[Spellyans] Goat

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Mon Apr 6 14:56:16 IST 2009

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Everson
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 2:57 PM

"On 6 Apr 2009, at 12:47, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> I know. Nance and Williams and Gendall all have gavar."


> And the texts and the place names overwhelmingly have gaver.


Overwhelming? That's a big word. I would use overwhelming when say there are
96 examples of one thing and 11 of another."


There are two attestations of gaver in the Middle Cornish texts. No others.
That's overwhelming.


"I see -ar, -er, and -or."


>>> This is attested in MC. In Lhuyd the -ar means schwa + r. This can  

>>> be shown as gaver as well.


>> Why would it be a good idea to have gaver instead of gavar in the  

>> singular? To me the sg/pl alternation gavar/gever is more sensible."


> Why, if gaver is attested. In other cases you argue in favour of a  

> form that is based on textual attestation. Why is this case  

> different. Just to be different to KK?


What motivation is there to change this from UC, UCR, and RLC? Just to be
like KK? KK is the odd one out here, and there is little justification for
this change."


To be like the texts. The texts have gaver.


"> "> >From the SWF's rule to give the etymological vowel


> That "rule" is most objectionable, because it means "do what Ken  

> George reconstructed in KK" and there is enough wrong with his  

> reconstructions to think twice before accepting any of the holus- 

> bolus. Indeed I doubt the AGH took a considered view on this when  

> they (or Albert and Ben) made this "rule"."


> I do not interpret this rule as meaning "Ken George's reconstruction".


Well I believe you are badly mistaken, because EVERY place where we have
disputes about the vowels in the SWF it is where it is blindly following
George's etymological reconstructions, whether in stressed  or unstressed
syllables. Or where do YOU think these etymological forms are coming from?
they're coming from the Gerlyver Kres, aren't they?"


No, not blindly. I believe we can correct where George is wrong, but it's
silly to differ from him when he's right, just to be different. In my SWF
dictionary I use the forms of the Gerlyver Kres as a base and back-check
against UCR, RLC, UC, LHEB, HPB (both Jackson), and SBCHP (Schrijver).  


">> "> the discussion is irrelevant anyway because it's an epenthetic

>> > vowel anyway, cf. W gafr.


>> Then it isn't an ETYMOLOGICAL -e-, is it?"


> My point entirely, which is why I said the discussion was  

> irrelevant. Since gaver is the attested form in the texts, that's  

> the one I prefer. It suits all our requirements. It shows the  

> pronunciation and is authentic in that we find it spelt thus in  

> traditional Cornish.


Once again, why? George doesn't even give a rationale for changing from -ar
to -er."


I'm not changing from gavar to gaver. I give gaver. It's in the texts. That
there is a change is your interpretation. I believe it should always have
been gaver, as it was in the texts. Why Nance chose gavar, I don't know.


"He cites B gavr, W gafr, and says "N.B. Nance's gavar was influenced by
OldC gavar." Well, so what? What is the rationale for changing from gavar to
gaver? George's say-so? Is there a regular change from -ar to -er from OC to
MC? Schwa is schwa."


You are trying to be different from KK for the sake of being different. That
is just as KK influenced as following it blindly. I don't follow KK blindly.
I try to correct it where I find fault, but I don't bend over backwards to
differ from it where there is a good reason for the given form. In the case
of gaver, KK is correct. The texts are the justification. Thank you. 


"So WHY is George's change FROM Unified Cornish to be followed here?"


I don't know. You will have to ask him. My justification is that it is found
as gaver in OM and BM.


"Moreover the similarity of sg/pl gavar/gever with davas/deves is not
without its attraction."


So what? The unstressed vowel in davas is not epenthetic and this is thus a
different case. Davas is also attested thus in the texts.


">> I remain unconvinced that there are good reasons to change from  

>> gavar/gever to gaver/gever in KS. Jon? Nicholas?"


> What do you mean, change? Is there an established KS spelling of  

> gaver?


There is, as it happens. So the question is not irrelevant."


Fine, but in that case KS will differ from the SWF. And I thought the
motivation was for it to be as close as possible to the SWF.



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