[Spellyans] <dh> ~ <th>
A. J. Trim
ajtrim at msn.com
Mon Nov 29 16:06:31 GMT 2010
Thanks, Michael. That's very interesting. It explains the p in Sampson but
not in damson.
However, pymp/pemp ended in -p already, i.e. before the dek was added.
Surely, it was the presence of that p that dictated that we had -thek rather
than -dhek in pempthek. If the p is elided, there is no need for -thek. It
can be -dhek as in the other numbers. I don't believe that the p is present
because the suffix is -thek.
Andrew J. Trim
From: Michael Everson
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 2:17 PM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] ~
On 29 Nov 2010, at 13:22, A. J. Trim wrote:
> Could there be two forms, pempthek and pem'dhek?
More likely pempthek and pemthek.
> Perhaps some people pronounced the p and others didn't.
The p there is a part of a bridging consonant cluster, homorganic with the
preceding nasal and voiceless like the following . In English you see
similar things in Thomson and Thompson, Samson and Sampson, [sæmsən] and
[sæmpsən]: the p may be inserted, but the following consonant is not voiced.
We don't get *Samzon or *Sambzon. Now, if *pembdhek were found that would be
another thing. 'Tisn't though.
> I would expect the p to affect the voicing of the th/dh. Perhaps the full
> version was used in counting and the other used in connected speech.
A homorganic consonant inserted in such a position doesn't cause the
devoicing of the following consonant.. it reflects the nature of that
consonant. So we have Samson and Sampson, but chimney and chimbley. Now in
that example, the n is converted to an l, but the bridging consonant is
voiced like the following consonant, not voiceless.
> The evidence just reported is good, and it tells us how these numbers were
> pronounced when counting (pilchards?) in one location in the 1870s. It may
> be more reliable than Lhuyd's evidence.
AB doesn't tell us the context of many of its words. Some were collected in
the field by him. Some by others. Some were rewritten by him in his phonetic
script on the basis of manuscript readings. It's a mistake to try to treat
AB in the same way we might treat one of Leonard Bloomfield's collected
transcriptions of Algonquin languages. And it's a mistake to underestimate
L1 interference from Welsh, as Nicholas has discussed.
And he was not a trained phonetician such as we have today (or as we had
even in Jenner's time). Modern phonetics didn't exist then. Indeed he was a
pioneer. But so many examples of e.g. meneth vs menedh in stand-alone
citation position has to be explained -- and can't be explained by external
sandhi as Dan claims to find in JCH, because there is no external sandhi in
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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