[Spellyans] tavas

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Thu May 16 10:00:15 IST 2013


On 15 May 2013, at 22:24, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:

> I certainly do not pronounce <eus> to rhyme with (received English) "furze",as is being mooted in recent years.  I don't believe that sound ever existed in Cornish.  

I am afraid you are wrong. 

1) What we write as ‹u› (not ‹û› or ‹ù›) was known to represent a rounded phoneme /y/, realized as [yː] long and [ʏ] short. This is the sound in German "fühlen" long and "Mütter" short.

2) What we write as ‹eu› was known to represent a rounded phoneme /ø/, realized as [øː] long and [œ] short. This is the sound in German "schön" long and "Götter" short.

In Cornish, as in some German dialects (and Yiddish) these rounded vowels /y/ and /ø/ were subject to unrounding, to /i/ and /e/ (long [iː] and [eː], short [ɪ] and [ɛ]).

> Why?  Because you don't hear it from native Cornish voices today, or 50 years ago.  

Both /y/ and /ø/ did exist though they appear to have been lost by the time of Late Cornish. 

> I believe it to be a Breton sound, heavily influenced by the sound of French <oeu> (e.g. oeuf, boeuf, etc).

As I say, this is not correct. 

Note please (as shown in Cornish Today) that Nance got it wrong; he did not distinguish between /y/ and /ø/ in Unified Cornish, which was a mistake. In my view, there is no value whatsoever in continuing to use unreformed Unified Cornish. 

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/





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