[Spellyans] i ~ y

Jon Mills j.mills at email.com
Wed Feb 4 15:45:53 GMT 2009

"Michael Everson" <everson at evertype.com> wrote,
> Yes, like "yn whir".


> So... you don't care whether Revived Cornish has two phonemes /θ/ 
> or / ð/ or not? You're happy to accept them both as they are, or 
> abolish  one or the other of them based on.... what?

The evidence from Lhuyd suggests that in 1700 /θ/ and /ð/ were separate phonemes. It is far less certain what phonemes Middle Cornish might have had. If a phonemic orthography is the goal, then Late Cornish as recorded by Lhuyd might be the best basis. It is possible to conjecture many alternative plausible phonemic inventories for Middle Cornish. It would be possible to regularise Middle Cornish orthography and allow Cornish speakers to pronounce it according to their preferred phonemics. However, whilst we might suggest a pronunciation, we should not prescribe a given pronunciation for a word when its historic pronunciation is at best conjectural.

Dr. Jon Mills,
School of European Culture and Languages,
University of Kent

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