[Spellyans] -ssy-

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Mon Dec 14 16:11:18 GMT 2009

On 14 Dec 2009, at 15:53, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> Just took a quick look and I found 4 attestations, 2 each in TH and  
> CW – interesting: encressyens, encresshys (TH) and incressya,  
> incresshys (CW). I give both pronunciations in my dictionary:  
> [ɛN”krɛsj at ns] ~ [ɛN”krɛS at ns].

Well to start with your [ʃ] forms are only in the verbal adjective.

But I don't think any revivalists use [ʃ] in this word. Do they?

>> We have a rule. -ssya is [sjə], as in passya, encressya.”
> CW also has vb.adj. passhes, so we may have palatalisation.

Perhaps, in the verbal adjective -- but if no Revivalist is doing this  
than it is not really important. I don't think we're going to get  
better Cornish by telling folks they can say [ˈpæsᵻz] or  
[ˈpæʃᵻz] as they like, since the latter is really not heard. (Do  
you know otherwise?)

> “We have a rule, -ssy- in other positions is [ʃ], as in passyon,  
> posessyon.”
> TH has possessyon, so we may have [pO”sEsj at n] or [pO”sES at n], no  
> [z] as in English - perhaps?

Attested forms in English are:

Past tense and past participle possessed, (chiefly arch.) possest,  
possesst. Forms: ME-16 possesse, ME-17 posses, ME- possess,  
16poscesse, 16 possese, 18- posess (irreg.); Sc. pre-17 pocess, pre-17  
posess, pre-17 posses, pre-17 possese, pre-17 possesse, pre-17 17-  
possess.Also past tense and past participle 15-17 posest, 15- possest  
(now arch.); Sc. pre-17 pocest, pre-17 posseist, pre-17 posseste.

BM has poscessyon. I suppose it could be [s] rather than [z]. But most  
of the historical spellings in English have -ss- and yet we end up  
with [z]. (I don't mind wither way; we spell posess if [z] and possess  
if [s].

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

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