[Spellyans] Goat

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Mon Apr 20 13:29:18 BST 2009

Jon, Nicholas, 

We cannot know if or when /r/, /l/ or /w/ were pronounced as syllabic
consonants. Cornish texts generally show a vowel graph, which likely means
that a vowel + consonant sequence was perceived. Whatever the exact sound
was, whether it was perceived as being in a phoneme category that harmonises
with the stressed vowel, or whether a neutral epenthetic vowel is coloured
by the following consonant is impossible for us to determine. So any rule
that we can come up with and that is justified by the attestations in
traditional Cornish is legitimate. Again, <gavar> and <gaver> are both
legitimate, correct spellings for Revived Cornish, in my opinion. The rule e
+ l, r, and o + w, regardless of the preceding stressed vowel is a simpler




From: nicholas williams
Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 10:26 AM


A syllabic consonant r or l, would not sound very different from schwa +


Dan's question remains: how do we write *pobXl, *marXw, *lavXr and *lyvXr.

It seems that the traditional spelling of these and similar items has been
influenced by

other factors. When in the sequence schwa + consonant, the consonant is [w],

epenthetic vowel is the rounded schwa, written <o>: galow, marow, gelow,

When the sequence schwa + consonant contains [l] or [r] preceded by a high
or mid-high stressed vowel,

the schwa is written <e>: lyver, lever, pobel. The schwa is the higher
variety, which can also be written <y>, e.g. pobyl.

When the sequence is preceded by the low vowel [a], the schwa is written
<a>: lavar.


In which case <gavar> is probably the most sensible spelling for the word
for 'goat'.


In Later Cornish <a> is written in all cases: maraw, pobal, levar 'book.'





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