[Spellyans] cùsul

Hewitt, Stephen s.hewitt at unesco.org
Mon Feb 2 08:25:33 GMT 2009


I know "Cornish isn't Breton", but in Breton (etymological and interdialectal orthographies) <kusul, kusuliañ>, ("unified" orthography) <kuzul, kuzuliañ> "advise" is pronounced /'kyzyl, ky'zylja/, with an /y/ vowel in both syllables and a voiced /z/, despite the derivation from Latin "consilium" or French "conseil". Another word in which such voicing takes place is (Treger dialect, not generally included in dictionaries) <kousantiñ> /ku'zãnti/ "accept, agree" < Fr. "consentir".
 
Steve Hewitt

-----Original Message-----
From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net]On Behalf Of nicholas williams
Sent: 02 February 2009 09:18
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: [Spellyans] cùsul


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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