[Spellyans] cùsul

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Mon Feb 2 08:17:37 GMT 2009


Michael very kindly bought me a copy of George's Gerlyvrik in  
Lostwithiel
and I have been examining it with some interest.

My attention was drawn to the two entries
kusul 'advice' and kusulya 'advise'.
In these two etyma, apparently, the first <u> is to be pronounced [u]  
and the second
is [y]. There is no way of telling that the identical graph
bears two differing values in both these words.
It would seem that these two items are further examples in KK of a  
failure to
achieve the "phonemic perfection" claimed for the orthography.
That, however, is a detail.

More importantly, I notice that the pronunciation given for kusul and  
kusulya
has a voiced sibilant [z] for the <s> in both kusul and kusulya.
I wonder whether this can really be justified.

The word is derives from Latin consilium and one would
expect the reflex of Latin -ns- in Cornish to be [s] rather than [z].
The scribes of traditional Cornish seemed to believe that
the segment was voiceless. Look at the following examples:

ADVICE
Cucell a Nice 'the Council of Nicea' SA 65a
cussyllyow (plural) CW 627

ADVISE
cussyllyough PC 1807
y cussylyaf RD 569
cossyllya CW 670
cossyllyas CW 771.

These spellings seem to suggest that the sound was [s] rather than [z].

Neil's orthography writes <cussel>, cf. Cussel an Tavaz.
Which closer to the pronunciation than KK <kusul>. Dan's dictionary has
kusul/cusul and kusulya/cusulya for the SWF and in both cases he  
suggests that the medial
<s> is to be pronounced [z]. This pronunciation is presumably  
inherited from KK (and UC) and is probably not
to be recommended. KS writes <cùssul> and <cùsulya> and pronounces both
as they are spelt, i.e. with a voiceless [s].

Nicholas

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