[Spellyans] iw

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Nov 24 11:40:38 GMT 2010

On 24 Nov 2010, at 09:42, nicholas williams wrote:

> No, because that was agreed upon in the Ad-Hoc group. George’s threefold distinction may be wrong for 1500, but it is not wrong to assume this series was part of earlier pre-MC phonology

We aren't reviving pre-MC Cornish.

Attempts to engineer the SWF to support "pre-MC Cornish" are just another fanciful attempt at conlanging, aren't they? <humour>If you want to revive Old Cornish, go reconstruct that!</humour> Building in orthographic etymologisms that don't reflect anything in the Revived language is, well, to be charitable, a waste of time. 

The weakness of the linguist-facilitators during the AHG was in not telling the Kesva and Cowethas "Hang on here, you simply can't have an orthography without an underlying phonology, and you really oughtn't have an underlying phonology which isn't actually used, or some sort of chimera which is supposed to support both an actual phonology and a construed one." A ruling from Trond against "aspirational" phonology would have saved a lot of wasted effort.

Your current work, as you see it "within the process", to justify linguistically some features of the SWF which were based on such construals is not, I believe, going to lead to an improved orthography for any learner. It is, I believe, a kind of wasted effort. 

You're arguing for instance that "iw" is attested in Middle Cornish. It isn't. One example of "diweth" in Tregear (as against 25 examples of "deweth" in Tregear as Nicholas pointed out) is not a credible argument that "iw" can or should therefore be used for a class of stressed monosyllables. The "iw" in "diweth" is not an indication of a traditional Glasneyan orthographic graph, and its rarity makes it less tempting than "yv" which is common. (The argument that "iu" and "iw" were rare in medieval texts because of the minims isn't very convincing: "uw" has even more minims yet is attested well enough. And the 1560 homilies are Early Modern (1500-1800), not Medieval (500-1500).

In my own view, which you needn't respect, you're just going down the wrong road. Enjoy the walk, if you like it, Dan. But I just don't think that Nicholas and I, at least, will be following you. 

We have worked to ensure that KS is *realistic*. We listened to what real speakers really say. That is the phonology we support. That phonology is outlined in the new editions of Skeul an Tavas -- and the inconsistencies where the SWF fails to allow users to predict that phonology are clearly indicated in the section on pronunciation. (Pol Hodge himself encouraged us to make sure that this section describe what we actually recommend.)

We all must do as our duty dictates to us. 

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

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