[Spellyans] iw

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Tue Nov 23 21:38:01 GMT 2010

On 23 Nov 2010, at 20:19, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> TH 18a <diweth> 

This is not a diphthong. This is disyllabic "di-weth"~"dy-weth"~"de-weth" in the same way that "dy-worth"~"de-worth"~"da-worth and "dy-war"~"de-war" are disyllabic. On etymological grounds as well it is di- + wed-. Moreover Breton is "di-vez" and Welsh is "di-wedd". Lhuyd's "diụath" is "di-ụath", and as you know he does explicitly state that ụ may be either vocalic or consonantal. I don't believe that you have grounds to read this as "diw-eth", Dan. Or that George is right to write it [ˈdiƱęð] (which must mean [ˈdiʊɛð]).

The texts also have the verb "dywethe", "dowethe", with Lhuyd's "diụadha". Clearly these are "dy-wethe", "do-wethe", "di-ụadha"; compare "tha worth" for "dyworth". Even the form "duatha" can be analyzed "du-[w]atha" where the initial "di" has become "də".

I hope you won't claim that /diʊ/ becomes /doʊ/ or that "duatha" indicates du- [diʊ] + atha, because you're still stuck with "dowethe" and "tha worth" which could not be explained by the same claim. 

I agree with Nicholas: there is no example of a diphthong "iw" in Traditional Cornish. 

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

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