[Spellyans] chi v chy

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed May 5 17:45:57 BST 2010

It might be helpful, at this stage and while time is on our side, to  
list what we believe are the flaws of SWF, and to address each one in  
turn.  Although <chi> is not my preference, as I did point  out (and  
as Dan has noticed), I do not consider it a flaw to be corrected.  It  
is attested (albeit in a low minority of the total), and I can live  
with it.  Others might not agree with that view.

I understand Michael's point that people have houses named in <chy>,  
and the same spelling is to be commonly found on the modern map, but  
the same applies to other place-name elements, too.  Are we to  
recommend that <heyl> be respelt Hayle for the same reason?  Or <logh>  
to become either <loe> or <looe>?

I look more at words such as <diwettha> for <dewetha>.  As almost  
every Cornish speaker pronounces this word the same way, and has done  
since UC was the only choice on offer, why the need for the changes  
away from the traditional spelling?  I confess that I simply did not  
see the point of this.  It was unnecessary and confusing for many.  I  
can imagine people looking at the <tth> and wondering how on earth  
they're supposed to pronounce it, then (whatever the answer) just  
carrying on pronouncing the word as they always have.  Nor did I see  
any point of changing <melyn>, 'mill' to <melin>, and <melen>,  
'yellow' to <melyn>.  Again, it just confuses.

Let's get organised, and get a list of genuine SWF flaws written up.


On 5 Me 2010, at 16:56, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> Michael,
> You said: “There is no justification for preferring them.” Neither  
> Craig, nor Andrew, nor I said that we preferred them. In fact said  
> the exact opposite, that we preferred <chy, ky, why> etc. What Craig  
> rather brought up though, was, that since <chi> and <ki> do occur  
> traditionally, albeit much less frequently, they are to be  
> considered traditional and correct. So, while preferring <chy, ky>  
> there aren’t apparently grounds for rejecting <chi, ki> if this is  
> the majority decision for the SWF.
> Dan
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Michael Everson" <everson at evertype.com>
> Sent: Monday, May 03, 2010 1:49 PM
> > On 3 May 2010, at 04:48, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
> >
> >> I certainly prefer <chy> (& ky, why, hy etc.), but since <chi>  
> etc. do
> >> occur traditionally, I believe they are justified.
> >
> > There is no justification for preferring them.
> >
> > Thousands of homes throughout Cornwall are named CHY -- quite  
> properly.
> >
> > The rationale for -i in stressed monosyllables in the SWF is  
> **NOT** that
> > this is an attested form. It was so that programmatic shifts between
> > SWF/RMC and SWF/RLC could be made. Unfortunately, the situation with
> > monosyllables in final -i~-y is not as simplistic as that -- in  
> fact, the
> > SWF leaks here, and so the convention is not useful.
> >
> > Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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Craig Weatherhill

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