[Spellyans] gwyw

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Wed Jul 27 17:25:41 IST 2011

‘Half-length’ is simply a variation of long. Many speakers of RC fail to distinguish ‘long’ and ‘short’ going more for a distinction of actual vowel sound like in English. It can hardly be expected that they would be able to distinguish ‘half-length’. 
If ‘long’ means ‘fully long’ in a word of only one syllable, the ‘half-long’ means ‘long’ in a word that has more than one syllable. While perceived as ‘long’ it is measurable shorter that the ‘fully long’ vowel in the word of one syllable, but apart from that shares all its characteristics. So, according to Ken George mir ‘look!’ is fully long [miːr], and the i in mires ‘look/looking’ is also long [ˈmiːrɛs], but since ‘long’ isn’t quite as ‘long’ in a word of two syllables than it is in a word of one, he describes it has ‘half-long’, transcribed [ˈmiˑrɛs]. 
There is no relevant contrast between ‘long’ and ‘half-long’, it’s just a way of saying ‘not quite as long as, but otherwise the same as ‘long’’ – to put it short: irrelevant. 
See most Breton and Welsh dictionaries that offer a transcription, although Breton and Welsh phonologists often speak of ‘half-lenth’, the dictionaries they write mirout [ˈmiːʀut] ‘keep, preserve’, with full length transcribed. 
-----Original Message-----
From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Craig Weatherhill
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 3:30 PM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] gwyw
“Some members of the signage panel try to use 'half-length' to justify some of their arguments.  Leaving KG out of it, I say to them, "But what is half-length?  I don't hear any in your speech - can you demonstrate?  What's the evidence for it?" - and the answers get avoided like the plague.  They've been fed it, believe it, don't understand it and don't bother using it - except to sway an argument.
On 27 Gor 2011, at 14:12, nicholas williams wrote:
> Fiction! There is no half-length in Revived Cornish. Hardly any  
> speaker of RMC has any idea what half-length means.
> Go on to Nowodhow an Seythen some time, Dan, and make a note if you  
> hear half-length anywhere.
> Quite apart from that we want to avoid anything that separates RMC  
> and RLC speakers.
> Nicholas
> On 2011 Gor 26, at 13:54, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
>> The SWF/M form <gwiw> has /gwiw/ which is pronounced [gwiˑʊ],  
>> while SWF/M <byw> is /bɪw/ pronounced [beˑʊ].
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Craig Weatherhill
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