[Spellyans] i and y

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Fri Jun 27 23:30:39 BST 2008

KS uses <i> in long monosyllables, e.g. gwir, tir. It also (like the  
SWF) retains the <i> in derivatives, e.g. gwiryon, tiryow.
Elsewhere <y> is used everywhere for short i: gwydn/gwynn, termyn,  
KS writes sacryfia 'to sacrifice' and jùstyfia, where the <y> is  
unstressed and short and <ia> is the stressed diphthong or sequence of  
i: + @.
KS also writes i in initial position: istyna 'stretch', isel 'low',  
imaj 'image'. KS also distinguishes in, the preposition 'in' and its  
derivatives (indelma, indella, inwedh) from yn the adverbial particle.  
Thus KS writes in gwir 'indeed, in truth' but yn tâ 'well'.
Notice, incidentally, that KS writes isel 'low' but ÿs 'corn', because  
ës can also be written.

This distribution of the two graphs <i> and <y> is clear and  
unambiguous. It is also easy to remember.
There is one slight problem.

The word 'in' outside the third person is inflected inof, inos and  
inon, inowgh.
If we write <inno> this would be pre-occluded and forms with final -o  
do not pre-occlude (in the traditional language they are too early).
The third singular feminine can be written <inhy> since such a form is  

vgy y vab Jhesus crist inhy tregys TH 11a
and cf. me a weall sure vn gwethan ha serpent vnhy avadn CW 1808-09.

We cannot, however, write *<inho> nor even <inha> since neither is  
We can write <inans> 'in them' with a single <n> for such is well  
attested (both with initial y and i):

gothvethis ha gwelys ynans y TH 14
vgy faith an tasow coth a vam egglys in an sy SA 59a.

It is very likely indeed that inho/ynho and indeed innho/ynnho 'in  
him' occurred. This unattested form is what
lies behind eta 'in him' in Late Cornish: idnho > itno > itna > ita/eta:

menz bos bounas eta ha ma res gennam kanifer lushan glaz rag boaz John  

If, however, we write ganso, dhodho, warnodho we can hardly write eta.  
We must write a form in -o (which can be pronounced as though
it were -a i.e. schwa, if required). That means ino. But ino (and  
inof, inos, inon, inowgh) are all unattested. The forms are ynnof/inno  
ve/innaff, ynnos, ynnon/innan, inno why.
If we write innof, innos, inno, innon, innowgh why, innans, such forms  
will be pre-occluded although pre-occlusion is never found in them.
If we write inof, inos, ino, inon, inowgh we will be writing forms  
that are wholly unattested.


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