[Spellyans] The quantity system

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Tue Jun 24 22:43:31 IST 2008


Jon, 

Neither are true diphthongs in the sense that they occur within one
syllable, it’s two vowels with hiatus. Even if there was a sequence [“I.a]
in opposition to [“i:.a] at one time, I believe they fell in with each
other. That also goes for words that originally had /”Ixa/ which also became
[“i:.@] as in <bîan>. 

Dan

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Mills
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:43 PM



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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> >>> Spellyans at kernowek.net

> >>> http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net

> >>>

> >>>

> >>

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> >>

> >

> >

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> 

 

 

 

_____________________________________

Dr. Jon Mills,

School of European Culture and Languages,

University of Kent

 

 

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