craig at agantavas.org
Wed Jul 27 17:35:56 BST 2011
The latest version of the SWF glossary hasn't been distributed yet.
On 27 Gor 2011, at 16:29, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net
> On Behalf Of Michael Everson
> Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:09 PM
> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
> Subject: Re: gwyw
> “On 26 Jul 2011, at 13:54, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
> >> I cannot see what reason there is for spelling this word with
> <iw> in the SWF, apart from gwiw in Common Cornish. This is based
> upon Welsh gwiw and Breton gwiv.
> > While I believe you are right in saying the SWF spelling is based
> upon KK, it is the whole distribution of <i> and <y> that was
> largely taken over from KK.
> It was not taken over because of any extended discussion and
> principled consensus that George's distribution of the two letters
> had any merit. It was taken over because there were twice as many KK
> users in the AHG than UC/R and RLC users, and because there was no
> time to examine the question thoroughly.”
> Examining a question thoroughly also includes reaching a different
> conclusion from your own. I cannot say how the consensus of the AHG
> was reached exactly – I wasn’t there, but the system does have
> its merits. I can, for example, see the advantages of
> differentiating between long [iː] and short [ɪ] in monosyllabic
> words, something that UC and UCR didn’t show; the different origin
> of the w-diphthongs in monosyllabic words (/iw/ : /ɪw/ : /ɛw/ : /
> aw/ : /ow/ : (/yw/?)),. Since a correct pronunciation can be derived
> from this etymologising spelling (minus KK’s actual mistakes), this
> is a valid solution. I can’t see the ex-KK users who have actually
> switched to the SWF/M allow a change to the solution offered in KS,
> let alone the KK users who have not turned, as well as those who, no
> doubt, harbour hope that 2013 will bring a return to KK-proper.
> “Having examined it, we find no merit in George's etymological
> distribution. Quite the contrary: we find teachers criticizing it
> because the sound is no guide to the spelling and vice-versa.”
> Is this not a case of “unattributed criticisms without examples”?
> “> As far as I can gather, Nicholas, you say that <y> and <i> are
> allographs in MC.
> In many contexts. There are, however, *no* instances of <iw>.”
> But we’ve already established that this is not true. We have
> <diweth> in TH, we have several occurrences of <iụ> in Lhuyd where
> <ụ> can be considered a direct equivalent of <w>; Lhuyd’s
> <diụadh> and <diụedh> in the very same etymon as the attestation
> in TH. The digraph <iu> is also frequent in the OC VC.
> > So I would conclude that any systematic or regular distribution
> decided upon for RC is arbitrary and per se a feature of modern RC
> orthography and not ‘spelling as the texts’.
> The contribution of Ben and Albert was to distinguish <i> and <y> as
> [iː] and [ɪ] in stressed monosyllables and in their derivatives.
> (Their system obliged us to distinguish <ÿ> and <ë> for [iː] and
> [eː] in a class of stressed monosyllables, but at least we have no
> ambiguity.) Both Crist and Cryst may be found in the texts
> indifferently, but having settled on a distribution does not mean
> that one would just settle on anything.”
> Not anything, an etymological approach, such as was decided for
> Icelandic or Faeroese. The latter language is dialectally quite
> divers and despite considerable development away from the Old
> Western Norse phonological base, an Old Norse based orthography
> appears to work just fine as a written ‘roof’ over the Faeroese
> dialects. A similar approach is possible for Cornish, too, if we
> want to be inclusive of the spoken varieties of RC.
> “>> Everybody pronounces gwyw to rhyme with 'alive', which the SWF
> spells byw and bew.
> > I don’t know if this is true. The SWF/M form <gwiw> has /gwiw/
> which is pronounced [gwiˑʊ], while SWF/M <byw> is /bɪw/ pronounced
> Excuse me? First: there is *no evidence* for half-length in the
> phonology of Revived Cornish. Second: The SWF does not mandate that /
> ɪw/ is pronounced [eʊ].”
