[Spellyans] iw

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Thu Nov 25 17:35:41 GMT 2010

On 25 Nov 2010, at 16:45, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> Do some statistics on the distribution of <i> ~ <y> and then question the legitimacy of redistributing according to rules that were never in operation in traditional Cornish – and just to emphasise your theory that etymological /i/ and /ɪ/ were indistinguishable.

I'm not prosecuting such a theory. I don't know why you keep saying that I do. I observe that [iː] and [ɪ] are allophones of /i/ in Revived Cornish. Attempts to get learners to distinguish these as different phonemes in the 1980s failed, and the only reason they're left in the SWF is that writers of KK in the AHG would not admit that they weren't producing them and weren't going to be able to do so. They wanted "aspirational" phonemes to be written into the spec. Well I tell you, having worked as one of two editors on Ray Chubb's rather solid "Skeul an Tavas", that those aspirational phonemes make it damned hard to write a coherent learner's manual of Revived Cornish. It forces us to have to apologize for the orthography in the section on pronunciation. "There is no difference in pronunciation between "iw" and "yw"; you have to learn which words have which."

To whom the benefit? 

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

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