[Spellyans] Rules for the apostrophe

janicelobb at tiscali.co.uk janicelobb at tiscali.co.uk
Wed May 19 16:39:53 BST 2010

Type ANYTHING apart from a space before your apostrophe, then delete it, or put the space in after you've typed the apostrophe! It's OK for all you Middle Cornish users - those of us who only use Late Cornish will have to learn Middle Cornish just so that we know where to put the apostrophes.

----Original Message----

From: daniel at ryan-prohaska.com

Date: 19/05/2010 13:24 

To: "Standard Cornish discussion list"<spellyans at kernowek.net>

Subj: Re: [Spellyans] Rules for the apostrophe

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

A “6” quotation mark at
the beginning of a word can be written by typing both quotation marks ‘’ and
then deleting the first ’. Bit complicated, but it works.



Michael Everson

Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 12:00

I have formulated "best practice" rules for the
apostrophe. These rules are typographic in nature. If these rules are followed,
typography will always be correct. If they are not followed (and currently the
SWF spec does not), the 6-shaped ‘ single
quote can be guaranteed to
be inserted where the correct 9-shaped ’ apostrophe
is desired.


Evertype implement these rules in our publications; I have
proposed them to the SWF Corpus Committee.

The apostrophe is an important part of Cornish
orthography. It often indicates the elision of a vowel, as in dha’gas (< dha agas), pandr’yw (< pandra
yw), or dhodh’ev (< dhodha ev). In order to ensure good
typography, it is best not to
leave a space before or after an apostrophe. If after, as in
*dhodh’ ev, the trailing
apostrophe may be confused with a final single quotaton mark; if before, as in
*dhodh ’ev, the burden is on the
writer to ensure that the apostrophe goes the right direction (that is, that it
looks like a 9 ’ rather
than a 6 ‘). Much “helpful”
word-processing software will turn an apostrophe after a space into a left
single “smart quote”, as in *dhodh ‘ev,
and this is an unsightly error. The rule “don’t use a space on either side of
an apostrophe” will help ensure better typography in Cornish. (In poetry and
similar contexts the apostrophe may be written conventionally, however, so long
as care in taken in typesetting.) 

It is, therefore, a good typographic to use the
apostrophe conventionally after (and
not before) the verbal
particle th in the
colloquial register, e.g. th’erof vy (yth esof in the literary register).
This is an orthographic convention, not an error; ’th erof vy is not “more correct”, and
the leading apostrophe leads to the *‘th erof
vy trouble just described. it is not necessary to insist that
the apostrophe only appear in the place where the vowel is dropped.
Synchronically, there is no dropped vowel in th'erof vy. It should not be recommended to just leave
the th on its own, as it
is in effect a bound morpheme (nobody says just [θ] by itself). Again, when in
combination with quotation marks, it is easier for software to write “Th’erof vy ow tos” (with correct
shapes) than it is to write “’Th erof vy
ow tos”.

Indeed it is not
necessary to mark where a RMC vowel has been dropped. If you
say th'erof vy tos, write it:
it is silly to try to write th’erof vy ’
tos or th’erof vy ’tos with
an apostrophe standing in for an elided ow.
Similarly, there is no reason to
write geno’why or genow’why, since these are pronounced
identically to genowgh why:
it is simply a reading rule that at a word boundary [x#ʍ]
reduces to [ʍ].
(An exception might be reasonable in poetry, or in reported speech in a novel
where the spoken dialect of a character
needs to be emphasized in contradistinction to the dialect of other
characters.) Similarly, there is no reason to
"shorten" the verbal particle ow to o’, or to write th’ero’vy instead of th’erof vy.

One strange feature of other orthographies of
Revived Cornish is that dha was
combined with agan, agas, and aga differently from the way it was combined with other
prepositions. The SWF should regularize ha’gan ‘and
our’, na’gan ‘nor
our’, a’gan ‘of
our’, re’gan ‘by
our’, y’gan ‘in our’
and dha’gan ‘to
our’, (not dh’agan). 

Because the apostrophe is used quite frequently in
Cornish, it can be recommended that
“double quotation marks” be used for quoted speech, and ‘single quotation
marks’ for citations within quoted speech. This is advantageous in terms of legibility,
because double quotation marks are more easily distin guished from the
apostrophe. The choice should remain with the writer, 



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://kernowek.net/pipermail/spellyans_kernowek.net/attachments/20100519/824ac645/attachment.html>

More information about the Spellyans mailing list