[Spellyans] ragtho, rygthy

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Thu Nov 18 09:13:13 GMT 2010


It’s a bit sad that I can only be seen as arguing from “our side of the fence” when I accept the dogma that that nowyth should be spelt with final <th> rather than <dh>, despite the fact that the one scholar who heard and recorded living traditional Cornish wrote nowydh, neụedh and neụydh.

Easy dialogue would, of course, be if I were to say “of course Michael you are write, how stupid of me even to bring it up and doubt your word”. 

Sorry, I don’t work like that. 

As far as nowyth and unstressed final [ð] ~ [θ] are concerned I can only imagine three possible scenarios: a) e dump the distinction between <dh> and <th> entirely and write <th> only

; b) we standardise the theory that the reflex of OC /ð/ was word-finally voiced in stressed, but unvoiced in unstressed syllables, despite some evidence that this may not have been the case; c) we look at the textual spellings and at the few writers who actually distinguished [ð] and [θ] at all, and do so in all positions and formulate appropriate pronunciation rules.

 

You obviously favour b), I favour c). 

 

The latter has two distinct advantages:

1)      a speaker of RC can derived his/her preferred pronunciation from the spelling;

2)      a speaker of RC will know how to form and recognise derivatives (nowodhow, nowedhys etc.);  

 

I argue in favour of nowydh in the SWF because it was decided to show <dh> in this position and nowyth is inconsistent in this respect. I would rather have <dh> consistently represented and devoice it by rule than have a pick and mix solution, especially when the textual evidence is in its favour. Nowyth was decided upon as a compromise, an appeasement to those who wanted to show the theory of final devoicing in the spelling. 

Dan

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Everson
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 11:17 PM



“On 17 Nov 2010, at 21:23, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

 

> Michael - Dan KNOWS that it isn't good enough.  He's having to work within the SWF spec. as it stands.  He is on OUR side of the debate.  Nonetheless, we can take no definite action until 2013.  Don't  alienate Dan, for Heaven's sake!  He's one of our biggest assets!

 

Craig - Please don't censure me, or censor me. This is part of a dialogue. I responded to things Dan said, and I expressed various opinions of my own. Dialogue is not always "easy". 

 

Having said that, to respond to your own comment, I would say that Dan's suggestion that nowyth be changed to nowydh does not rank as a view that is shared by "our side of the debate".” 

 

 

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