[Spellyans] tavas in early Middle Cornish

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Jul 13 17:38:23 IST 2011

On 13 Jul 2011, at 17:19, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

>> I find it hard to see such a contrast being stable.”
> It’s stable in German, for example.

Go on...

>> “I do tend to think that while /ə/ is useful to describe vowel reduction, it's not so much a phoneme as a catch-all for a three-way reduction into schwi [ᵻ], schwa [ə], and schwu [ᵿ]. Jenner seems to have noticed the same thing. Maybe one could write the schwa in that triad as [ɐ].  I do not see a reduced /e/ however which is one of the reasons I believe that the spelling <taves> is not useful in a modern context.”
> I’m not sure what you mean by ‘I do not see a reduced /e/’ and I wasn’t talking about taves, here, but /ɪ/ in vb.adj. ending <ys> developing to LC <ez>, i.e. a possible reduction of /ɪ/ > [ə] while /ə/ (from older /ɛ a ɔ/) was pushed to [ɐ]. Of course a phonemic notation could stay at /ɪ/ : /ə/.

Again, I think there are three colours of schwa. The schwi of "Rosa's" is a-coloured. The schwa in "roses" is i-coloured. That distinction is very much the same as the one which can be written -az vs -ez in LC. And in other contexts it seems we have a u-coloured schwu in Cornish.

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

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