[Spellyans] Goat

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Mon Apr 6 13:57:04 BST 2009

On 6 Apr 2009, at 12:47, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> I know. Nance and Williams and Gendall all have gavar.”
> And the texts and the place names overwhelmingly have gaver.

Overwhelming? That's a big word. I would use overwhelming when say  
there are 96 examples of one thing and 11 of another.

I see -ar, -er, and -or.

>>> This is attested in MC. In Lhuyd the -ar means schwa + r. This can  
>>> be shown as gaver as well.


>> Why would it be a good idea to have gaver instead of gavar in the  
>> singular? To me the sg/pl alternation gavar/gever is more sensible.”
> Why, if gaver is attested. In other cases you argue in favour of a  
> form that is based on textual attestation. Why is this case  
> different. Just to be different to KK?

What motivation is there to change this from UC, UCR, and RLC? Just to  
be like KK? KK is the odd one out here, and there is little  
justification for this change.

> “> >From the SWF’s rule to give the etymological vowel
> That "rule" is most objectionable, because it means "do what Ken  
> George reconstructed in KK" and there is enough wrong with his  
> reconstructions to think twice before accepting any of the holus- 
> bolus. Indeed I doubt the AGH took a considered view on this when  
> they (or Albert and Ben) made this "rule".”
> I do not interpret this rule as meaning “Ken George’s reconstruction”.

Well I believe you are badly mistaken, because EVERY place where we  
have disputes about the vowels in the SWF it is where it is blindly  
following George's etymological reconstructions, whether in stressed  
or unstressed syllables. Or where do YOU think these etymological  
forms are coming from? they're coming from the Gerlyver Kres, aren't  

>> “> the discussion is irrelevant anyway because it’s an epenthetic
>> > vowel anyway, cf. W gafr.
>> Then it isn't an ETYMOLOGICAL -e-, is it?”
> My point entirely, which is why I said the discussion was  
> irrelevant. Since gaver is the attested form in the texts, that’s  
> the one I prefer. It suits all our requirements. It shows the  
> pronunciation and is authentic in that we find it spelt thus in  
> traditional Cornish.

Once again, why? George doesn't even give a rationale for changing  
from -ar to -er. He cites B gavr, W gafr, and says "N.B. Nance's gavar  
was influenced by OldC gavar." Well, so what? What is the rationale  
for changing from gavar to gaver? George's say-so? Is there a regular  
change from -ar to -er from OC to MC? Schwa is schwa.

So WHY is George's change FROM Unified Cornish to be followed here?

Moreover the similarity of sg/pl gavar/gever with davas/deves is not  
without its attraction.

>> I remain unconvinced that there are good reasons to change from  
>> gavar/gever to gaver/gever in KS. Jon? Nicholas?”
> What do you mean, change? Is there an established KS spelling of  
> gaver?

There is, as it happens. So the question is not irrelevant.

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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