[Spellyans] Mainly <yn>

A. J. Trim ajtrim at msn.com
Fri Jul 25 14:56:59 IST 2008

Eddie Climo wrote:


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.



I agree but note:

If English had a slightly different word order, we could write "He is a-sleep in deep." to mean "He is sleeping deeply." The "in" might then be classed as an adverbial particle. I think that something like this may be happening in Cornish.

Actually, there is a smidgen of confusion in English. The term "inflammable" has had to be re-spelt "flammable" for safety reasons!



Andrew J. Trim
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