[Spellyans] SWF Y (was Re: Falmouth)

Janice Lobb janicelobb at gmail.com
Tue Apr 29 20:15:06 IST 2014


Important as all these discussions are, won't it be wonderful when everyone
stops writing about the language and starts writing interesting and
entertaining material in it.
Jan


On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 8:10 PM, Philip Newton <philip.newton at gmail.com>wrote:

> On 29 April 2014 20:53, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:
> > SWF's a confusing system then
>
> In the sense that you have to learn when to use Y and when to use I
> more or less by heart arbitrarily: yes, I suppose.
>
> > Surely it would be far easier to learners and readers if the long vowel
> > was I and the short one Y throughout.
>
> Even easier would be if I was used as a vowel throughout, and Y used
> only as a consonant. (Then UC ‘gwyn gwyn’ would turn into a
> hypothetical ‘gwin gwinn’. And ‘an velin velin’ would be spelled like
> that, saving you from remembering that a mill is ‘melin’ while the
> colour is ‘melyn~melen’.)
>
> Length would then still not be marked, but this is already the case
> with the other vowels, which can be either short or long (there’s no
> separate long E / short E, for example; you have to learn that it’s
> short in ‘mes’ but long in ‘yn-mes’).
>
> Not that I’m arguing for that change. I think that there is more value
> in having the SWF be stable than in having it be perfectly logical or
> supremely easy to learn to use.
>
> (It would be good if it were both, of course, but if I had to choose,
> I’d go with a standard _now_ that’s got some bits I dislike or find
> questionable rather than with a hypothetical perfect orthography that
> only got there by being successively tinkered with until all the
> imperfections were removed and everyone agrees that it’s a perfect fit
> for the language.)
>
> Cheers,
> Philip
>
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