[Spellyans] gwiryoneth

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Fri Nov 19 14:44:36 GMT 2010


  _____  

From: nicholas williams
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 10:27 AM



“Ef 'he' and geneff 'with me' would have been a good idea, perhaps.

The only trouble is that final f would be pronounced as [f]. Some UC speakers make this mistake.”

 

Yes, potential mispronunciation would be possible, but I believe this could be remedied by careful teaching and pronunciation guidance. The other possibility is to write <v> in stressed syllables and <f> as an umbrella graph in unstressed syllables. 

Your solution of <ef> v. <geneff> again means that you are shoving your personal theory of Cornish voiceless : voiced opposition down people’s throats. I would think that an umbrella-graph solution would be more inclusive. 

 

“As for dh/th, I prefer to interpret the variation as similar to that of k/g, p/b, f/v rather than some rather ad hoc pausa/allegro construct. We don't seem to have any other alternation of this kind in Cornish.”

 

There was no distinctive opposition of /g/ : /k/, or /b/ : /p/in unstressed or stressed final position in the native and assimilated vocabulary. There was with /ð/ : /θ/. This is perhaps why it might have been retained.  

 

“We should also remember that Lhuyd apparently never actually visited the far west of Cornwall where the language was most spoken. According to Derek Williams' map in Prying into Every Hole and Corner Lhuyd did not visit anywhere further west than Camborne.

 

Lhuyd spent between three and four months in Cornwall. Most of the material in AB was garnered from manuscripts and lists sent him. Which he then collected and edited in Oxford.

 

Lhuyd clearly did not understand Cornish syntax and makes the most elementary mistakes in his Cornish preface. He clearly also often assumed that Cornish was the same as Welsh. Look for example of his treatment of the autonomous forms of the verb in Cornish where he gives us such bizarre forms as:

 

Ez yzhiz a'n henual 'We are called' 

Henuassiz vi 'I had been called'

Henuer di 'Be thou named' AB: 247ab.

 

Such forms are figments of the Cambrian imagination. They have no support at all in the Cornish texts. I suspect that some at least of his phonological representations are similarly imaginary. 

Nicholas”

 

So now we basically dismiss anything Lhuyd has written as suspect. Fine. If it suits a personal theory, so be it. If it doesn’t Lhuyd is gladly brought back into service. I don’t agree with this approach. I’m all for being critical of the sources, but in this dh/th issue, I cannot help but remain doubtful.

Dan

 

On 2010 Du 19, at 08:19, Owen Cook wrote:

“On a not totally unrelated note, I would really like to see a return to the use of final <f> for /v/, final <ff> for /f/, which I thought was one of the most elegant features of an earlier incarnation of KS.”

 

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