[Spellyans] SWF questionable wordforms

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Mon Sep 8 16:16:28 IST 2008

Dhewgh whei lowena oll!


As I was looking through the SWF document there are a number of word forms
for which I would like to suggest alternatives:



SWF: besyes (pl.) of bys ~ bes finger 


The SWF plural would suggest a pronunciation **[“bEzj at s], but Lhuyd shows
bÿzîas [b@”zi:@s]. I believe the SWF should follow Lhuyd here and write



SWF: diwes (n.), drink                         


We have discussed this word here before and I remain sceptical that this is
correctly reconstructed. If the Cornish word form were a direct cognate to
Welsh diod and Breton died, we would expect Cornish *dies. This does not
occur. We have deuaz (Lh), dewes (WB). I should suggest, at least as a
variant, SWF *dewes.



SWF: diwotti ~ diwotty (n.), pub                                      -


Following the above argument, this word might be spelled *dewotti ~
*dewotty; that is if one wishes to use this reconstructed word rather than
the attested and authentic tavern.



SWF: dyski ~ dysky (vbn.), learn                     


Forms with <y> are frequently attested in the Middle Cornish texts, but <e>
occurs as well. <E> is also attested in Late Cornish. I suggest a variant
SWF deski ~ desky be added.



SWF: deskydna (vbn.), descend


The reconstructed diyskynna appears to have been contracted in Middle
Cornish already (dyskynnough in OM). Also, both WS deskidniaz and CW skidnya
show that the verbal noun ending may have been –ya rather than –a. Perhaps
this can be added. I would suggest SWF *dyskynnya (or maybe *d’yskynnya)
with a later Middle Cornish or Late Cornish varian *deskydnya or *‘skydnya
for short.




SWF: dybri ~ dybry (vbn.), eat


Forms with both <e> and <y ~ i> occur in both MC and LC (debbri, dibri Lh.).
Perhaps the SWF should allow the variants debri ~ debry. 




SWF: unnweyth (adv.), once


The double <nn> in SWF unnweyth seems unnecessary. First of all since the
vowel <u> would be interpreted as short before <nw> and second, because
there is no pre-occluded form in LC (eneth NB). It seems to me that *unweyth
may be a more appropriate SWF spelling.




SWF: falladow (n.), failure                 falladow, faladow (MC)


The SWF specification on p.18 states: “Double consonants may only be written
in stressed syllables, including initial elements in compound words like
pednseythen ‘week-end’, which receive secondary stress.”


Thus this word should probably be spelled *faladow in the SWF. This is also
an attested spelling (BK).




SWF: gorthuher (n.), evening


Lhuyd’s spelling gÿdhiühar indicates that the spelling <dh> may be more
appropriate: gordhuher;




SWF: Kernewek (n., adj.), Cornish   


This word is Nance’s reconstruction. The <ew>+vowel does not appear to be
correct. The Middle and Late Cornish attestations show <ow>+vowel, <û>+vowel
or <oo>+vowel. Now there is a set of lexical items in Cornish that has
earlier <ew> that later becomes <ow>, as in clewes => clowes. Such words do
not develop into [“u:@] as the words with old <ow> do, such as lowen and
Jowan. Both end up with Late Cornish <ûa>, just like Kernûak (Lh). This word
does not seem to be the direct cognate to Welsh Cernyweg and Breton
Kerneveg, but a new formation based on Kernow + -ek. It seems the consistent
SWF spelling ought to be Kernowek with an earlier pronunciation [kEr”nOUwEk]
and a later [k at r”nu:@k].  




SWF: lyther (n.), letter        


A Late Cornish variant lether ought to be added.




SWF: lyver (n.), book                         


A Late Cornish variant lever ought to be added.




mires (vbn.), look                                meres (BM), meras (PA, TH,
CW)                                    + var. meres


Owing to the frequency of spellings with <e> in this word, an SWF variant
meres ought to be permitted.




SWF: niver (n.), number                      never (WB), niver (Lh)
+ var. never


Because of Late Cornish never, a variant never ought to be permitted.
Perhaps the main form ought to by spelt nyver.




SWF: skrifa ~ scrifa (vbn.), write                      


Owing to the frequency of spellings with <e> in this word, an SWF variant
skrefa ~ screfa ought to be permitted.




yskydna (vbn.), ascend                    skydnya (CW) “descend”
drop var. 


Because the later Middle Cornish form skydnya means “descend” rather than
ascend, this variant ought to be dropped, or rather assigned to di-yskynnya
~ dyskynnya.




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