[Spellyans] tavas in early Middle Cornish

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Jul 13 19:25:55 BST 2011

On 13 Jul 2011, at 18:54, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:

> Such an opposition is extremely stable in European Portuguese:
> <banqueta> /bɐ̃ˈketɐ/ ‘banquet’
> <banquete> /bɐ̃ˈketə/ ‘foot-stool’
> The /ə/ is often realized halfway towards [ɨ], thus helping to keep them distinct.

Very well, but the phonology of European Portuguese is very complex. And those are open syllables. 

> As Dan has shown us, such an opposition is also stable in German.

He didn't show it; he just said that it was. There are lots of dialects of German of course. I'm guessing the ɐ is the -er and the ǝ is the -e. Which are also open syllables. 

Dan says */ˈtavɛz/ > */ˈtavəz/ > LC */ˈtævɐz/ though I don't know what periods he posits the first to. And he doesn't give a complete chain. 

One might say */ˈtavot/ > */ˈtavœts/ > */ˈtavɛts/ > */ˈtavəz/ > LC */ˈtævɐz/. 
Or */ˈtavot/ > */ˈtavɔts/ > */ˈtavəz/ > LC */ˈtævɐz/. 

I don't think that the single attestation in OM suggests /ɛ/ so strongly. And I ask again, what practical good does this depth of etymologizing do for the orthography? I can't find sense in it in the broader context of the whole system. And I'm fairly familiar with that system.

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

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