[Spellyans] Late Cornish adaptations

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Thu Jul 31 23:16:43 IST 2008

Kernewek was Nance's own invention and is unattested.  UCR uses Kernowek 
(which is attested); RLC uses Kernuack and Kernuak, both of which are 
also attested.  <ow> is supported by the only known instance of the word 
for "Scillonian", which appears in the Borough Accounts for St Ives 
1523.  These include a man described as "John Thomas, Sullouk", which 
would appear to represent *Sillowek, Sullowek.   Syllan and Sillan 
(Isles of Scilly) are both attested but one has to bear in mind that the 
islands are almost certainly named after the Celtic goddess Sulis 
"watcher", also found at Bath (Aquae Sulis), and pronounced "SIL-is".  
The Roman occupation forces also adopted her and equated her with a 
goddess of their own, calling her "Sulis Minerva".


Michael Everson wrote:
> On 31 Jul 2008, at 13:46, Owen Cook wrote:
>> I'm curious to hear what list members think of the following
>> adaptations of the SWF for Late Cornish.
>> * <ei> in words like hei, crei, chei has, if I remember rightly, been
>> accepted on this list as being within the bounds of authentic
>> traditional usage. Will KS recommend it, alongside <y>? And for whom
>> (i.e. only RLC users)?
> Because it is in the SWF, I think it would be bad to "ban" it in KS.  
> However, I will say this: making this distinction for the few stressed  
> monosyllables is unnecessary. Neil Kennedy said to me about this the  
> other day that it is just exactly the sort of thing which Ken George  
> wanted: it is one of the thing that really splits the Single form into  
> a Multiple form. I believe (and it is only my opinion) that George  
> wanted to encourage -ei because it lets him ignore Late Cornish, since  
> he really only cares about his particular early Middle Cornish  
> reconstruction.
> As far as I can tell he ignores the fact that there is no feature of  
> Late Cornish that is not also present in earlier periods simply  
> because he doesn't want to acknowledge it.
> I would recommend that KS acknowledge -ei as an option, but not  
> recommend it as it is, really, unnecessary. But I am interested to  
> hear what Mina and Gus (and others) have to say about this.
>> * <oa> in words like broas, gwloan, cloav. I don't think I have heard
>> any discussion on this list about these items at all. One incarnation
>> of KS marked such words (for both RLC and RMC users) as brâs, gwlân,
>> clâv. (Perhaps <å> might be useful so that there can be no confusion
>> with <â> to indicate irregular length...?) The spelling 'broas' is
>> authentic, I think (alongside 'braus' and 'braos' and various other
>> permutations) but 'cloav' etc look strange to me.
> In my opinion <oa> or <ao> was really badly conceived, and hastily  
> thrown in. The biggest problem is that it is not systematic. RMC  
> <bras> means both 'large' and 'treachery'. RLC distinguishes the two  
> words in pronunciation. The KS approach writes <brâs>|<bras>; any RMC  
> speaker can pronounce the two alike and any RLC speaker will know  
> which is which.
> The SWF splits the two communities. RMC speakers will write <bras>| 
> <bras> and RLC <broas>|<bras>. THIS IS BAD ORTHOGRAPHY DESIGN.
> KS will probably remark that <oa> is permitted in the SWF for these  
> words, but recommend against the use of <oa> since it is not useful.
>> * <ow> in words like own 'correct'. I have never cared much for
>> showing the <ew~ow> alternation explicitly in writing, because (1) it
>> seems redundant: as far as I know, our <ew> words always become /ow/
>> in LC, and (2) it clashes with <ow> = /u:/ in words like Jowan,
>> Kernowek, lowarth. For example, clowes does not have /u:/, but /ow/.
> Well, I don't see us getting very far trying to use diacritics here.  
> <Jëwan>? <Jöwan>? At the same time I don't want to write <Kernewek>  
> though I know that many do. I do not think, however that all <ew>  
> words become <ow> in RLC.
>> In all of these cases, it appears to me that the SWF has chosen to
>> ignore the opportunity to devise umbrella graphs, leaving us with a
>> rather clumsier system than we might have had otherwise. Any opinions?
> I don't see an umbrella graph being acceptable for  
> <bewnans>~<bownans>. At least we are free of *<bywnans>.
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