[Spellyans] th/dh

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Sat Nov 20 11:01:19 GMT 2010

Sorry Nicholas, I didn’t mean to hostile against you – it was probably just a little frustration creeping in because I wasn’t getting through to you. What I meant was, that if your solution is implemented orthographically, Cornish will write final <dh> in stressed syllables and final <th> (for etymological /ð/) in unstressed syllables. Thus your theory is manifested orthographically, basically forcing the Cornish learner to accept it for real because s/he will not know which final <th> in unstressed syllables is etymological /θ/ and which is /ð/. This is fine, of course, for speakers who devoice in this position and for people who believe the phonemic contrast to have been lost in this position. 

For those who don’t, i.e. the speakers who devoice only in pause or don’t devoice etymological /ð/ at all, the orthographic representation of your theory is useless. While the former would be able to read their [ˈdɪʊəθ] as <dyweth> (or <diweth>), they would wonder why the word is thus spelt when saying [pæn ˈɛɾə ˈdɪʊəð ən ˈvlɛðən]. The latter group would be puzzled anyway because they wouldn’t understand why their final [ð] in syllables would be written <dh> in stressed syllables, but <th> in unstressed syllables.  

My solution to write <dh> but devoice by rule is much more inclusive, will give speakers a choice, help the learner make a connection between simplex and derivative. People who generally devoice in final unstressed position can easily do so by rule, speakers who devoice only in pausa and before voiceless consonants can do so by rule and context, people who generally don’t devoice use a reading pronunciation of the orthography. My solution is more inclusive, it is less “dogmatic” (because it doesn’t force one theory upon the speaker), and it is workable. Since <dh> wasn’t used in the MC MSS anyway it is not even less authentic or traditional. 



-----Original Message-----
From: nicholas williams
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 8:54 PM

"There is no need to be snide, Dan. 


On 2010 Du 19, at 18:59, Michael Everson wrote:


>> Fine. You’ve changed your position and now you expect the whole Revival to change position with you and reflect your theory orthographically."  


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