[Spellyans] ragtho, rygthy

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Thu Nov 18 18:03:44 GMT 2010


Both occurrences of noueth and noueτ occur in pausa, before a full stop in §6 and before a comma in §16. As Jon pointed out, this may be the reason for unvoicing. Another frequently occurring word with final <dh> in JCH is SWF diwedh, spelt as follows: 


duadh (§3)            

diwadh (§5)        

dhiuadh (§7)        

diuadh (§9) 

diuedh (§29)             

diuadh (§37)             

diuadh (§46)             


Yes, the spelling dhiuath (§13) also occurs once, but here it is possible to make a pause in speech:

“ha uar an dhiuath e rig dɐz dha Gūn St. Eler”, whereas in the other examples it would be less natural to make a pause. 


I’m not completely against your general theory of final devoicing in unstressed position. I do believe it happened in pausa, but if we show <dh> in Revived Cornish, the speaker has the opportunity to pronounce diwedh or nowydh with [ð] in connected speech before vowels and other voiced consonants and with [θ] in pausa and before voiceless consonants. If we were to write diweth or nowyth, the learner would always say [θ], and this may not be correct. Writing <dh> has the further advantage of more easily recognising derivatives, such as diwedhes, nowodhow, nowedhys etc. As I said, a final-devoicing rule un pause is so easy to formulate, that it outweighs the difficulties the learner might have by spelling <th>. Think of plural forms of the agent suffix <-ydh> and <-ydhyon>; showing final unvoicing would give <-yth> : <-ydhyon>. Michael has placed great emphasis on the fact that vowels in unstressed syllables ought to be spelt according to a predictable pattern for the resurfacing of the stressed vowel when a suffix is added and the stress shifts to the syllable that was unstressed in the simplex. Why does he not apply the same principle with word final [ð]?





From: nicholas williams
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 5:13 PM


Lhuyd writes neuydh, nouydh when transcribing from MSS. What he actually heard appears in  JCH where he writes noueth §6 and an noueT (with a Greek tau, which means <th>) at §16. 


If he had written only neuydh, nowydh, Dan might have a point. Since he often writes nowydh but also noweth we have to ask ourselves why. Nowydh is by false analogy with Welsh. Noweth in JCH is what he heard.




On 2010 Du 18, at 09:13, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

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.


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