[Spellyans] tavas in early Middle Cornish

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed Jul 13 23:18:18 IST 2011

SWF is certainly inconsistent.  The earlier distinction between melyn  
'mill' and melen, 'yellow' was clear, but that's gone under KK  
influence.  These are now 'melin' and 'melyn' respectively.

After seeing melin, kegin, etc.  I expected 'holly' to be kelin in  
SWF.  But it's not.  It's kelyn.

It only serves to baffle.


On 13 Gor 2011, at 22:42, Michael Everson wrote:

> On 13 Jul 2011, at 21:42, Jed Matthews wrote:
>> That's very interesting.
>> Is there a wider lack of distinction between ɨ and ə across the  
>> texts? As an LC speaker one of my main concerns about KS is  
>> unstressed y representing schwa where it possibly shouldn't.
> I think you've been sold a pup. I think you've put a lot of store  
> into something that isn't significant in Cornish.
> By and large in unstressed final closed syllables you get /ə/. Now  
> there seems to be evidence that there are three colours of this,  
> namely [ᵻ] and [ə] (perhaps [ɐ]) and [ᵿ]. Dick Gendall's  
> orthography masks the colouring distinction as much as anything  
> else. He writes (as I said previously) <kegen> with <ān> right  
> alongside <kettermen> <ẏn> and termen <en>. According to his own  
> key he intends these to correspond to [ɒ] and [ə] and [e]. I'm  
> afraid that here, at least, his recommendations are not coherent.
> Certainly his recommendation that "kegen" has a low back vowel  
> (effectively "kegon") is at odds with your view that it should have  
> a high front vowel.
> The reason kegin has an i in the SWF is that Ken George thought it  
> was better because in British Latin it was cocîna. His recommended  
> pronunciation is [ˈkɛɡɪn]. Ken George writes <melyn> because  
> Welsh does, and he says the pronunciation is [ˈmɛlɪn]. He writes  
> <melin> because in Latin it was molîna, and he says the  
> pronunciation is [ˈmɛlɪn]. No difference in pronunciation.
> In Gendall's 2007 dictionary he writes <melin> 'yellow' [ˈmelin],  
> <belin> 'mill' [ˈbelin], and he writes <kegen> 'kitchen' [ˈkegǝn].  
> But in CW <gegen> rhymes with <onyn>, which is in SWF written <onen>  
> and <onan>. If there were really such a distinction even in RLC,  
> you'd want to write <onin>, wouldn't you?
> Kegyn/kegen/kegin are all pronounced as in "The frog he went a- 
> beggin'." Whether that's realized as [ˈbɛgᵻn] or [ˈbɛgɪn] or  
> [ˈbɛgən], all allophonic. English "melon" is the same. Makes no  
> difference whether it's realized as [ˈmɛlᵿn] or [ˈmɛlən] or  
> [ˈmɛlən].
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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Craig Weatherhill

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