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

Owen Cook owen.e.cook at gmail.com
Fri Jul 25 10:00:23 IST 2008


2008/7/25 Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> rug scrifa:
>  He said: "But where it's short, I would like to write <i> where RLC also has
>  /i/ rather than /e/ and only spell them <y> where RMC has /i/ and RLC has
>  /e/."
>
>  I read that as using an umbrella graph for short RLC /e/. I opposed <y> as
>  an umbrella graph for long [e:] and I also do for short [E] or the allograph
>  schwa.

Right, so why does he then go on to talk about writing kegyn and
kegen, and why then did you say you didn't like the idea of having to
use kegÿn and kegën?

>>  How many words have anomalous short /I/ that remains stable in Late
>>  Cornish? Maybe half a dozen, tops.
>
>  That's saying a lot. But I don't see where your statement leads.

It's saying this would cut down the number of diacritics, and remove
any need for having diacritics on <y> at all. Dan's original idea was
to consider this in connection with not having any diacritics on <e>
either, and I really don't think that would be too horrible -- it's
not a bigger problem than the s/j alternation, certainly. There are
<s>'s that don't become <j> and <j>'s that didn't used to be <s>, but
neither is marked specially and we're all prepared to just live with
it.

Andrew mentions that we could now use <é> here -- for now I'll be
neutral on that idea. As we all know, of course, I prefer it
aesthetically, but the original concept was to cut diacritics for
these alternating words altogether.

>  Maybe, but NOT the orthography. Those are morphological questions. If we end
>  up (because of research, not just reconstruction) really having a regular
>  declension class that has <taves>/<tavosow> as one of its members, on solid
>  linguistic grounds, that is one thing. That's not the same thing as whether
>  'white' is spelt <gwynn> or <gwinn>.

I think this really wouldn't require that big a change. How many words
like kegin and bryntin does the SWF have? A lot more, I'd wager, and
we're quite prepared to differ from the SWF on them.

Having <y> always short and <i> always long in stressed ultimae was
hardly, in my opinion, 'the heart' of the SWF. From what I understood,
it was a feature tacked on a bit at the last minute. The heart of the
SWF was the horse trade of vocalic alternation (including <oo> ~ <o>)
for inauthentic main forms.

Oll an gwelha,
~~Owen




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