[Spellyans] A little essay for "Penny"
everson at evertype.com
Tue Feb 10 21:41:23 GMT 2009
On the off-chance that it may interest people here. I've said this to
"Penny Squire" (probably Pawl Dunbar).
The recommended phonology of a language (how you should pronounce it)
may be different from what people actually manage, vis à vis training
A recommended phonology which is familiar has a higher likelihood of
attracting successful pronunciation than an unfamiliar one. English
speakers learn to speak Dutch more easily than they learn to speak
Vietnamese, because the underlying phonologies are very similar.
The mainstream phonology of Revived Cornish (spoken by almost all
Cornish speakers) is similar to the phonology of English. Whatever the
phonology of the earliest Middle Cornish may have been, the phonology
of the language certainly changed under the influence of the English
language. It is unlikely that Dolly Pentreath or her contemporaries
were speaking English or Cornish with fortis and lenis consonants;
there is no trace of gemination in the English dialects of Cornwall. A
simple comparison with Ireland (where the Irish language was similarly
replaced) shows that the phonology of the substrate language remains
strong. You only need go to the pub 5 minutes from my house in West
Mayo to hear Gaelic phonology, in the mouths of speakers two
generations or more removed from speaking Irish.
The phonology of Ken George's KK is just too alien for Cornish
learners to assimilate. Burden of proof is on the Kesva to demonstrate
how geminates have taken hold *anywhere*. We say they haven't. If you
say they have, *prove it*. It should be easy for you, should it not?
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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