[Spellyans] tavas

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Thu May 16 10:23:27 IST 2013


How do we know that it's "not correct"?  Theory and informed logic are all we have to go on.  There are no records of how MC was pronounced and, therefore, we cannot verify that logical conclusions are correct (not without a Tardis).  It's heavily informed guesswork, but guesswork nonetheless.

As we're reconstructing a language for the modern era, we should base its pronunciation on what we do know, and our only sources for that are Lhuyd's phonetic code relating to the Late Cornish he and his co-researchers heard at first hand, and the speech of the last elderly people of West Cornwall, where the language was last used as a native vernacular.  Dick Gendall's examination of Lhuyd: "The Pronunciation of Cornish" is well worth studying, and you can see that the two are closely compatible.

For Dan:  Chris Blount e-mailed me to confirm that the Radgel voices are on the "Voices from Levant" CD and I have ordered a copy.  He deals through PayPal, and the CDs are extraordinarily inexpensive.  You can order from his website:  "Chough Digital".

Craig



On 2013 Me 16, at 10:00, Michael Everson wrote:


> 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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