[Spellyans] a denewen "aside"

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Thu Feb 11 15:19:00 GMT 2010

On 11 Feb 2010, at 14:35, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

>> “The scribal tradition is not some sort of grab-bag. "Ooh, it's there, it's automatically suitable". It is only one part of the suite of things that have to be taken into consideration.”
> Yes, and if you want to apply SWF rules, then the KK form, like it or not, is the default. Is there are a rule in KS that the UC(R) form is default?

No, Dan, there isn't, but neither do we spend our days reading Ken's dictionary and studying his etymologies. (Please drop the antagonistic tone you've got here. You may not intend it, but it is coming across that way.)

I do not mind -- indeed, I thank you for -- your finding a word like this one and bringing it to our attention, but you can't fault us for not checking every word we write against a Kebmyn dictionary. PLEASE ALSO NOTE that many spellings changed from Gerlyver Kres to Gerlyvrik, and many spellings have changed from Gerlyvrik to the new Gerlyver Meur. And George has changed them silently.

> “Consider "one", which is attested onan, onen, onyn, onon, and probably onun and onin as well. (No, I didn't check.) Evidently "onyn" is most frequent, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the right one to choose.”
> Nor does it mean that <onen> IS the right one to choose.
> Middle Cornish (PA, Ordinalia, BM, BK, TH, SA, CW) attestations:
> <onan> 49
> <onen> 9
> <onyn> 88
> <onon> 9
> <onin> 0
> <onun> 0

We didn't choose "onen". It was chosen by early revivalists, and because it is very widely known throughout Cornwall, we have chosen not to re-spell this word. 

> The Celtic derivative of *oino- “one” with the extension *oinâno- meaning “alone, personally” can be inferred from OIr oénán, Breton unan and Welsh hunan. Since one of the rules of the SWF is to go by the etymological vowel one would have to check the etymology and the likeliest development in Cornish, e.g. argue that late SW Brit. *uˈnân became Prim.C *oˈnøːn and OC *onen (by accent shift and un-rounding). In any case the VC unfortunately doesn’t give us an OC form and the earliest attestations are in PA and are onan or onon.

Yes, yes, but it is schwa now, and well-established within the Revival and without it as "onen"; we prefer not to change this because we do not wish to cause confusion amongst non-Revivalists. 

The County Council has also not changed it, and very likely for the same reason.

> “Of course we have rejected KK's "onan" for a variety of reasons, the chief of which is that "onen" is very widely traditional throughout Cornwall already.”
> A legitimate reason, no doubt. SWF it is not.

No, it is a derogation from the SWF taken for a specific reason. But you knew that. KS is the SWF with a number of derogations applied in order to address certain problems. 

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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