[Spellyans] <y>, <i>, etc

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Jul 25 14:08:37 IST 2008

On 25 Jul 2008, at 11:32, Michael Everson wrote:

> At 11:23 +0100 2008-07-25, Eddie Climo wrote:
>>> I believe that KS will spell the preposition which does not cause
>>> mutation as "in". This is a very common spelling for this  
>>> preposition
>>> in the traditional texts -- nothing inauthentic about it, though it
>>> may be unfamiliar to users of Nancian Cornish because he didn't use
>>> the letter "i" at all (an inauthentic choice of Nance's). This also
>>> has the advantage of increasing the use of "i" which can please some
>>> RLC users. (Folks, I do NOT believe that "we hate the letter y" is a
>>> mantra amongst RLC users. Too much can be made of this.) And KS will
>>> spell the adverbial particle which does cause mutation as "yn".
>> I disagree; and it's not your sole decision. We're trying to work to
>> consensus here.
> Why do you disagree? I've presented an argument for using <i> in
> initial position, and for distinguishing <in> and <yn>. You've only
> said you disagree.

Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. I disagree with having 2 spellings  
for UC/R 'yn', solely on the basis of the word's 2 functions. I've  
given the example of 4 different versions of UC 'co_k', with which  
you found fault, as they were not "high-frequency function words".

I then cited the *7* different forms of the high-frequency function  
word UC 'a', to which we might add a small selection of others from  
my meagre knowledge of Cornish (with a little help from Nance!):
- - - - - - - -
<ow> interj. ho! Hullo!
<ow 4> present participle verbal particle
<ow 3> poss. adj. my
- - - - - - - -
<hy_> pron. she, it
<hy_ 3> poss. adj. her, its
- - - - - - - -
<y_> pron. they
<y_ 2> poss.pron. their
- - - - - - - -
<y> she
<y 5> indef. verbal particle
<y'> prep. (contraction of 'yn')
- - - - - - - -

Most are high-frequency function words, and I daresay there are  
others. If you advocate 2 spellings for UC 'yn', Michael, to be  
consistent you would need::
-- 7 spellings of 'a'
-- 3 spellings of 'ow'
-- 2 spellings of 'hy'
-- 2 spellings of long-vowel 'y', and
-- 3 spellings of short-vowel 'y'

I suggest that it would be wrong to attempt so many different  
spellings with these words, and therefore equally wrong to suggest it  
with 'yn'.

These homonyms are already easy enough to distinguish in writing from  
their semantic context, from their syntax and from the mutation state  
they cause (the latter, I suspect, is one of the historical reasons  
for having mutations in the Celtic languages in the first place!).

Your proposed 'solution' is, I'm afraid, applied to a non-existent  
problem. It adds unnecessary complexity to the language, and I don't  
think it will find widespread acceptance.

What's so hard to accept in Jon's observation to the effect that 'yn'  
is 1 word that behaves in 2 ways? Let's consider the E. cognate to UC/ 
R 'yn', and a few of the many roles <in> can play in English (my OED  
lists about 40!):
-- positional preposition: 'He is in Truro'
-- present participle particle (well, almost!): 'He is in a deep  
sleep' = 'He is sleeping deeply'
-- abbreviation: 'inches' > 'in.'
-- chemical suffix: 'fibre' > 'fibrin'; 'penicillium' > 'penicillin'
-- directional prefix: 'flow' > 'inflow'
-- adverbial prefix: 'deed' > 'indeed'
-- neg. prefix: 'decisive' > 'indecisive'

There we have 7 different (some high-frequency) functions, 1  
spelling, and ZERO confusion.

Eddie Foirbeis Climo
- -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -
Dres ethom akennow byner re bons lyeshes
Accenti non multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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