[Spellyans] Problems with SWF

Owen Cook owen.e.cook at gmail.com
Thu Jun 26 10:53:25 BST 2008

2008/6/26 A. J. Trim <ajtrim at msn.com> rug scrifa:
> I can add (9): I would like to be able to tell with more certainty how to
> pronounce the words that in SWF contain <u>. For example usyes, unys, du,
> a-ugh, ugans, tus, frut, fug, furv, gorthuher, pub. There are more than two
> sounds/lengths here.

Hear, hear. This is an important point. There are a number of u's
we're talking about:

A) <u> for MC /y(:)/, which becomes LC /i(:)/. This is the most common
value; we can take it as default.
B) <u> for early MC /y(:)/, which becomes /Iw/ rather early on. We
find this in stressed open syllables (as in 'du') and before /h/ (as
in 'uhel', 'a-ugh').
C) <u> for /u:/ as in frût, gûn. KS has used <û> here, with which I
heartily concur.
D) <u> for /U/ or /7/ or something similar, as in 'pùb'. KS has used
<ù> here; again I heartily concur. (By-the-bye, I think I've seen KS
<ù> in unstressed syllables as well as stressed ones -- is this
E) <u> in the word 'usya', which may be /ju/ or /Iw/ or who knows
what. I keep suggesting that we press <uw> into service here, but
nobody's commented so far. Gendall evidentally feels that 'universita'
belongs in this category too. KS <û> seems quite unsatisfactory to me
here. If <uw> seems too letter-heavy, perhaps a diacritic is
necessary? What about umlaut u with a tilde and underdot? (Just joking

A and B are in complementary distribution, so using the same grapheme
seems all right to me. KS has already cracked the C and D nuts. And E
affects only one or two roots.

> I can add (10): In words where <s> can become <j>, we should mark the <s> or
> <j>, else use <z>, for example. This would give kerenza for kerensa/kerenja.
> The suffixed pronouns sy/se and jy/je could become zÿ/zë. Similarly,
> marhasow/marhajow "markets" could become marhazow.

I have always wondered why nobody has seemed to be in a mood to
consider an umbrella graph for these items. The situation seems
similar to our dydh/dedh words -- there's an awful lot of words with
s~j alternation. <z> wouldn't pass the authenticity test, I suspect.
I've always liked <zh> for this situation; it evokes Lhuyd, but would
not make anybody else happy. However, I'm sure any solution would be
too radical for our present undertaking.

(Long s, anybody? Looks a bit like an inverted j, and its textual
authenticity is impeccable. ;-)

2008/6/26 nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> rug scrifa:
> To whom do they "look better"? Not to me.

Nor to me.

Oll an gwelha,

More information about the Spellyans mailing list