[Spellyans] The sound of r

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Dec 12 18:42:56 GMT 2013

That KK podcast is not very good. Notice that the speaker says eff for he, him, though the KK spelling is ev.
Notice also that the syntax is incorrect. 
... a wra eff studhya means 'he will study' not 'he is studying', which would be yma va ow studhya. The vowel is not u in studhya but y.

There is a strong tendency for RP speakers to be non-rhotic in their Cornish.
This leads to intrusive flapped rs in speech. As One frequently hears it from Anglophone speakers of Manx,
e.g. va laa feailley ain pronounce va laa feailley rain 'we had a day's holiday'.
The intrusive r in English phonology may seem to rhotic speakers to occur at the end of a word.
It doesn't. It occurs at the beginning of the following syllable.
When a non-rhotic Anglophone say America and Russia with an intrusive r he says America rand Russia, not Americar and Russia.
The inability of non-rhotic Anglophones to pronounce r at the end of a syllable is the reason they have an intrusive r in the first place.
I know this because I was guilty of intrusive rs before I came to live in Ireland, which is entirely rhotic.

The trilled r is normal in trained singers even when they are singing English. 
Here is a recording of my daughter singing the first verse of a Christmas hymn.
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Note how she trills the r in Christ.
That is what she has been taught to do.

That reminds me of the exchange in the dance-hall.
I know you're Scottish by the way you roll your rs
No, it's just these high-heeled shoes.

To return to the KK. With their incorrect pronunciation, their spurious vocabulary and their questionable syntax,
they don't appear to have left much real Cornish. 
The problem is really this: establishing the pronunciation of an extinct language fully is impossible.
Israeli Hebrew uses the consonantal inventory of Yiddish with some of the speech habits of Sephardi speakers.
The language is largely unsemitic in phonology, syntax and vocabulary.

Craig is quite right. When in final position r in Cornish should probably be a weak retroflexed r. 
Not trilled and not overdone, but never omitted.


On 12 Dec 2013, at 17:14, Christian Semmens wrote:

> Poor prinunciation or spurious phonology is a problem for all learners. If the teacher has flawed pronunciation then the student is off to a very bad start.
> Here is an example of a supposedly exemplar version of some Kairrrrr-neewek :

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