[Spellyans] y-umlaut in 'Beunans Meriasek' ?

ajtrim at msn.com ajtrim at msn.com
Fri Nov 21 00:40:45 GMT 2008


I have always assumed (perhaps wrongly) that <ij> was a way of writing <ii>.
This was common practice with Roman numerals: i, ij, iij, iv, v, vj, etc.
Assuming that <i> and <y> were interchangeable, <ij> could also have been written <yy> or <iy>, pronounced like <eei> in English "seeing" (i.e. [i:I]), with the stress on the <i>.

However, the above assumption does not appear to work.
We have the past participles of <plesya>  "please" and <rewlya>  "rule".
This would indicate a sound like <ye> in English "yes" (i.e. [jE]).
So <plesijs> would be a way of writing <plesyes>, and <revlijs> would be a way of writing <rewlyes>, with the stress on the <e> and <ew> respectively.

If <ij> was really <ÿ>, what sound would that have represented?
Is it simply [jE]? - or - is it really [I] and/or indicating that the following <s> is [s] instead of the normal [z]?

In that case, <plesijs> would be a way of writing <plesys>, and <revlijs> would be a way of writing <rewlys>, where my <y> is short.

However, the double vowel <ij> may indicate <ee> in English "see" (i.e. [i:]).
In that case,  <plesijs> would be a way of writing <plesis>, and <revlijs> would be a way of writing <rewlis>, where my <i> is long.

Can we tell from the metre which is right, and where the stress should go?



Regards,

Andrew J. Trim




From: Eddie Climo 
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 5:55 PM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
Subject: [Spellyans] y-umlaut in 'Beunans Meriasek' ?


An idle query: I'm currently reading the e-book edition of Whitley Stokes' edition of Beunans Meriasek, which can be downloaded free of charge from:

  http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=meriasek


An oddity that I've noticed repeatedly is the use of < ij >, as in ll.314-316:


  Ny yv plesijs hag a vyn
  boys revlijs drethogh certeyn
     ha meriasek kekefrys ....



In Dutch, as best I recall, this digraph is used as an alternative for < y umlaut >. Might this be the case here as well, giving us:
  plesijs, revlijs > plesÿs, revlÿs



Eddie Foirbeis Climo
- -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -
Dres ethom akennow byner re bons lyeshes
Accenti non multiplicanda praeter necessitatem




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