[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Sun May 20 14:17:35 BST 2012

On May 17, 2012, at 2:40 PM, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> Though Nance did change the spelling of the texts to make them conform to his preconceived notions.
> UC byghan is unattested in the texts (though not in place-names); byhan or byan would have been better
> UC Ywerdhon is unattested and should have been Wordhen
> UC Kembry is unattested and should have been Kembra
> UC Whevrer is unattested and should have been Whevrel.
> Moreover, because Nance had no linguistic training, he did not seem to have realised that the vowel in tus 'men' and dus 'come' were different. This was apparent from the different reflexes in Late Cornish: tees 'men' but des 'come'. As a result UC lacks the [oe] vowel, that was already in Jenner's Cornish.
> Nicholas

Nance was aware of the distinction otherwise he wouldn't have given the UC variants ‹kes› and ‹cus› for "cheese", but ‹tus› only for "men, people". 

I like the idea of umbrella graphs in the SWF and KS: the orthography has ‹eu›, but people who say [e(ː)] read ‹eu› as /e(ː)/ and people who say [œ(ː)] read ‹eu› as /œ(ː)/. 

By the same token we could have the same principle applied to word final ‹dh› and ‹th›: write ‹th› where all agree on a voiceless realisation, but write ‹dh› where some pronounce the word with /θ/ and others with /ð/. 

> On 17 May 2012, at 13:23, Ray Chubb wrote:
>> Of Kemmyn at 13.2	To draw up the phonemic inventory of a living language is a difficult affair, and the end result may well not satisfy other scholars in the field. To attempt to phonemicize a language that has no traditional speakers is an even more hazardous business, and requires exceptional linguistic expertise.  It is not obvious that the devisors of Kernewek Kemmyn satisfied these conditions.  It should be noted that the devisors of Unified Cornish did not require such expert knowledge and skill. They after all were content for the most part to let their sources speak for themselves.
>> Of Unified at 15.8	        At no point did Nance attempt to elaborate a scientific basis for the phonology of Unified Cornish. Indeed it is doubtful whether he could have done so, even if he had wished. Instead he let the phonology of Unified Cornish emerge piecemeal and in an ad hoc fashion. His system is saved quite simply by the way that for the most part he adhered to the spelling of the texts.
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