[Spellyans] gawas 'to get'

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Thu Sep 8 08:53:31 IST 2011


With regard to final -dh, it was my understanding the SWF was devised  
with an aim of being unambiguous to learners.  There are several  
places where it fails to achieve this, one being the inconsistent use  
of -dh and -th.  For example, it has nowyth, but also menydh.  Surely,  
in these bisyllables where the final is unstressed these should both  
be shown as unvoiced -th, only going to -dh when a further syllable is  
added, e.g. menydhek, 'hilly'.

In monosyllabic words, where obviously stressed, we have fordh, but  
also porth.  Some claim that voicing is indicated by the traditional  
dropping of the final, as in for' (for'eglos, 'churchway'), but this  
isn't so, either.  Porth is always spelt with unvoiced -th (although  
there are early spellings with pord), and yet there are numerous  
instances of por'  (Par, Por'loe, etc).

To someone like me, the use of -th and -dh in SWF appears to be more a  
matter of whimsy than of thought.  This needs to be addressed in 2013.

Craig



On 8 Gwn 2011, at 07:10, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

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> Ray a scrifas:
>
> “I have never liked final 'dh' and that is where the crux of the  
> matter lies. Clearly scholars cannot agree where final 'dh' should  
> be applied and no doubt there is also disagreement about where final  
> 'f' should be sounded as 'v'.  In view of this I prefer to stick to  
> the more authentic historical spellings.”
>
>
>
> Actually the scholars pretty much agree that the final ‘dh’ and ‘v’  
> were voiced word-finally in stressed syllables. There is some  
> dispute over whether they were also voiced word-finally in  
> unstressed syllables.
>
>
>
> Writing <f> or <ff> word finally rather than <v> or <u> word-finally  
> had to do with the scribal practices of the time, rather than with  
> accurate phonological representation. There were restrictions about  
> what <u, v> could mean in this position, and it was usually /u/ or / 
> w/, but not /v/.
>
> Perhaps Cornish originally had a similar system to Modern Breton,  
> where voiced consonants unvoice in absolute final position and in  
> unvoiced environments, while they remain voiced before a following  
> word beginning with a vowel and in voiced environments. This amount  
> of phonological detail is difficult to retrieve so it will always  
> remain a theory. This system, if it existed at all, broke down by  
> the Late Cornish period where final consonants (at least in stressed  
> syllables) appear to have become voiced and remained so even in  
> absolute final position.
>
>
>
> Ray, what you don’t like is the ‘look’ of final <dh> and <v>, and I  
> understand that. One can get very used to a certain look of a  
> spelling system and feel estranged when that changes.
>
> Dan
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net 
> ] On Behalf Of Ray Chubb
> Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 9:12 PM
> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] gawas 'to get'
>
>
>
>
>
> On 7 Gwn 2011, at 08:51, Michael Everson wrote:
>
>
>
> > On 7 Sep 2011, at 08:27, Ray Chubb wrote:
>
> >
>
> >>> It's simply not the case that authentic Middle Cornish orthography
>
> >>> ceased to exist in 1549.
>
> >>
>
> >> I think what we can safely say is that any control over it ceased
>
> >> to exist.
>
> >
>
> > There was a continuum of spelling options even before 1549.
>
> >
>
> > I don't understand how you use "authentic" in this context though.
>
> > Evidently you think Nance's orthography is authentic, though since
>
> > you prefer UCR you must agree that Nance's failure to distinguish /
>
> > ø/ from /y/ (UCR ue from ü) was a mistake. Do you think that
>
> > Jenner's orthography is authentic? Tregear's? Jordan's?
>
>
>
> Yes of course I agree that UC (r) was an improvement on UC in  
> certain respects.  I have never liked final 'dh' and that is where  
> the crux of the matter lies. Clearly scholars cannot agree where  
> final 'dh' should be applied and no doubt there is also disagreement  
> about where final 'f' should be sounded as 'v'.  In view of this I  
> prefer to stick to the more authentic historical spellings.  It has  
> been said that Nance preferred to allow the sources to speak for  
> themselves, this is still a good principle where there is uncertainty.
>
>
>
> >
>
> >> It's a bit like Nicholas abandoning UCR, we all feel free to tinker
>
> >> or pick and choose from it as we wish.
>
> >
>
> > Nicholas (and I as a publisher) "abandoned" UCR because we (along
>
> > with others) realized the value of moving towards an orthography
>
> > which made use of authentic graphs while also doing a better job at
>
> > (1) representing the major dialect differences of Revived Cornish
>
> > (the continuum of choices between RMC, RTC, and RLC) and (2) being
>
> > unambiguous.
>
>
>
> Yes I commend you for what you have done but you must accept that  
> there are those who prefer, as I said, to allow the sources to speak  
> for themselves. Is it really so much trouble to remember to give a  
> final 'f' a 'v' sound?
>
>
>
> >
>
> > Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
>
> >
>
>
>
> Ray Chubb
>
>
>
> Portreth
>
> Kernow
>
>
>
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--
Craig Weatherhill





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