[Spellyans] Goat

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Tue Apr 7 13:47:17 IST 2009

Aside: What software do you use to send mail, Dan? Because it sure  
does screw up nested quoting in a non-standard way.

On 7 Apr 2009, at 13:04, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

>>> “Now this is not in the spec but Trond’s ruling was that the KK  
>>> form is to be taken as the basis and if it is found linguistically  
>>> faulty or inauthentic, or in violation of the SWF specification,  
>>> changed.
>> What document are you citing? I have seen no such document.”
> Not a document, but Trond’s ruling as arbiter. If there is no  
> etymological vowel to follow because of epenthesis then we get  
> Trond’s plan B. Albert said he explained it several times in the AHG  
> sessions and says that Andy Climo was not happy with this: Look at  
> the KK reconstruction, check for authenticity, correct if necessary,  
> keep the rest. Trond: "Only deviate from KK where linguistic  
> authenticity necessitates it."

I think that it was a profound linguistic error on the part of  
Trosterud to accept George's vocalic reconstructions for unstressed  
vowels as the basis for the SWF. So many of them have been shown to be  
incorrect that the default position should certainly not be "correct  
unless proved otherwise".

Where do you find ""Only deviate from KK where linguistic authenticity  
necessitates it." written down?

>> It is merely accidental that we have no MC "gavar" attested. Unless  
>> you posit a linguistic and orthographic change gavar > gaver >  
>> gavar (as I mentioned previously).”
> No change – a choice. We have two forms to choose from. It’s  
> accidental that we haven’t got *gavar in Middle Cornish? That  
> doesn’t meangaver is wrong, or should be avoided.

In the light of ALL the rest of Revived Cornish it does.

> Be honest at least!

I am.

> You hate the fact that gaver is KK and that this will form will be  
> SWF, despite the authenticity of the form itself.

This is incorrect.
There are **plenty** of forms in KS which are the same as those in KK.
There are **plenty** of forms in KS which are different from those in  
UC and/or UCR.

> You have no qualms whatsoever in changing other forms from UC to KS  
> where it suits your needs and is not KK.

And I have no qualms whatsoever about writing KK's "eu" for UCR's "ue"  

> I really want to move beyond such petty sniping at KK.

I am not sniping. I am looking at an overwhelming preponderance of  
"gavar" and a lack of any real justification for KK's "gaver".

> I feel obliged to follow the SWF specification and Trond’s rulings  
> as arbiter whether I like particular rules or not. I hate the SWF’s  
> <kk> v. <ck> solution. It’s silly, difficult and absurd.

Getting back to KS, we have kept <ck> generally but <kk> in certain  
verbal and adjectival forms. That at least is a principled  
distinction, and indeed one which makes the underlying wordform a bit  
easier to recognize. Do you disagree with that?

> But it is there, unfortunately, and I sincerely hope we can have  
> that changed in 2013. The problem of gaver v. gavar is petty in  
> comparison and not worth getting in a huff about. Both forms are  
> authentic, gaver fits Trond’s explanation on how to proceed – that’s  
> what’s going in the dictionary.

You seem to have special access to Trond's decisions, and it does seem  
that the SWF is dependent on your interpretation of them.

> If you want that changed then perhaps we need to formulate how  
> epenthetic vowels are to be treated in general, whether we spell  
> them <a>, <e> or <o>, orth whether they should follow the stressed  
> vowel.

It seems quite reasonable to follow the stressed vowel. Have you a  
list of words with epenthetic vowels?

> “> “Do you really think George was thinking of the texts when he
> > changed from gavar to gaver? He didn't give a hoot for the texts
> > most of the time. I bet he was thinking of Latin. Not the texts.”
> >
> > I don’t think any of us can say how he came to his decision without
> > asking him.
> It is more likely that he was thinking of Latin caper. It is  
> doubtful that he was thinking of the two attestations in MC.”
> I think you’re assuming too much. You simply don’t know his reasons  
> for writing gaver. It’s OK not to know things and admit to that.

Yes, but given his treatment of "niver" and "lyver" I would be  
surprised not to be right about his "gaver". In any case it seems an  
unmotivated CHANGE from the rest of Revived Cornish.