> Sorry, this way my analysis; if you don’t like the notion of half-
> length because it reminds you too much of George or Breton or both,
> it certainly appears to be a bit of a ed rag here, let me rephrase
> and express it with length (or lack thereof) only:
> SWF liw ‘colour’ can be analysed as /liw/, i.e. as the sequence
> CVC, and pronounced [liːw], the same way SWF mir ‘look’ is CVC /
> mir/ = [miːr]. I cannot find any example of Lhuyd writing *îụ or
> *îu, but he does have <blêụ> (8x) ‘hair’, <vêụ> (2x),
> <vêu> (2x), <bêụ> (3x), <bêu> ‘alive’; <knêu> ‘fleece’,
> <lêụ> (2x) ‘lion’ (which may be only from a written source
> (VC)), likewise <lêụ>, <lêu> ‘rudder’, <plêụ>
> ‘parish’ (cf. N.Boson/Gwavas <pleaw>, O.Pender <pleau>, J.Tonkin
> <plewe>), <têu>, <têụ> ‘fat’; <frâu> ‘rook’, <glâu>,
> <glâụ> ‘rain’ (cf. Pryce <glawe>), <kâụh> ‘shit’,
> <klâv> as well as <klâu> ‘sick’, <mâu> (2x), <mâụ> (3x)
> ‘boy’, <nâụ> ‘nine’ (cf. Pryce <nawe>), <sâu> (2x),
> <sâụ> ‘safe, save’, <tâụ>, <tâu> ‘hush’. These
> spellings suggest that the nucleus of the diphthong was (relatively)
> long. Pryce has <deew>, <dêw>, <dêu> ‘God’ also showing a long
> nucleus in open syllables in monosyllabic words. Spellings with
> <eaw> (apart from French loan words) in BK and CW <deaw> ‘two’,
> as well as <bleaw(e)> ‘hair’ and <reaw> ‘ice’ in CW confirm
> “The SWF says that <iw> is RMC [iʊ], TC [ɪʊ] (here it is wrong),
> and RLC [ɪʊ] (which also appears to be wrong; Gendall gives liu
> [liu] for 'colour' and [iu] is not [ɪʊ].”
> It shows that Gendall interprets the retention of the contrast /iw/
> (< older /iw/) v. /ew/ (< older /ɪw/ + /ɛw/). I would like to say,
> however, that the contrast /iw/ : /ew/ is phonologically marginal on
> account of the few instances of /iw/ and the existence of only near-
> minimal pairs, though there is <liụ> ‘colour’ and <lêụ>
> “The SWF says that <yw> is RMC and TC [ɪw] which might be right
> (in theory) for KK but is incorrect for UC/R, since people say [iʊ].
> UC/R and TC speakers do not distinguish "du" 'black' and "duw" 'god'
> and "dyw" 'two', and all three of these rhyme with "lyw"/*"liw"
> 'colour'. UC/R and TC speakers do not distinguish words which in SWF
> are written <iw> from words which in SWF are written <yw>. And
> nobody in the AHG could do it either. Trond asked everyone in turn
> to distinguish a range of such words and no one could do it.”
> You are incorrect as far as UC goes, which does distinguish m. dew
> and f. dyw. Gendall also distinguishes the m. and f. forms of the
> You are speaking of native speakers of English, non-linguists, not
> being able to contrast these sounds, I’m talking about the evidence
> of a long nucleus in this environment in traditional Cornish. And
> what you say is also only partially true, because I know Ben and
> Albert, both were present in advisory function to the AHG, are quite
> capable of making these sounds. Again, this is a teaching issue
> rather than an observation of what was likely in traditional
> Cornish. I accept Nicholas’ analysis that the numeral was only
> partially, if at all, distinguished by gender of its following noun.
> “(I am of course aware that some speakers especially older ones say
> [juː] rather than [iʊ], but as you know this is no longer
> The SWF says that <ew> is [ɛʊ] for everyone and so it is.”
> Many speakers of RC have trouble distinguishing /iw/:/ew/:/aw/:/ow/:/
> ɔː/ consistently, mixing sounds found in Standard English and Anglo-
> “The SWF's table is such a mess because it does not recognize the
> bÿs/bës class of words, and so tries to use <y> as an umbrella
> graph (which is objectionable enough to begin with).”
