[Spellyans] tavas

ewan wilson butlerdunnit at ntlworld.com
Mon May 27 22:10:01 IST 2013


Craig's observation that the secret of a language's success lies ( in large part at least) not in utterly inflexible codifications and where the drive for total consistency becomes a straitjacket but in allowing the inconsistencies and quirks to breathe life into it, seems very apposite.
In fact, to such common sense I simply exclaim 'Amen!' ( which word contains not a trace of the dreaded and invasive schwa!! )

Ewan.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Craig Weatherhill 
  To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
  Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:32 PM
  Subject: Re: [Spellyans] tavas


  I'd imagine this to be a much greater problem in teaching English.  How do you teach that "rough" and "cuff" rhyme but that "through, cough, thorough," do not?


  In the light of the above from one of the top 3 international languages, are we being too greatly concerned with consistency with spelling /sound representation in Cornish?  The success of such an illogical language as English is would suggest that we are.


  For me, the secret of a language's success, and vibrancy, is not to codify it, but to allow it the inconsistencies and quirks that breathe life into it.


  Craig






  On 2013 Me 15, at 16:02, Janice Lobb wrote:


    You say "In KK melin and gwelyn rhyme perfectly, but are spelt differently for etymological reasons." A problem I have in teaching Late Cornish is explaining that "hir" and "fur" rhyme 

    Jan



    On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM, Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> wrote:

      The two cases are completely different. The Breton dialects are known and understood.
      In the case of Cornish the spellings are all we have to go on. There are no speakers.
      Of course standard forms of spoken languages use etymological spellings in order to arrive at hyperdialects acceptable to all.
      In the case of Cornish, however, the question of taves is not a matter of dialect, but rather a question of how the now extinct language developed. Taves
      is a possible etymological spelling, but so for that matter is tavas, since the expected e hardly occurs at all in the texts. We have a rule that OC oe is not unrounded in certain environments. The unstressed vowel is almost invariably
      a and I suggest that this is a result of the labial immediately preceding. That tavas not taves was the attested form is further suggested by the plural.
      The orthography of Breton, though interesting, is not relevant.
      The bias against etymological spellings understandable. In KK melin and gwelyn rhyme perfectly, but are spelt differently for etymological reasons.
      Not only does this violate the phonemic principle, it also makes learning the orthography much more difficult.
      The SWF is a new orthography and it is a great pity that it should be burdened with the incubus of etymological (but non-phonemic spellings) taken holus
      bolus from an orthography which has been found wanting.


      Nicholas




      On 14 May 2013, at 15:13, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:


        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.



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