[Spellyans] The sound of r

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed Dec 11 16:26:20 GMT 2013

I've heard it at a Gorsedh, from an elderly (non-Cornish) bard, intoning Cornish like some Biblical prophet of doom.  Rak (rag) was coming out as "R-r-r-r-r-r- ak"., rather as once taught in elocution lessons.  I felt so embarrassed that spectators were being subjected to Cornish being spoken in such an appallingly awful manner which it never had as a community language, and which was far more likely to invite ridicule.  In fact, I felt rather…err…"browned-off".


On 2013 Kev 11, at 15:47, Christian Semmens wrote:

> Whilst stumbling around the internet during a quiet few minutes, I came upon someone recommending the KDL free language course. I hadn't been over that fence for a while so I thought I'd have a listen to the audio.
> I will make no further comment on it as I am no expert on ancient Cornish sounds, I'll leave that for others (although I would be interested to hear if anyone thinks those sounds have any merit in revived Cornish at all). 
> That took me on to the sounds of r in British and Irish dialects and, although it will be no news to others, came across the "bunched r" or "molar r" and was surprised to find that I used it too, particularly when in Cornwall. Although it may well be the effect on my speech by having moved up-country at an early age. It appears that this type of r sound is fairly common in the US and Australia. For those of you who still have a full-time Cornish accent (mine is oddly dependent upon which side of Gordano services I am on), do you also use a bunched r sound or are your r sounds the retroflex alveolar appoximant variety or a mix?
> (I've never heard a Cornishman use an alveolar trill, unless he was impersonating a Scotsman)
> Christian
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