[Spellyans] Collated SWF Review Issues 2.) & 3.)

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Tue Apr 30 11:59:38 BST 2013


Meur ras dhis a'th poyntys a skians. Otta dhewgh nebes geryow et aga hever…

re   Issues raised for the SWF  Review
1 d   Pronunciation of doubled consonants and vowel length   --  Normal rules.
[ nb  I am pleased to see plural marker:   -nnyow: Clarifies that n y   i.e.  <n j> =  (N +  Y consonant)   is liable to  pre-occlusion  e.g.   termynyow,  apronyow.
I agree. Forms that show Pre-Occlusion (PO) in later texts should be written with ‹nn› in SWF/M and ‹dn› in SWF/L.
 48     Reduction of doubled geminates   medially.                            
Reductionng doubles to  single  is illogical and unnecessary:
Short vowels do not become Long when not in stress-accented positions
even though Pre-occlusion may not occur:  the Doubling should remain.. 
The same obviously applies to Doubled consonants in final position in polysyllabic words.
 [ No Cornish speaker would ever say ‘gwedhedn’  or   ‘kebmerewgh’; both of which run completely  counter to  the ‘rule’  concerning pre-occlusion.
Julyan, I have heard a mispronounced ‹Yowann› as [juˈwadn] in an audio of the KDL course, so your assertion that a misinterpretation of ‹gwedhenn› as [gweðedn] is not possible, is not correct.
Also, this orthographical method was introduced from Breton, where it makes sense because of the interdialectal spelling that takes into consideration the phonology and stress pattern of the diverging south-eastern dialect of Gwened. Cornish has no such regional variation.
The textual spellings largely show a  pattern ‹kemeres› ~ ‹kemmer› and ‹gwedhen› ~ ‹gwedhennow›... I believe this should be used, as indeed it is, in the SWF, too. The graphs ‹nn› and ‹mm› should only appear in stressed position where it is phonologically relevant and where SWF/L has ‹dn› and ‹bm› respectively.
Vowel Length is an aid  to the formation of compounds and plural forms
e.g. when a word is extended to a compound,  by adding any  suffix,
including  plural markers.  nb in particular, betweene     -nnow   or  nyow. 
As you’ve said above pl. ‹nyow› should also be ‹nnyow›, so word final unstressed ‹nn› is redundant anyway...
2   Inappropriate use of < i>  graph’ ???   Is this to be taken with 4  (below)
   ‘Distribution of  <i>  and < >y is unclear and incoherent’ ???
  3  ‘aesthetics’   is purely subjective.   It is a matter of personal opinion
whether QW  is more aesthetic  than  KW,
they are entitled to their opinions. See 39, 41 & 45 (below)
As the Cornish Revival is reviving the traditional language of Cornwall the spelling patterns of traditional Cornish should be used and standardised so that spellings may be predicted from the pronunciation and vice versa. The advantages of Ken George’s ‹k, kw, hw› are rather small in comparison to the orthographic discussions and quarrels as well as the fracturing of the Revival movement over orthography. The traditional spelling patterns should be used as the main form, while the KK-graphs may be used in teaching material to exemplify the mutational changes. a normal written text should have traditional graphs. 
5   & 26   Vowel distinction:  Long <a>,  Short  <o>  and  < u>
?   Relates to  38  (below)
 13       <u>   umbrella graph,,   ? relates to  
   37   Unified   ü  ,    26    <au>  suggested by the Signage committee  and   may be
considered ‘traditional  and   <ai>  ?
I would say that ‹au› is absolutely necessary. Not only is it justified in the texts and place names, but has a long standing tradition in revived Cornish. It was a very bad idea to get rid of it in KK. 
The following group relate  to choices in pronunciation
that  need  not affect the Orthography:
 10   Those who do not pronounce the initial vowel in the verbal particle  Yth
may  , in the interests of unity, write the full form or else    ‘th
‹‘th› looks like a quotation mark. It would be better to write ‹’th›, or just drop the vowel ‹th›. It would be possible to write ‹Th era› or ‹Thera›. Some would opt for ‹Th’era› which is also fine... Wringing ‹yth esa› for unity’s sake is just not very helpful to those who say [ˈθɛɾɐ].
11  Realisation of the diphthong in final plural markers: 
Speakers  are free to pronounce:  final  ow   as  <a>   or  <au>
or  14   omit   some final consonants,  e.g.   for   for  fordh
but it is unhelpful to insist  on  alternative written forms.
Here I pretty much go along with you, but I would insist that the possibility of pronouncing ‹fordh› and ‹vor› should be made clear in the teaching and reference material.
41   To be taken with  4  and  20.   Alternative forms:  yn mysk   and  en mesk 
The difference in pronunciation is very marginal and the  y/ e  alternation