> The SWF does recognise the bys ~ bes class of words, hence the
> optional spelling variants. The idea of an umbrella graph <y> for
> words pronounced as [iː], [ɪː] or [eː] in RMC and [eː] in RLC is
> not fully fleshed out, though I would like to see this in the coming
> adjustments in 2013. Since RLC users generally don’t like the <y>
> graph for ideological reasons (mainly to distance themselves from
> MC, as well as Nance’s overuse of the letter) and a possibility of
> consistently converting every RMC <y> to RLC <e> (or <ë>) would be
> desirable from my point of view.
> “But it cannot do this consistently because of its rule with <y>
> and <i> in stressed monosyllables. This incoherence is a structural
> flaw in the SWF, and no amount of making excuses for it can fix it.”
> No, because <i> would be written where RMC and RLC both have [iː],
> while <y> ~ <e> (or <ë>) would be written for RMC [iː] ~ [ɪː] ~
> [eː], RLC [eː] and <e> where both RMC and RLC have /eː/.
> “The SWF says that RMC has "lyw" for 'rudder' and RLC has "lew" for
> rudder, but this is also false.”
> No, the SWF has <lew> for ‘rudder’. So it is your claim above
> that is false. See the latest version of the Glossary.
> “UC, UCR, and RLC all have "lew" for 'rudder'. The SWF's attempt to
> blot out UC and UCR with KK forms by assuming that KK is RMC and UC/
> R do not exist is just another fault of the SWF.”
> See above.
> “>> Would it not be sensible therefore to spell 'worthy' gwyw and
> > I would like to see SWF/L <gwew> either dropped or replaced by
> I have pointed out the pronunciation of "kniv" Norwegian and Danish
> as an indication that such s shift is fairly normal.”
> Yes, it also occurs in Breton where <kreñv> is [kʀɛ̃ːw] or
> [kʀɛːw] (cf. W cryf, C crev). The vocalisation of /v/ > /w/ in
> Danish is, however, the reverse order as compared to the supposed
> change of Cornish /w/ > /v/. See also the interesting change of /w/
> > /f/ in the Breton Goelo dialect with a theoretical intermediate
> stage /v/, again closer to the Cornish shift than the Danish/
> Norwegian example (both from ON knífr as you know well, I’m sure).
> “> I could accept SWF/M <gwyw> if we were to spell <tyr> ‘land’
> and <hyr> ‘long’, but if we have <tir> and <hir>, <gwiw> makes
> sense on a systematic level.
> No, it doesn't, because there is no alternation [ɪʊ] vs [iʊ], so
> there is no need to distinguish <yw> from <iw>.”
> Diachronically, yes, there is, see liw ‘colour’, byw ~ bew
> ‘alive’ and tew ‘fat’. The diphthongs of the latter two
> examples fall in with each other, while the first remains in LC.
> Nobody pronounces liw with the diphthong in tew, while there are
> people who pronounce byw with either the diphthong in liw or with
> the diphthong in tew. It makes perfect sense. KS has the same set of
> differences, even if realised in a different way graphically: KS
> gwyw : bÿw : tew, or gwyw : bëw :tew, the only difference is that
> the SWF uses <i> instead of KS <y>, <y> instead of <ÿ> ~ <ë>, and
> <e> in both - same systematic difference, just different graphs. It
> is completely analogical to the set mis ‘month’, bys ~ bes
> ‘world’, bedh ‘grave’. What is unsystematic is that KS writes
> mis, bÿs~bës, bedh instead of *mys,bÿs~bës, bedh, because <y>
> is reserved for the short vowel [ɪ] only.
> “This is part of Ken George's "aspirational" /i/ vs /ɪ/ vs /e/ and
> such a triad simply is not a part of the Revived language.”
> There are many features in the varieties of Revived Cornish that are
> aspirational. Many speakers rhyme pow and adro – do you suggest in
> turn that they be written poand adro or pow and adrow? No, I don’t
> think you would, if I may be so bold as to venture to answer for you
> (‘quote’ me if I’m wrong ;-)).
