[Spellyans] th/dh

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Fri Nov 19 18:59:02 GMT 2010

On 19 Nov 2010, at 15:09, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> From: nicholas williams
>> “Yes. I did change my mind. The evidence is ambiguous and difficult to evaluate. Jenner, Norris and Williams did not agree. Neither did Jenner agree with Nance. My view in the latest edition of CT seems to me to be the simplest and the structurally most coherent—since it agrees with the alternation in b/p, g/k and v/f. The pausa/allegro distinction is OK for Breton but the main thesis of CT is that Cornish is not Breton and that is why KK is so very mistaken.
>> I don't believe I am going to change my mind again. In CT (first ed.) I wrote eledh, myternedh following Jenner.
>> Not any more.”
> Fine. You’ve changed your position and now you expect the whole Revival to change position with you and reflect your theory orthographically.  

Dan, this is being needlessly hostile. First it begs the question as to whether "the whole Revival" changed to the CT first edition Jennerian choice in the first place. In fact it did not. Then, it ignores that further study of the texts led to a shift before the second edition (1995 recall) and that further study has made the position much clearer. Moreover Nicholas has actually published many examples of this, as did he and I on one of our AHG submissions.

It is odd that you berate Nicholas for having changed his mind. You may find that it is not very difficult to do, if you look at the evidence. Recently, Ken George has changed his mind about final "s" as [ts]. And didn't he abandon "tj" and "dj" early on? And isn't he now abandoning "s" and "j" for "zh"

On has to interpret medieval texts and other texts with low or incipient standardization. Sometimes that interpretation takes into account more than just the marks on paper. Nicholas' point about "thv" and "thf" was well taken, and even if one finds a "thv" in a position where one might otherwise expect "thf", then statistics an help the interpretation. 

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

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