[Spellyans] the tone of debate here

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Mon Nov 22 13:18:43 GMT 2010

Thanks, again, Owen. This is not about me wanting to be right, but I had hoped that it would be ok to entertain the possibility of voiced consonants in this position. No, the theory is not yet fleshed out, but maybe this will happen in time to come.

I also thank you for seconding Eddie reminder concerning decorum.



-----Original Message-----
From: Owen Cook
Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 4:40 AM

"On 21 November 2010 13:45, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:

> If Dan makes similar claims and does not back them up (as Nicholas does) with reference to

> the texts, then Dan is doing the same sort of thing as Bailey.


For reasons that have already been discussed, the only "texts" that we can absolutely count on to be relevant is JCH. Dan's given his arguments based upon that text. The evidence is scanty, one way or the other, but the L1 interference argument doesn't really account for the variation we see there.


If you really require a grand theory, how about this: General weakness of non-prevocalic non-sibilant fricatives left them vulnerable to devoicing, particularly when final before other voiceless consonants, as well as to elision and alteration in the place of articulation. Hence [x] > [h] > 0 and even occasional [x] > [θ]; hence [θ] > [h]; hence final [v] > [f] or 0, and final [ð] > [θ] or 0. 


Brugmann notwithstanding, free variation does occur, as does sociolinguistically conditioned variation. In the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah", the word 'hallelujah' is rhymed with 'do you', 'overthrew you', 'outdrew you' and 'knew you'. Rufus Wainwright pronounces 'you' in these words as [juː] rather than [jə]. So who's

wrong, Rufus or Leonard?


I'd also like to echo Eddie's concern for decorum.



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