[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Sun May 20 14:26:42 BST 2012

I have noticed in 'Desky Kernowek' that the only value given to long A  
(as in <pras>) is the A of "hat" drawn out a little.  But what about  
the Late Cornish value?  I pronounce this word with an A like the AI  
of "fair".  Same with the A of <da>, "good" (cf Pullen Day, for Pollyn  
da, Sennen).  Very similar t long E, in fact.  Still heard in West  
Penwith speech to this day, and it's unique to West Cornwall.

Where heavily stressed, it develops a "pitch-bend".  Imagine the AI of  
"fair" followed by a brief schwa, and you're somewhere near it.


On 20 Me 2012, at 14:17, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> 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/.
> Dan
>> 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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