[Spellyans] The Pronounciation of 'r' in traditional Cornish

Christian Semmens christian.semmens at gmail.com
Tue Mar 28 13:56:13 IST 2017


I can see how esa becomes e[ɾ]a and then e[ɹ]a and even directly from esa
to e[ɹ]a, but I don't see any evidence of a strong use of [r] in Cornish or
its English dialect, which suggests to me that either there was a radical
and dramatic, wholesale change in the 18th century, or that [r] died out
long ago.

I find [r] to be an alien sound and not one I would choose to mimic.
However I stand ready to be corrected.

Is there any evidence of Wella Brown's [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr] in any part of
Cornwall in the last two and a half to three centuries, or even beyond?

Christian

On 28 March 2017 at 11:26, Daniel Prohaska <daniel at ryan-prohaska.com> wrote:

> I use the complementary distribution of [ɾ] (intervocaliacally, also
> across word boundaries) as well as [ɹ] (absolute initial, absolute final
> and pre-consonantal). This is what Richard Gendall recommended in his guide
> to Revived Late Cornish pronunciation. It is the distribution that the
> Anglo-Cornish dialect in West Penwith traditionally has.
> Whether this was an actual feature of the Cornish language at any given
> time remains unanswerable. Rhotacised [z] as in ‹esa› > ‹era› and ‹gasa› >
> ‹gara›, usually becomes [ɾ] or [r] in Latin and Germanic before it develops
> into something else, so I’d say these two sound are likely to have been in
> the Cornish sound inventory at some point.
> As far as Revived Cornish in general is concerned, I think almost anything
> goes, except for dropping the postvocalic r’s (as in RP).
>
> Dan
>
>
> On 28 Mar 2017, at 10:16, Christian Semmens <christian.semmens at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> With regard to the trilled [r], is it likely that all vestiges of this
> sound were expunged from Cornish so very late, to be completely replaced by
> [ɹ] across the country?
>
> I find that hard to believe, especially as [r] and [ɾ] forms such readily
> identifiable sounds in Scottish, Welsh and Irish English, but not in
> Cornish. Even then it is only Scottish that displays any significant use of
> [r]. Actually, I can't think of anyone in West Penwith (or elsewhere in
> Cornwall for that matter) that used either in normal speech, I certainly
> never heard anyone use them, but then my experience hardly counts for
> much.
>
> Christian
>
> On 27 March 2017 at 23:03, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:
>
>> On the other hand, he spent much of his time in Oxford, so when he
>> describes a sound as being "as in English", is he talking about English as
>> spoken there?
>>
>> Craig
>>
>>
>>
>> On 2017 Mer 27, at 20:33, Harry Hawkey wrote:
>>
>> Well, that solves something that I've been wondering about for quite some
>> time. Thanks for this!
>>
>> On 27/03/17 19:50, Nicholas Williams wrote:
>>
>> Lhuyd was born in 1660 in Llanforda and brought up there. Llanforda is in
>> the parish of Oswestry in Shropshire.
>> The area was Welsh-speaking at the time of his birth and the dialect
>> pronounced Welsh long a with a raised pronunciation. For him the vowel in
>> tad ‘father’
>> would have been close to [æ:].
>>
>> Nicholas
>>
>> On 27 Mar 2017, at 18:05, Harry Hawkey <bendyfrog at live.com> wrote:
>>
>> But surely Welsh 'bras'  (Lhuyd 'brâs') has neither of these sounds?
>>
>>
>>
>>
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