[Spellyans] An Abecedary Kernowek

Ken MacKinnon kenmackinnon at enterprise.net
Mon Mar 30 16:49:57 IST 2009

Sounds like John of  Trevisa ?

-an Ken ken

(Prof) Ken MacKinnon,
Ivy Cottage, Ferintosh,
The Black Isle, by Dingwall,
Ross-shire  IV7 8HX
Tel: 01349 - 863460
E-mail: kenmackinnon at enterprise.net

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Everson" <everson at evertype.com>
To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] An Abecedary Kernowek

> Oh, what fun!
> Summe writen .g.h. in summe wordis, whiche wordis ben writen of summe 
> o3ere with a yogh þat is figured þus .3.; as sum man writeþ þus  þese 
> termes, doughter, thought, where anoþer writiþ hem þus,  dou3ter, thou3t. 
> But for as miche as þe carect yogh, þat is to seie . 3., is figurid lijk a 
> zed, 3erfore alle þe wordis of þis table þat  biginnen wiþ þat carect ben 
> set in zed, which is þe laste lettre of  þe a. b. c.
> (that gives zed a Middle English pedigree).
> Browsing the online Middle English dictionary I found lots of things.  No 
> complete abecedary, but
> On 30 Mar 2009, at 13:08, Owen Cook wrote:
>> Michael wrote:
>>> I had a chat offline with Eddie and so far he and I still think the 
>>> best run is:
>>> â, bê, cê, dê, ê, ef, gê, hâ, î, jê, kê, ell, èm, èn,  ô, pê, cû, èr, 
>>> èss, tê, û, vê, wê, ex, yê, zê
> Alphabet is "abece", so that gives us a, be, ce
> In the Ormulum de occurs
> In Titus D.17 at least the following occur:
> em, en, o, pe, cu, er, es, te, u, ix, wi
> Doble W occurs in 1465.
> "wi" there is "y". Conceivably "wy" could stand for Cornish  [wiː]~[wəi].
> Interestingly, but irrelevantly to Cornish, is the use of the name  thorn 
> for both þ and ð in the Codex Titus D.17:
> þ: thorn; Ð: thorn; ð: thorn..Iste tres þ Ð ð littere thorn sunt  nominate 
> et ponuntur pro th, et cetera
> Also the letter wynn is named wen in Titus D.17
> On the other in the Stowe 57 abecedarium, wen, ðet, and þorn are  used. Is 
> this for proper wynn ƿ or w?
> ====
> OED confirms the earlier Latin name of h was "ha"
> OED says of K: "Although now generally pronounced (keɪ), the 
> pronunciation (kiː) was formerly also current."
> OED says of Q: "Latin kū (probably c200 A.D. in classical Latin,  though 
> explicit evidence is lacking). quu is found in early Middle  English. The 
> modern English pronunciation /kjuː/ probably reflects  derivation of the 
> letter name immediately < French."
> OED says of Y:   The name of the letter in the Romanic languages,  ‘Greek 
> i’ (e.g. F. i grec, Sp. i griega), and the Ger. name  ipsilon, It. 
> ipsilon, -onne (‡yssilonne), and Pg. ypsilon, preserve  the fact of its 
> Greek origin. The English name wy (waɪ) is of obscure  origin. The 
> earliest available English evidence is in the MS. of the  Ormulum, col. 
> 109 (l. 4320), where ƿi is written, app. in the first  hand (c 1200), over 
> ẏ, the fifth letter of the name IESOẎS. Nothing  certain is known about 
> the historical relationship of the English name  to the name vı or uı 
> attributed to ‘the Greek y’ in the  grammatical treatise (a1150) contained 
> in the Edda, or to the ui or  gui of some OF. systems. Gawin Douglas 
> rhymes Y with sky (see quot.  1513 in sense 2 below); other early 
> references to the name are: 1573  BARET Alv., Y hath bene taken for a 
> greeke vowel among our latin  Grammarians a great while, which me thinke 
> if we marke well we shall  finde to be rather a diphthong: for it 
> appeareth to be compounded of u  and i, which both spelled togither 
> soundeth as we write Wy. 1580  BULLOKAR Amendm. Orthogr. 8 The olde name 
> of :y: (which is wy).
> OED says that zed, zedde are both attested as far back as the mid 1400s.
>>> ... though whether cû or kyû is better remains uncertain.
>> Rather than cû, I'd float the suggestion cu. RMC speakers would say  this 
>> as [ky:], while RLC speakers would make it [kIw]. This makes a  happy 
>> medium between the French and English names, and is consistent  with 
>> Cornish phonetics. For much the same reason, the name of u  should be 
>> u -- thus [y:] and [Iw] -- rather than û.
> Your [kIw] is my [kiːu] and neither are English [kjuː] which will be  the 
> L1 form of course. However as the OED says, if this came from  French, it 
> would have been [ky], so "cu" would seem to be  unobjectionable.
>> I would prefer hâ (or hâch) and kâ to hê and kê. Though it's our 
>> inheritance, having most of the consonants end with ê is  impractical; it 
>> creates difficulties when spelling things over the  phone, etc, so a bit 
>> of variation is all to the good. For the same  reason, zàd or zèd would 
>> be better than zê, and jâ or jòd would  be better than jê.
> Well, "ef" and "ess" are worse over the phone. I wouldn't object to hâ 
> and kâ; intersting that the OED says that [kiː] was formerly used in 
> English. That would be ky = dog of course.
>> Wê and yê seem a little odd to me. For the first, I'd suggest  either 
>> dobel-vê (dobel-u?) or waw; for the second, î grew or  ypsilon or why.
> I guess "dobyl û" would be "sane". Regarding Y, as noted above "wy"  would 
> be "historical" in terms of a potential borrowing from Middle  English. 
> Both of these would be departures from other uses in Revived  Cornish, 
> though "... dobyl û, ex, wy, zèd" is a good match for L1  practice.
> Other opinions, please.
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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