[Spellyans] i ~ y

Jon Mills j.mills at email.com
Wed Feb 4 16:22:52 GMT 2009


<Th> and <dh> as used in all Revived Cornish orthographies follows the distribution of these graphemes in Robert Williams (1865) Lexicon Cornu-Britannicum. Williams (1865) based his distribution of <th> and <dh> partly on Lhuyd (1707). But for the many items not found in Lhuyd's Archaeologia, or for which Lhuyd gave alternate forms, Williams (1865) followed Welsh. It was for this reason that Whitley Stokes (1869: 138) criticised Williams (1865) dictionary, saying "Mr. Williams has throughout his Lexicon been misled by Welsh analogy."
Jon


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hewitt, Stephen" <s.hewitt at unesco.org>
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] i ~ y
> Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2009 16:53:15 +0100
> 
> I am bound to agree with Jon Mills. I find Michael's statement:
> 
> > Revived Cornish is the Cornish of language learners and comes with  
> > the errors that L2 learners make.
> 
> an astonishing admission that the real aim of this list is not 
> primarily to ascertain the phonological system of Cornish at given 
> stages of its history and attempt to codify that orthographically 
> using only authentic graphemes attested in the historical corpus. 
>  From what I have seen, I am not certain that this is entirely 
> feasible, but I certainly find it an interesting linguistic 
> exercise, and one which ought to shed much light on the history of 
> the language.
> 
> To get back to the /th/ ~ /dh/ problem, in Llawlyfr Cernyweg Canol, 
> the only small anthology of historic texts I have to hand, there 
> are very numerous instances of <th> being used for etymological 
> /dh/, as we all know, and fewer, but still regular instances of 
> <ȝ> (~<z>) being used for etymological /th/. When <th> corresponds 
> th /th/ and <ȝ> (~<z>) to /dh/, one might imgagine that that was 
> the result of a certain orthographical tradition from an earlier 
> period, when the /th/ ~ /dh/ distinction undoubtedly existed; the 
> frequent use of the "wrong" graphemes, however, suggests to me that 
> confusion may have set in, most likely following a merger of the 
> two phonemes. I do not know the answer, but I am certain that this 
> is a serious linguistic question about the phoneme inventory of 
> Cornish from at least BM on.
> 
> If ascertaining the historical facts about the language is not what 
> this list is really about, please forgive me for having raised what 
> appears to be an awkward question.
> 
> Steve Hewitt
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net
> [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net]On Behalf Of Michael Everson
> Sent: 04 February 2009 16:27
> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] i ~ y
> 
> 
> On 4 Feb 2009, at 15:10, Jon Mills wrote:
> 
> > Revived Cornish is the Cornish of language learners and comes with  
> > the errors that L2 learners make.
> 
> Yes, like "yn whir".
> 
> > I do not hold with the view that 'this or that usage may not concur  
> > with what is attested in the corpus of traditional Cornish but its  
> > what we do now, so its okay'. By such a standard, any common  
> > solecism could be said to be good Revived Cornish. We all make  
> > errors when we learn a second language. We should admit that they  
> > are errors and try to improve.
> 
> 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?
> 
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
> 
> 
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>



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


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