[Spellyans] ragtho, rygthy

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Fri Nov 19 00:54:19 GMT 2010


From: nicholas williams
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 10:59 PM

“[s] falls rather outside this question. It is not a fricative.

I don't believe that Lhuyd ever head diuedh. I believe the word was either dyweth or dywe':”


I know you believe it is, but Lhuyd writes final <dh> several times and at that in the text you argued yourself was the one he transcribed from actually hearing it. I don’t buy it. I believe he heard [ˈdɪʊəð] in connected speech and [ˈdɪʊəθ] in pausa. This is what Lhuyd’s transcription shows. 


“An Duah an dridga Chaptra a Genisis Kerew

An Duah a an bozvevah Chaptra a Matthew Kerew”


I don’t doubt that there were speakers who dropped /ð/ entirely, just as they dropped /v/ in this position.


“Notice also that JBoson writes:


Pader an Arleth.

An Taz ny es en Neu. Benigas vo goz Hanou; goz Glasgar doz; goz Bonogath vos gureys en Aor,

pykar en Neu. Ro dha ni hydhou bara ny peb Dydh, Gava dha ny a gan Kam, pykar der govva ny,

neb es Kama erbyn ny, en antal ny na dro, byz Gwitha ny ves a Droag, Rag goz es a Miternans; an

Haesder ha an Spladn, Bounaz heb diuath. Amen.”


diuath. Pausa. Amen.


I find no <dh> spellings for bonogath ~ bolungeth ~ blonogath ate all and Tonkin/Pryce’s volyndzhedhek may be an invention. Perhaps this word always had /θ/ in Cornish. 


“I.e. with th after unstressed vowels in both cases.


This is also borne out by Tregear's spelling dewethfa (TH 22a, TH 31a). This resembles the spelling of the English

word fethfull 'faithful' at TH 8.”


No. Tregear does not distinguish between voiced and voiceless th. He spells them alike. How about dalathvas (45a) then with expected voiceless [θf]. Or dowethva in CW 2? Or diberthva in CW 84? Voiced or voiceless… we don’t know, because the scrbes didn’t distinguish. The only one who did was Lhuyd. 


“And compare JBoson's

Mar menta moaz heb dywath dho bew

Gwitha dek gurhemminadow Dew.

Here th is voiceless and dh is voiced.”


Do you really suggest that th in dywath and dh in dho would have been separately articulated? 


“Or compare Pryce's

Heb dalathe na duathe — Without beginning or end.

Same final segment -athe. Dalathe certainly contains a voiceless final. So I assume does duathe.”


Pryce is extremely unreliable. See also the similar phrase in CW above.


“Or look at Pender's:


Me rig fanja guz Lether zithen lebma, buz nag erra termen dem de screffa du straft arta:

Rag nag ez buz lebban duath dem dro d’an hollan kear, maras tha Dieu tha augutti ull gwerres; ma

owne du vee ma duath do nisau blethan dro d’an Hern, nages prize veeth es moase whath

ragt’angi; an hern gwave vedn geele droeg d’an hern have, rag ma dro da deux mill Hosket whath

in Falmeth, gwerres ha de boas gwerres; ha mouns screffa inna warbedden ni.

Memto Orlenna {Na Gwitha Hern ree pell

{Ken Gwarra; rag prijse da eu gwell

{Adheworth Newlyn, e’n Blew Paul,

on 22ves mys Est, 1711”


Yes, and I see he writes blethan, too…


“The group which we spell dhv is usually <thv> in Tregear, i.e. in gothvas, esethva, wethvas.

Similarly clathva, lathva occur in TH. Whereas dallathfas has thf. 

I take it that dewethfa and clathva have different consonant clusters, the first being voiceless and the second voiced.

In which case dewethfa is voiceless; and this is because the final segment in the simplex deweth is voiceless.”


See dalathvas above (TH 45a).


“George spells the word for 'pity' as truedh. But Lhuyd doesn't:

Nag ez triuath veth do vi — I do not at all pity AB: 244c.”


John Boson spells it triuadh although Lhuyd whose writing Boson knew write triụath. Surely he wrote what he heard…


“And compare the following two englynyon from Lhuyd's lament for William III 


Lavar lemmyn ha Dew pyza

Rhag Gwlaz Kernow, triwath gomera:

Hi thir dho gwitha hai hredzianz dha.


An Mâhtern William an byzma eskaraz:

Re vâz dhan dôr Dew nêv ai kemeraz:

Kemerez nei keffryz dhoy triwath, hai râz.


The first example occurs before a consonant and the second in pausa. Tells little, really. 


“Notice also how deceptive Lhuyd's final <dh> is:

"Permutation of Letters in the modern Cornish. . . I find dh in the Termina

     tion changed into r; As +Me-|nedh. . . now mener. But this happens very rar

     ely" AB: 231a. So he wrote menedh, though he heard mener.



Thanks for these examples, but their not entirely convincing. Doubt remains. It’s quite possible <dh> or even /ð/ had many realisations. We also know it was often pronounced [d] initially.










On 2010 Du 18, at 21:03, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

See Lhuyd’s tavaz and diuedh.



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