[Spellyans] The quantity system

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Tue Jun 24 18:05:42 IST 2008


Ah, I think I see what you mean. In <ryal/rial> the sound is simply 
"ee-uh", with no variations.  I was simply querying the SWF spelling of 
<ryal> when, if <i> is to represent the long vowel, this appears 
inconsistent.  It would avoid a sound similar to Eng. "real" (an E sound 
of rather short duration in normal speech, when it is of longer duration 
and closer to "ree-ul" - more like "real" when heavily emphasised: 
"there's  a REAL difference", rather than "it's as real as you are".  
Try both statements and you'll appreciate the difference in duration of 
the E in the same word.  Admittedly, there's not a massive difference 
between the two sounds but it is there.

Craig




Jon Mills wrote:
> 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
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> Spellyans mailing list
>>>>>>> Spellyans at kernowek.net
>>>>>>> http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>               
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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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