> “Even if it were a part of the dialect continua in traditional
> Cornish, it is nowhere in the orthography distinguishable.”
> This is not entirely true. You have the mis-set (or whatever you
> call it), the bys~bes-set, and the bedh-set. This set of contrasts
> was part of the language at some time, according to Nicholas, before
> the prosodic shift, in the interpretation of other people was
> maintained longer, and eventually the vowel of the bys~bes-set was
> redistributed and fell in with either the mis-vowel (usually before
> coronal fricatives) and the bedh-set, usual development.
> “And twenty-five years of KK have proved that it is not possible to
> teach such a three-way distinction.”
> … which may have something to do with the ability of the teachers,
> who are all native speakers of English, to become functionally aware
> of the contrasts and pronounce them.
> “For this reason we in Spellyans took the decision long ago to
> discard such fictions as we began to examine the shortcomings in the
> ‘We’ based the first incarnation of KS on a later date than the
> one KK is based on, taking ‘us’ and the phonological base of
> Cornish around 1600 safely out of the disputed period of when the
> prosodic shift happened into a period where old /ɪ/ had fallen in
> with either /i/ or /ɛ/. Thus the distinction became irrelevant. But
> today there are speakers of Revived Cornish who want to (whether
> they achieve it is another matter entirely) retain the earlier
> distinction, or at least have the option of doing so.
> “> If, however, we are discussing the redistribution of <y> and <i>
> in general, I’m open to discussing other options and suggestions.
> We have made it easy.
> i- at the beginning of words.”
> This doesn’t allow RLC speakers to predict the pronunciation of a
> number of key words, such as in (SWF yn ~ en).
> “-y at the end of words.”
> This I would agree with and very much like to see changed in the
> adjustments of the SWF in 2013.
> “y [ɪ] in stressed monosyllables and [ɪ] in their derivatives”
> “i [iː] in stressed monosyllables and [ɪ] in their derivatives”
> As mentioned above, inconsistent with the spelling of the iw-
> diphthongs where liw can just as well be analysed as having the
> syllable structure CVC as mis.
> “y [ɪ] elsewhere in polysyllables
> î [iː] elsewhere in polysyllables”
> I find this set of rules quite complicated, and incompatible with
> allowing predictable pronunciations for both RMC and RLC speakers.
> The SWF isn’t perfect either in this regard, but can be tweaked.
> “This is extremely easy to learn. And if you can pronounce a word,
> you can most likely spell it.
> Of course we also have ÿ~ë [iː]~[eː] in that class of words (this
> is essentially separate from the distribution of i and y). This
> complication could have been avoided with <ei>, but that umbrella
> graph was not accepted by the AHG.”
> Yes, unfortunate, but simply the way it went. The compromise looks
> similar to KK, but since I view the SWF as a separate beast it is
> possible to arrive at the correct pronunciations by formulating a
> set of rules that suits users of all previous orthographic camps.
> > I do not find the KS solution workable in an ‘interdialectal’
> orthography such as the SWF as it doesn’t take into account the
> differences between MC and LC based forms.
> Where's your list? This criticism doesn't mean anything to me.
> Certainly Jowan Hir Silver speaks LC. Of course the more different
> one wishes to make the two dialects, the more differences one will
> wish to build into the orthography. In our view there were some
> differences which were “
> This sentence is fading out, so I can’t tell which point you’re
> trying to make here…
> As far as the ‘list of criticisms’ goes, I’ve already mentioned
> words like KS <in> which does not represent RLC’s <en>. The problem
> of the <y> ~ <i> ~ <î> distribution ‘enshrines’ Nicholas’s
> phonological theory, that Cornish distinguished only two high and
> mid-high front long vowels, when there are people who want to make a
> three-way distinction, whether this is warranted or not. The graphs
> used in the texts are interpretable either way especially in the
> bys~bes-set. In essence, KS makes such a distinction where the long
> vowels are concerned, but doesn’t allow it where in the case of the
> “> RLC users, other than myself, have said as much.
> Hurrah, unattributed criticisms without examples."
> I have asked permission to quote an RLC user, but haven’t heard
> back from here yet. I will, if she responds positively.
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