[Spellyans] 'up, upwards'

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sat Jan 24 01:13:45 GMT 2009

On 23 Jan 2009, at 21:58, Eddie Climo wrote:

> This sounds like an equally good argument for admitting either 'yn',  
> or  both 'yn' and 'in', for the preposition.

That would add ambiguity to the system. Right now LS distinguishes  
between 'yn' the particle which causes mutation and 'in' the  
preposition which does not.

> I do not favour the idea of introducing into Cornish artificial  
> orthographic conventions to make homonymic distinctions between  
> homophones.

They are not just homophones. One causes mutation and the other does  
not. And in fact I am not sure they are homophones. I think the  
particle is probably quite unstressed, even to [ən] as, in Welsh,  
whilst the preposition is more strongly pronounced, as [ɪn] sometimes  
falling to [ɛn] in RLC.

> With some reluctance, I do accept the idea of distinguishing, say, / 
> gwyn/ 'white' from /gwy:n/ 'wine'; although I don't find this  
> confusing myself, I do understand that some learners might find it so.

Actually, lots and lots of learners (of KK) have quite reliably  
distinguished between [iː] and [ɪ] with <i> and <y> respectively in  
monosyllables. Pragmatically this distinction, while not made qua  
distinction in the traditional texts, makes good sense and assists in  
resolving the choice between <i> and <y>. That problem is something  
the AHG never wrestled with; Nance didn't have to because he banned <i>.

Jenner writes the particle as <yn> and the preposition as <en>~<idn>.  
So distinguishing the particle from the preposition is not  
unprecedented in the Revival.

> But as for using orthographic notation to distinguish homophones --  
> therein lies the path to madness!

I don't think they are really homophones.

And I don't think your analogy between <côk> and <yn>/<in> is actually  
analogous. Those are just nouns and adjectives. Not grammatical  
lexemes which behave differently.

> As we couldn't possibly do it for groups like /co:k/, we shouldn't  
> advocate it for /yn/.

You forget one other thing. A lot of RLC users think the letter <y> is  
"medieval". I don't really understand this, but still it's a fact. KS  
uses <i> in initial position in most words (because in general it  
really doesn't matter whether it is <i> or <y>; it's cosmetic).

A lot has been said about UC/UCR people changing from <ue> to <eu> as  
a compromise to KK. I consider <in> prep. (and initial i- in general)  
to be a compromise to RLC.

<in> is thoroughly Cornish. If it's unfamiliar because Nance shunned  
<i> entirely, it's understandable that you might find it unfamiliar.  
But it's not "better" or "more Cornish" to conflate these two words.  
They are different words, with different histories.

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

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