[Spellyans] iw

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Fri Nov 19 21:29:30 GMT 2010

On 16 Nov 2010, at 16:46, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> Since <i> and <y> have been redistributed both in KS and SWF I see little problem with writing <iw>, even if it does not occur in MC. Note that <iu> occurs in Lhuyd though who distinguishes it from <eu> found in etyma that frequently have <yw> in MC. If you can stand the general redistribution of <i> and <y> I don’t see what the problem is bearing with <iw> if it’s useful.

What exactly is it useful for? It is useful for a system which says "pronounce these words [iʊ], and these words [ɪʊ], and those words [ɛʊ]. But we don't have such a distinction in the Revived language. We have [iʊ]~[ɪʊ] (allophonically) and [eʊ]~[ɛʊ] (allophonically). 

Lhuyd's "iụ" is just our "yw" [iʊ]. Sure, in absolute auslaut we use three graphs, but we don't need four. We have -yw, and we have -uw, and we have -u. But that's sufficient for all the distinctions we need to make. We have "dyw" [diʊ] 'two' and "duw" [diʊ] 'god' and "du" [diʊ] 'black'. There's no need for a "diw". 

The distinction between <iw> (which is unattested in Cornish and is justifiable only by Breton <iv>) and <yw> is a fiction. We said this on 17 February 2008 and it is as true today as it was then.

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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