 no practical purpose and is entirely an aesthetic choice.
I disagree. The ‹y› ~ ‹e› is relevant to Middle Cornish users, and the Late Cornish spellings reflect the development in traditional Cornish. This is why I proposed that ‹i› should be used for ‘stable-i’ and ‹e› for ‘stable-e’ – ‘stable’ meaning that these graphs are valid for both RMC as well as RLC. RMC ‹y› should be used only where its RLC equivalent is ‹e›. This class of words could be marked with a diacritic to show where a speaker of one variety would be different from a speaker of the other variety.
20   Reduce pointless  written  Variations  
  e.g.  bew/ byw  and  bow, - ( Three forms for a single word!
  See  41  and  20  (below)
No. The ‹byw› ~ ‹bew› variation represents the same variation as ‹bys› ~ ‹bes›. Any solution found for the one should be workable for the other...
**bow does not occur on its own. It is simpy a development that occurs in ‹bowna(n)s›. You also see this development in ‹nowydh› and ‹clowes›...
And anyway, what’s so very ‘bad’ about variation. It is commonly assumed that variation is something negative and confusing, when it’s the most natural thing that occurs in language. The Cornish language had it. Why should we streamline a naturally evolved language to make it ‘easier’ for the beginner to cope with. The beginner would and shouldn’t be confronted with the full range of variation possible in Cornish but that doesn’t mean that Cornish forms that existed should be censured and discarded. The little traditional Cornish we have is too valuable to be ignored.
[This situation crops up in the MAGA/ CC  signage committee work.
Quite apart from where and whether to include pre-occlusion,  e.g.
Gwynn   or   Gwydn,  we have lately found ourselves using different spellings
for a single word in recommending forms for official signs:  town signs and street-names.
Place and street names where pre-occlusion occurs traditionall should definitely be written so in modern signage. It reflects the history of the language in a give area.
We have a ridiculous policy of spelling  ‘res’  a ford’   as ‘rys’  if in the second part of a name.
Similar case with  ‘Les’,  @Lys’,  ‘kar’,  ‘ker’.
The above situation is indefensible and shows the language in a very poor light].
Why is it indefensible?
Why would it show the language in a poor light?
22   Final  P  and  T   after a Short vowel in monosyllables:
Reverting to single consonants here is an unnecessary exception
to  SWF   basic guidelines.
No, pronouncing a short vowel before final ‹p› and ‹t› IS a basic guideline of the SWF. You are speaking about KK, but this particular feature of the SWF was incorporated at a very early stage in the AdHoc discussion group. It is also where KK-phonology practically was dropped for the SWF. Sure KK-users have interpreted (their often mistaken KK) phonology back into the SWF, but it’s not what’s in the spec.
38   ( to be taken with  48) The Short ( non-accented)  form of  oo
 < >o  is unsatisfactory unless the following consonant group makes it is clear
that the vowel is Short.
‹oo› does not occur in short position.
48   There is considerable support for re-introducing  authentic and traditional:  oe
which is the normal and easily  most common representation in place-names
 from 1300  to   1700.
And generally means /ɔ/ in the texts, not Ken Georges proposed phoneme */o/ from Old Cornish /ui/.
[It was not recognized in  Unified  because of the narrow focus
of  its creator on literary orthography.    oe   is used less consistently
in the texts but    <oy>   frequently  represents  the same sound.
[ nb  Dr George  arrived at the spelling  from comparative linguistics,
independently of the place-name precedents].
In this context, what is comparative linguistics?
39  &  45    The spelling  of loanwords with  < c>   e.g.  ‘certan’
is an aesthetic choice.
or, we could suggest,  a result of a conservative English mind-set!
No, it is phonological. Most RMC learner pronounce ‹s› as /s/ everywhere, but RLC learners distinguish /s/ and /z/. Words like ‹seyth, seythen, segh, Sowsnek› etc. all begin with /z/, while words like ‹cita, certan› etc. begin with /s/.
45  The  awkward and illogical  usage of both  CK  and  KK
in certain  words.is confusing and out of step with the norms of  SWF.
Replace with   KK   throughout.
I agree, though since ‹ck› is by far the most common way to double  c/k in traditional Cornish the digraph used in Revived Cornish ought to be ‹ck›, not ‹kk›.
50   I will leave to others the usage and distribution of   uw  but I have seen
the arguments convincingly presented.   There may be room for
revision over the inclusion or exclusion of certain words within this group.

