[Spellyans] Cornish fonts

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Sep 1 18:35:17 BST 2010

On 1 Sep 2010, at 17:47, Eddie Climo wrote:

> That's why I shall continue to write <yn> for both the prepostion and the adverbial particle, following the pattern established in Unified Cornish.

The only applicable "principle" here would be that Unified Cornish *could* not make such a distinction because Nance did not allow the letter "i" at all. 

> The vowel in each words is pronounced pretty much the same (albeit not quite stressed the same), and 'yn ta' and 'yn tre' are both semantically and syntactically quite distinct. With this pair, I derogate from KS's in/yn distinction. In this instance, UC ain't broke, so there's no need to fix it.

I am afraid that you have misunderstood KS here. 

The principle problem KS addresses is the haphazard and unpredictable distribution of "i" and "y" in the SWF in general. Such a distribution is well-known to everyone, and in fairness, Nance just dodged the question entirely in avoiding the letter "i" completely. UCR has no particularly coherent rule for the use of "i". KK of course uses "i" where George thought it to be etymologically warranted.

One thing KS does to distribute the two letters is use -y in final position in all words. This is quite easy for learners to remember.

Another thing KS does is put i- in initial position in all words except for a handful of function words, also because this rule is easy to remember. The adverbial particle happens to be one of these function words.

The y- in these particles has very low stress, and is basically [ə] rather than [ɪ]. I would suggest that "yn tâ" is [ən tæː] just as "ytho" is [əˈθo], "yma" [əˈma] and so on. This would compare with "in tre" [ɪn treː]. The preposition "in" can be stressed; the adverbial particle really can't be.

It is a mistake to suggest that KS made the in/yn distinction in order to fix a lack of distinction between the two in Unified Cornish. The distinction made in KS between in/yn is incidental. It is based on a principled decision made about a *different* problem.

It is *also* in my opinion no bad thing that two words are distinct. It makes the distinction "in gwir" and "yn wir" quite clear.

I hope this helps clarify the matter.

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

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