[Spellyans] RLC <h> for <gh>

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Wed Jun 25 15:55:47 BST 2008

I wonder if we are not delving a bit too deeply.  Final -gh is fairly 
constant throughout the history of written Cornish (including Late 
Cornish where, once again, Keigwin - the only real linguistic scholar of 
that period of Cornish - is being discarded).  Medial -gh- faded out in 
the Middle Cornish and, by the 16th century, -h- had become the norm.  
It's not a 20th/21st century concept but historically Cornish.  So, 
margh, "horse" but marhek, "horseman".

I think we need to remember that our aim is to improve upon the SWF, 
ironing out its faults, rather than trying to form yet another 
orthography.  The SWF with traditional graphs is pretty near to KS 
(which, in my view, is the best orthography yet for the revived 
language) and perhaps we need to be looking at it from that 
perspective.  We need to keep our eyes on the ball, rather than the 
crowd (former footballer's viewpoint).


A. J. Trim wrote:
> This is not a serious suggestion:
> You could mark the <y> in yeth, perhaps with a dieresis to show that it has 
> an alternative pronunciation ... in this case silent: ÿeth/'eth.
> The apostrophe in 'eth shows that there may be a missing letter in the 
> alternative dialect.
> It would be helpful to learners and be more precise.
> How about marking tavas to show that there is an alternative word: 
> ^tavas/^yeth.
> It is difficult to know where to stop with this sort of thing.
> It's all useful but not nice to write or to look at, and it's not authentic.
> Regards,
> Andrew J. Trim
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Michael Everson" <everson at evertype.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:37 PM
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] RLC <h> for <gh>
>> At 15:31 +0300 2008-06-25, Owen Cook wrote:
>>> (The same is not true, by the way, of 'eth, because we ONLY have
>>> 'eyth' attested in the texts. In my opinion conscientious Cornish
>>> users should write 'eth passim.)
>> See KS 16 §1.4.3 Note 1:
>> NOTE 1: Traditional Cornish normally uses the
>> word <tavas> for 'language', although <eyth>
>> 'language' is used three times in Tregear, which
>> was not available to Nance when he reconstructed
>> <yeth>. We recommend distinguishing <eth> [e:T]
>> 'eight, vapour', <êth> [e:T] 'goest, went' and
>> <yeth> [e:T], [je:T] 'language'.
>> There are lots of people who do say [je:T]; I
>> don't have a problem keeping the spelling <yeth>
>> and saying that it is an exception with two
>> pronunciations, [e:T] and [je:T].
>> -- 
>> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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