[Spellyans] tavas

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Tue May 14 21:31:38 IST 2013


On May 14, 2013, at 5:44 PM, A. J. Trim wrote:

> I'm a bit confused as to what we are saying matters, and what doesn't. Recent postings have suggested that the <e> in SWF <taves> may really be an <a>/<o>, and we hear that the <v> may be a <w>.

/w/ was the idea Nicholas presented in the light of OC ‹tauot›, and perhaps the Breton development to B ‹teod› (OB ‹tauot›, MB ‹teaut›) may point to a bilabial rather than a labio-dental sound. And quite possible. Note that the OB form is identical to OC. 

It seems though that, as in W the C consonant developed a labio-dental quality, i.e. [v]. 

What I think Nicholas is saying that the nature of the possibly bilabial medial consonant may have influenced the development of the unstressed vowel. Schrijver argues that the bilabial quality of [w] in ‹nowyth› influenced the Brythonic */ɵ/ to be backed to /o/ rather than follow the usual development of unrounding and fronting to /e/ (cf. B ‹newez›, W ‹newydd›). But I find this unlikely as we have an attestation of Cornish ‹newyth› in PA 2332. So the diphthong developed from /ow/ > /ɵw/ (through i-affection) > /ew/ (unrounding), and full circle back to /ow/ (as in ‹clewes› > ‹clowas›). 

As Nicholas has said, the etymology of the unstressed vowel in ‹taves› is not indispute. It's just that the attestations with ‹a› are by far more frequent and UC, UCR and RLC used ‹a› rather than ‹e›. Hence probably the preference. 




>  
> The "MAGA English-Cornish Glossary SWF (Trad Graphs) 14-Aug-10.pdf" has:
>  
>  
> Page 39:
> quiet, I adj, cosel; tawesek; dison; II n, cosoleth (m);
> taw (m).

This is a different word. 

>  
> Page 45:
> silent, adj, tawesek; be silent, phr, tewel.
>  
> Page 49:
> talcative, adj, tavosek.
>  
>  
> Clearly, <tawesek> is similar to <tavosek> but the meanings given are opposites.

I find they sound quite distinct and line up to different lexical sets...


> Either this is a mistake or either the <v>/<w> or the <e>/<o> (or both) must be significant to the meaning.


Yes, ‹e› and ‹o› are the stressed vowels in those words respectively. They are significant and distinct. 

> Are these words attested, or were they “made up”?

These two cases are "made up" but derive from the attested words ‹taves› and ‹taw, tewel›. 


> Should we loose one of them, and use another word instead? Perhaps these words should be <tawek> and <tavasek> to remove the difficulty.

I really see no difficulty, not only is the stressed vowel different, but also the medial consonant. Neither Breton with ‹tawedeg› v. ‹teodeg›, nor Welsh ‹tawedog› v. ‹tafodog› appear to be a problem for its speakers.
Dan


>  
>  
> Regards,
>  
> Andrew J. Trim
>  
>  
>  
> From: Hewitt, Stephen
> Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 3:41 PM
> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] tavas
>  
> That’s quite simply not true – we have an awful lot of information – the forms attested in various stages of the language plus similar forms from two sister languages (both still with native speakers). An awful lot can be reconstructed with considerable confidence.
>  
> Steve
>  
> From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Craig Weatherhill
> Sent: 14 May 2013 16:39
> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] tavas
>  
> To be honest (and I'm not a linguist) but etymology seems to be very much "in the eye of the beholder".  One can argue that a particular word was spelt in a particular way in early Brythonic - but was it?  That language was never written down, and can only be guessed at from a few examples of evidence from Gaulish, and from what Roman and Greek sources wrote down.   All we really have are words which have been theoretically reconstructed in modern times, which is why they are always preceded by a superscript asterisk.
>  
> Craig
>  
>  
>  
>  
> On 2013 Me 14, at 15:13, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:
> 
> 
> In general, it is very difficult to have an orthography which brings together various diachronic and geographic varieties which is not etymological.
>  
> I don’t really understand the persistent bias against etymology in this group. My etymological orthography for Breton builds on the interdialectal (S-SS) orthography, and works much the best of all systems to accomodate predictable dialect reflexes with a minimum of spelling variation.
>  
> Isn’t that the goal of the SWF?
>  
> Best,
>  
> Steve
>  
> From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Daniel Prohaska
> Sent: 14 May 2013 16:10
> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] tavas
>  
> As you and I have said, ‹taves› is also found in the texts, and thus fulfils the criteria for the SWF. Now, one can argue over whether it is wise to have an orthography that is based on etymology but that is a different discussion entirely.
> Dan
>  
>  
> On May 14, 2013, at 4:03 PM, Nicholas Williams wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> We all know the etymology, Dan. My point is that the phonetic environment appears to have cause the word to develop in a slightly anomalous fashion.
> Tavas, tavosow are the forms in the texts. They should be the forms in the SWF. Etymology per se is no counter argument.
>  
> Nicholas
>  
> On 14 May 2013, at 14:57, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> I sympathise with those who wish to keep the spelling ‹tavas› from Unified Cornish. But I would rather redirect the energy and impetus of SWF-reviewing to more pressing issues. There is nothing "wrong" with the spelling ‹taves› "except" that it is the form used in KK. It is attested as such in the texts as well as being the etymologically expected form.
>  
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