[Spellyans] The quantity system

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Tue Jun 24 23:57:22 BST 2008

At 00:50 +0200 2008-06-25, Koumanonff wrote:
>I've been surprised seeing in SWF that there's 
>not long vowels in polysyllabics (in RLC ha TC, 
>they say).

Correct. Occasionally there are, but these are exceptions.

>In Breton we should have two lengths (as we 
>learn in the teaching books). As far as I know 
>there's three. Long vowels are found  in 
>monosyllabics, where they can be. Where it 
>should be long in polysyllabics, where they can 
>be, there are half long indeed. Is that it could 
>be adopted by KK the three lengths from Breton ?

Yes. Ken George believed that Cornish and Breton were closer than they are.

>Though, I find strange that vowels cannot be 
>long, under the stress, before the voiced 
>consonants in Cornish in polysyllabics. As far 
>as I know, they are also in Welsh. Why wouldn't 
>they be in cornish ? Could you tell me further ?

One reason is that Cornish phonology was strongly 
affected throughout its history by English. And 
the one source we have for a genuine phonetic 
record of Cornish, Lhuyd, shows no sign of more 
than two lengths.

>As to consider the long consonants, they do 
>occur in Breton, according to Canon Falc'hun 
>(who had created the so-called "university" 
>spelling of Breton), but my French ears (as I 
>had been brought up in French) don't ear them in 
>the dialects that I hear around me (Goueloù, 
>Treger and Upper Kernev). Sure enough they had 

They may have existed, but they are lost or being 
lost. The same happened in Cornish -- long long 
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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