[Spellyans] The quantity system

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Tue Jun 24 16:02:41 IST 2008


There have to be:  in verbs such as <destria> and <fria>, the 
pronunciation (stressed) is "ee-uh" whereas in clappya, ponya, merkya, 
etc., it is "ya" (unstressed).

Craig


Jon Mills wrote:
> Are there two different diphthongs in Cornish then /ia/ and /ya/?
> Jon
>
>   
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "A. J. Trim" <ajtrim at msn.com>
>> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] The quantity system
>> Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 14:43:13 +0100
>>
>>
>> Yes, rial would be better than ryal ... (unless we are saying that the y is
>> short, and the stress is on the second syllable.)
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Andrew J. Trim
>>
>>
>>
>> --------------------------------------------------
>> From: "Craig Weatherhill" <weatherhill at freenet.co.uk>
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 2:13 PM
>> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] The quantity system
>>
>>     
>>> The SWF is inconsistent in the values of <y> and <i>.  Yes, we have
>>> <gwynn/gwydn> where the vowel is short in both but the geminate is there
>>> to show that preocclusion occurs, BUT we have words like <ryal> "regal,
>>> royal" where the vowel is most definitely long.  So, why isn't it <rial>?
>>>
>>> Surely it would be far simpler, and easier for learners, to have <y>
>>> representing the short vowel (except for final position, as in <gwary>)
>>> and <i> representing the long.
>>>
>>> Craig
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> A. J. Trim wrote:
>>>       
>>>> OK, so far - Simple, practical, not at odds with the evidence.
>>>>
>>>> Why does gwyll need to have two ls if y is always short?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> Andrew J. Trim
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --------------------------------------------------
>>>> From: "Michael Everson" <everson at evertype.com>
>>>> Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:59 AM
>>>> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>>>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] The quantity system
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>>> At 09:18 +0000 2008-06-24, Jon Mills wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>>>> Adherents of KK maintain that KK is easier to learn because it is
>>>>>> supposedly phonemic. However KK entails a phonology that, for most
>>>>>> learners is, in fact, difficult to achieve: 3 vowels lengths and
>>>>>> geminate consonants. As a result, KK is more difficult to learn than
>>>>>> the other forms of Cornish.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>             
>>>>> It would be easier if learners were Estonians. ;-)
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>>>> Actual realisations of vowel length do not neatly fit in to 2 or 3
>>>>>> lengths. For example, with regard to English, Trager and Smith
>>>>>> (1957) observed 5 different vowel lengths in the set, bit bid bin
>>>>>> hiss his. They write, "The vowel quality is in each case lower high
>>>>>> front unrounded: [I]. In bit there is the shortest vowel,in his the
>>>>>> longest for most speakers; bid and bin have fairly long vowels too
>>>>>> -- some speakers have the longest varieties here, sometimes even
>>>>>> with a drawling off-glide effect; in hiss the vowel is longer than
>>>>>> in bit, but considerably shorter than in his or bid; in bin there is
>>>>>> a marked nasalization of the vowel ...."
>>>>>>
>>>>>>             
>>>>> For me this is an overstatement. I'd have bit/hiss as short, and
>>>>> bid/bin/his as longer. I don't detect more subtlety than that without
>>>>> a whole lot of persnicketiness. The bit/bid distinction is easy to
>>>>> teach to English speaking learners however, and that's one of the
>>>>> reasons it is the core of the vowel system in KS and by adoption the
>>>>> SWF.
>>>>>
>>>>> English bit/bid is an allophonic distinction, of course, not a
>>>>> phonemic distinction.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>>>> However, within the phonological system of English, only 2 vowel
>>>>>> lengths operate. These are determined by minimal contrast pairs:
>>>>>> bit - beat
>>>>>> bid - bead
>>>>>> his - he's
>>>>>> etc.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>             
>>>>> I am not sure if I agree with this analysis. Bit and beat differ in
>>>>> quality, not in quantity. Bid and bead differ in quality, not in
>>>>> quantity. Same with his and he's, and piss and peace.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>>>> With regard to Cornish then, if one wants to argue for either 2 or 3
>>>>>> vowel lengths, minimal contrast sets (extracted from the historical
>>>>>> corpus) need to be presented. But even this method is questionable
>>>>>> because the corpus is written and the actual pronunciation of any
>>>>>> forms contained therein is conjectural.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>             
>>>>> Quite so.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>>>> The only sensible and practical pedagogy is surely for learners to
>>>>>> be taught 2 vowel lengths and 1 consonant length. But should the SWF
>>>>>> make provision for those who aspire to 3 vowels lengths and long
>>>>>> consonants? I cannot imagine that these aspirants are very numerous.
>>>>>> My guess is that, given the choice, the vast majority of KK learners
>>>>>> would opt for a phonology that is easier to learn.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>             
>>>>> I agree. And the fact that they are English speakers makes the above
>>>>> relevant.
>>>>>
>>>>> In English we have qualitative phonemes:
>>>>>
>>>>> /I/ "bit [bIt], bid [bI.d], piss [pIs], his [hI.z] with allphonic
>>>>> lengthening
>>>>>
>>>>> /i/ "beat [bit], bead [bi.d], peace [pis], he's [hi.z] with allphonic
>>>>> lengthening
>>>>>
>>>>> In Cornish we have quantitative phonemes:
>>>>>
>>>>> /i/  myn [mIn], gwyll [gwIl], loss [lOs] with allphonic lowering
>>>>>
>>>>> /i:/ min [mi:n], gwil [gwi:l] los [lo:z] with allphonic raising
>>>>>
>>>>> With the quantity rules in KS/SWF, teachers should be able to use
>>>>> English phonology to teach and to improve the pronunciation of
>>>>> Cornish phonemic quantity.
>>>>>
>>>>> Is this scheme agreeable to everyone? (This is key; as editor I will
>>>>> use IPA symbols to show both quality and quantity in phonetic
>>>>> transcription.)
>>>>> -- Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
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>>>>         
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>
>   
>
>
>
> _____________________________________
> Dr. Jon Mills,
> School of European Culture and Languages,
> University of Kent
>
>
>   





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