[Spellyans] <y Y> + diacritical

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Wed Jun 25 14:35:43 BST 2008

The want to avoid diacritics because English is without them.
Unfortunately diacritics are necessary to disambiguate.
Practised speakers can avoid them. For learners things are much harder.

On 25 Jun 2008, at 13:35, Jon Mills wrote:

> Context tells you which type of word you have. It was not a problem  
> for the readers/writers of the Middle Cornish texts. I don't find it  
> a problem when I read the Middle Cornish texts. Of course, what many  
> language learners would like is a single written form. However the  
> Cornish language community is not yet ready for a single written  
> form and so we have the Standard Written Form with variants. From  
> talking to various people at the Tremough conferences, it seems  
> evident to me that the overwhelming majority of Cornish speakers and  
> learners would prefer to eschew diacritics altogether.
> Jon
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Michael Everson" <everson at evertype.com>
>> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] <y Y> + diacritical
>> Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 13:03:15 +0100
>> At 12:45 +0100 2008-06-25, Christian Semmens wrote:
>>> At the risk of stirring up a hornets nest, I think this may be  
>>> taking
>>> things a bit too far. I think everyone would be happy with 'deth' or
>>> 'dyth' without recourse to diacritics at all. I strongly suspect  
>>> that
>>> no one will actually write them once they become fluent enough  
>>> anyway.
>>> Deith still looks horrible to me (as does chei, rei etc..), and I've
>>> tried to like it, really I have.
>>> Is it really such a huge problem?
>> It is. It is a problem for readers of texts
>> written in the other dialect. The brief was to be
>> phonetic. The SWF doesn't give learners enough
>> information.
>> Take a word, <pes>. A learner sees it. Is this a
>> <bys>/<bes> word? Or is it a <res> word? What
>> about bes, des, fes, ges, hes, les, mes, nes,
>> ses, tes, or ves? (I'm sure some of these are not
>> attested; I just made a list.)
>> If we write bÿs/bës, the learner who encounters
>> pes will know it's not got a *pys form.
>> Making this distinction is good orthography design.
>> --
>> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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> _____________________________________
> Dr. Jon Mills,
> School of European Culture and Languages,
> University of Kent
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