mawgan-in-Meneage) is 
the only example of <o> for this vowel.


Michael Everson wrote:
> 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 
>> hearing.
> 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 
> system-wide.
> 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 
>> bonus.
> 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 
> clearer.
> 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.

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