>> The weight of
>> OCV gauar 1x
>> Lhuyd gavar 2x
>> Borlase gavar 1x gavar môr 1x
>> Williams gavar
>> Jago gaver, gavar (both)
>> Jenner gavar
>> Hal Wyn gavar môr, gaver (both)
>> Nance gavar
>> Williams gavar
>> Gendall gavar
>> Kennedy gavar
>> really does outweigh the two attestations in BM and OM for me,  
>> particularly as we know that there are many spellings in those  
>> texts (map for instance) which are not followed now.”
> See numbers game above. You apply it when it suits you.

Wrong. This is not mere numbers (as the tavas/taves argument is). This  
speaks also to authority. All of those PEOPLE preferred "gavar".

>> “>I can live with that form. It doesn’t have to become my favourite
>> > lexical item and it is definitely not something I want to fight
>> > over, because it’s simply not that important. Personally I find
>> > both gaver and gavar acceptable. Gaver meets the SWF criteria.
>> So does gavar.”
> No, it doesn’t go along with Trond’s plan B. Sorry, but that’s the  
> way it is. Talk to him. I thought you were colleagues. I’m done  
> talking about this etymon.

Where is Trond's Plan B documented?

> It’s one thing if I’m analying the texts for the sake of analysing  
> the texts, or whether I’m trying to put a dictionary together by  
> following a book full of specifications. There is nothing troubling  
> or surprising about this. You know these rules, but you always seem  
> to fly back to square one and pretend that the rules you set up for  
> KS somehow apply to the SWF as a whole. See the issues of <nn> and  
> <mm> automatically alternating with <dn> and <bm>. This is not the  
> case in the SWF, whether we like it or not. Or using the KK form as  
> the basis and correcting it where the evidence against it is strong  
> enough. If gaver weren’t attested, I’d be all for gavar.

Gavar is attested, in OC and LC. You've drawn an arbitrary line,  
accepting only MC evidence (and Anglicized place-names) and ignoring  
other evidence. THAT is what I object to. I think that even with  
Trond's ruling as you put it, there is no reason to omit the OC and LC  
material, which means that you COULD legitimately choose gavar, or  
consider it a tavas/taves word.

If you wanted to.

Your hands are by no means tied.

> But the point is, it is attested, so not only does it meet the SWF  
> criteria, it is also authentic. What’s to discuss. If you prefer  
> gavar, fine, write gavar.

Oh, we shall.

> “> That’s what will be in my SWF dictionary. Whether you believe it is
> > George’s choice or a spelling found in OM and BM or whatever else
> > makes little difference.
> I believe it is your choice and there are good grounds to make a  
> different one.”
> No, it’s not, as I have explained above. Can we leave it at that now?

Did Trond SPECIFY that OC and LC material was to be ignored?

What happened to Tota Cornicitas? The SWF admits OC forms like "ruy"  
and "ruyv" 'king' alongside MC "kyng". So as far as I can see you have  
no reason to reject OC gauar and LC gavar, never mind the rest of RC.

>> So you are saying that -ar would be proscribed in MC? If not, then  
>> it is "MC -er/-ar and LC -ar are ways of writing schwa + r".”
> Yes, or better MC -er ~ -ar and LC -er + -ar are ways to write schwa  
> + r, with a tendency towards -er in MC and -ar in LC.

Re: tendency we might want to count, but I take your point.

>>> This reminds me of the way KKer try to justify oe (OC luit > MC  
>>> los > LC loose etc. against OC nos > MC nos > LC nos).
>> I don't see it as the same at all. In fact it seems to me that one  
>> OUGHT to expect vowel colouring of the kind Eddie mentioned earlier  
>> in sg. gav(a)r and pl. gev(e)r.”
> Yet we find gaver in the texts … so it meets the authenticity  
> criterium. I thought that was something you’re interested in.

We find both gavar and gaver in the texts. OC/MC/LC are texts.

> “> If you want to write gavar, write gavar. I’m bound by SWF rules.
> I think you interpret these very selectively, by ignoring all but  
> two sources for this word. That is not tota Cornicitas, is it?”
> I think the SWF is as tota Cornicitas as it can get.

Evidently not.

> If writing the word for “goat” with and unstressed a for e is so  
> much more preferable, then go ahead and do it. I will not argue  
> about this anymore. It’s just not worth it. If you want to argue  
> about Trond’s rule that KK is the basis for the SWF lexicon, with  
> changes as specified by the rules, then that’s something for the  
> Partnership and the AHG to decide. I didn’t make the rule book, I’m  
> just following it.

This could go on your list of requests for changes in 2013.


Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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