[Spellyans] Late Cornish adaptations

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Fri Aug 1 10:02:00 BST 2008

On 31 Jul 2008, at 18:16, Eddie Climo wrote:

>> * <ei> in words like hei, crei, chei
> Yuk!

I would write and recommend <hy>, <cry>, <chy> for these words. <ei>  
is a Lhuydian innovation; I can see a use for this graph, if one were  
writing dialogue where one character had a strong Penwith accent or  
something... but I agree with Neil, there's no *need* to write <ei>,  
Having said that, it's unambiguous in terms of interpretation when  
encountered and so no problem for KS. In principle one might write  
<hy>, <crÿ>, <chÿ>.

>> * <oa> in words like broas, gwloan, cloav.
> No, I won't use that either.

Nor I, and again I think KS should discourage this: <brâs>, <gwlân>,  
<clâv> is a better solution.

>> * <ow> in words like own 'correct'.
> Nor that.

I object here, Eddie. If you say ['beUn at ns], write <bewnans>. If you  
say ['boUn at ns], write <bownans>. This is a dialect feature. I suppose  
we could write <bëwnans> and <böwnans> (with diaeresis to show  
alternation) but you're adding more diacritics then, and you'd end up  
with <Kernëwek>~<Kernöwek> and I don't know if that's a credible  

> Given a 'take-it-or-leave-it' choice of this sort of 'fuk-Gernewek',
> I'd just stick with the UC/R that I've already learnt, and leave the
> SWF to go its own sweet way.

Are you sure you understand the philosophy behind the choices? Both  
SWF and KS offer <mabm> alongside <mamm> as spellings for the word for  
'mother'. That's support for an important dialect feature. KS offers  
<brâs> alongside <bras> because RLC speakers pronounce the words  
differently even though RMC speakers don't. KS offers <bÿs> alongside  
<bës> to support a dialect alternation.

Every alternation isn't marked because it's simply not possible to do  
so with any ease. Both SWF and KS offer <kerensa> alongside <kerenja>.  
Ken George and Keith Bailey suggest that these words are pronounced  
"kerenzha" but I (and Nicholas I believe) see this as just a dodge  
because they find it difficult to imagine that Cornish had dialects  
which had both [k@'rEnz@] and [k@'rEndZ@] ([kə'rɛnzə] and  
[kə'rɛndʒə]). I would be reluctant to recommend writing <kerenŝa>  
and <kerenĵa> using letters from Esperanto here, though that diacritic  
is available in Unicode it is certainly not in most fonts.

More information about the Spellyans mailing list