[Spellyans] iw

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sat Nov 20 10:57:25 GMT 2010


On 20 Nov 2010, at 07:53, A. J. Trim wrote:

> I thought that you were recommending <dew> "two" for both masculine and feminine. Has that changed?
> 
> I don't regard the difference as significant but some people believe that there is a real difference between <iw> and <yw>. Perhaps we should recommend that they write their supposed difference as <yu> and <yw> instead.

The difference is marked between <dew> m. and <dyw> f.

There is no evidence in the texts that <iw> and <yw> differ, because there is no <iw> in the texts. 

Pol Hodge gave us notes when he read the proof of the SWF/K version of the second edition of Skeul an Tavas. Here is how the exchange went:

>> iw [iʊ] a sequence of ee in English see and oo in took in rapid succession: liw [liʊ] ‘colour’, piw [piʊ] ‘who’. There is no difference in pro nunciation between iw and uw and yw; you have to learn which words use which spelling. 
> 
> Not true but you are right in reality.
> 
>> yw [iʊ] a sequence of ee in English see and oo in took in rapid succession: byw [biʊ] ‘alive’, pyw [piʊ] ‘to own’. There is no difference in pronunciation between iw and uw and yw; you have to learn which words use which spelling. 
> 
> There is! But in reality most speakers don't bother.

When I see Pol in a week, I will certainly speak to him about this. "Not true but you are right in reality"? "There is a difference but in reality 

That means that there isn't a difference between <iw> and <yw> except in the mind (and not on the tongue) of Ken George, and Pol and the rest of them have been sold a pup. 

Plus since there is no evidence in the texts for the distinction, it *is* true to say that "There is no difference in pronunciation between iw and uw and yw; you have to learn which words use which spelling."

At least Pol is rational enough to see what the reality is. The problem is that he *wants* to follow a theory which doesn't fit the facts of the language. 

Ken George was wrong here, since there is no evidence in the texts AT ALL for this distinction. The AHG was wrong to build in this "aspiration" into the SWF, because even if it were realizable (which it has not been for more than two decades) it still isn't Cornish. 

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





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