[Spellyans] The quantity system

Jon Mills j.mills at email.com
Tue Jun 24 16:04:43 IST 2008


Yes, I can see that these 2 diphthongs might be said to distinguish two distinct sets of verb endings. But what grounds are there for distinguishing them in word stems such as ryal/rial?
Jon

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Craig Weatherhill" <weatherhill at freenet.co.uk>
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] The quantity system
> Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 16:02:41 +0100
> 
> 
> 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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> >>>
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> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _____________________________________
> > Dr. Jon Mills,
> > School of European Culture and Languages,
> > University of Kent
> >
> >
> >
> 
> 
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>



_____________________________________
Dr. Jon Mills,
School of European Culture and Languages,
University of Kent


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