[Spellyans] SWF review results.

Philip Newton philip.newton at gmail.com
Sat May 17 21:22:06 BST 2014

On 2 April 2014 11:44, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:
> "Change to ‹o› in ‹arlodh›, in line with ‹toll›, ‹tomm›, ‹boka›, ‹bronn›, ‹koska›." This makes no sense. The vowel in ‹arlùth› [ˈɑɹlʊθ] is unstressed and therefore is not in the same class with the others. In KS we write ‹toll› [tɔl] 'hole', <tomm>~<tobm> [tɔm]~[tɔᵇm] 'warm', ‹bùcka› [ˈbʊkə] 'goblin', ‹bronn›~‹brodn› [bɹɔn]~[bɹɔᵈn] 'breast', ‹củska› [ˈkʊskə] 'sleep'. Củsca and bùcka have a different vowel from the rest of these. No improvement here.

I believe they don’t mean toll ‘hole’ but rather toll ‘deceit’, and
not bronn ‘breast’ but rather bronn ‘rushes’. At least the former is
‹tull› in UCR, for example, so perhaps also ‹tùll› in KS, matching the
vowel of ‹arlodh›, ‹bocka›, and ‹coska›.

Supposedly there is a ‹tooben› in a pilchard-curing rhyme (Boson,
Gwavas) and ‹tụbm› in Lhuyd; perhaps ‹tùbm› might be appropriate in
KS? Then this would also fall into the same class.

> "To be written as ‹pp›, ‹tt› if they contain a short vowel." THIS IS A VIOLATION OF THE AGREEMENT MADE IN TREYARNON. The rules are simple: In stressed monosyllables the vowel is short before a voiceless consonant and long before a voiced consonant (at least for the stops as here).

Except for ‹k›: ‹cok› (for example) has a long vowel. And the
voiceless fricatives (e.g. ‹coth›, ‹fas›, ‹flogh›).

‹p›, ‹t› were the odd ones out in the voiceless sounds—the only single
consonants which made a vowel in a monosyllable short (well, marked it
as short).

This removes the inconsistency: now vowels in monosyllables are long
before a single consonant (including digraphs such as ‹gh th dh›),
short before two or more (well, except ‹st› and, for some, ‹sp sk›).

> Therefore the ONLY words which are problematic here are words like ‹shâp› [ʃæːp] where the vowel is unexpectedly long.

These would then become unproblematic, while the previously
unproblematic cases would remain unproblematic.

> What this rule has done is revert to the incorrect half-length rule of KK, where ‹hat› would be [hæːt] and ‹hatt› would be [hæt].

Is ‹clok› having a long vowel but ‹clock› a short one also due to the
‘incorrect half-length rule of KK’? If not, how does it differ? (I ask
for information.)

I’m not sure where a half-length rule comes into play in such a
spelling convention; vowels in monosyllables, by the proposed rule,
are long before a single consonant and short before a double one. I
don’t see any half-length coming into play at all.


I fail to see how this proposed change changes the proposed
pronunciation of any existing word.

I see that the proposed change would make it easier to unambiguously
spell words which have a long vowel before a final /t/ or /p/, but I
don’t think anyone denies that such words exist (e.g. your example of
‹shap›, which is ambiguous in SWF1 but unambiguous in SWF2, or the
similar ‹stret› with -t).

So I also do not see how any new sounds are being introduced.

> "Accept both permissible plural endings, e.g. <hattys/hattow>" This is stupid. This is a matter of morphology, not orthography.


Philip Newton <philip.newton at gmail.com>

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