On Apr 24, 2013, at 12:58 PM, Julyan Holmes wrote:

> Ottomma nebes preder adro dhe'n rol dylys y'n  folen MAGA
> From: daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
> Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2013 13:39:15 +0200
> To: corpusplanning at kernowek.net; spellyans at kernowek.net
> Subject: [CorpusPlanning] Collated SWF Review Issues 2.) & 3.)
> I have elaborated a little on issues 2.) and 3.)...
> 2.) ‹i› graph used inappropriately in prefixes and suffixes; 
> This point requires examples and explanation where and why the ‹i› graph is ‘used inappropriately’ and what inappropriate use of ‹i› constitutes. In such this point is closely related to the question of the rules of distribution of the ‹y› v. ‹i› graphs. Please elaborate!
> I’ll have to guess at what is meant by this criticism and single out a few instances where this may apply:
> Prefixed in: affecting mainly the prefixes ‹de-› and ‹di-› which in traditional Cornish appear to have merged, or at least not consistently distinguished in writing. 
> Suffixed in: the paradigm of ‹orth› (‹orthiv, orthis›, cf. UC ‹orthyf, orthys›, RLC ‹ortham, orthez›); 
> Maybe even cases where the root contains either ‹y› or ‹i› in KK and SWF as in: ‹melyn› ‘yellow’ and ‹melin› ‘mill’.
> One should first define what ‘inappropriate use’ really means and where it applies and how this relates within the overall spelling system to the distribution of the vowel graphs ‹i› ~ ‹y› ~ ‹e›. 
> In post-tonic closed syllables both KK and SWF rules clearly state that ‹i› and ‹y› are pronounced exactly the same. Yet in voice-overs of teaching materials, people obviously less than familiar with the KK and SWF rules pronounce words like ‹orthiv› and ‹orthis› as **[ˈɔɹθiːv] and **[ˈɔɹθiːs], even with word final stress **[ɔɹˈθiːv] and **[ɔɹˈθiːs], instead of the recommended [ˈɔrθɪv] and [ˈɔrθɪz] with the unstressed vowel having the quality of ‹i› in English ‹bit›. 
> I would think that this would consist inappropriate use of the i-graph, if such mispronunciation ensues. 
> The same goes for words like ‹melyn› and ‹melin› which, according to KK-rules are to be pronounced exactly the same, and not as some speaker try to distinguish [ˈmɛlɪn] from **[ˈmɛliːn]. 
> But this problem ought to be looked at in the wider context of the distribution of the graphs ‹i› ~ ‹y› ~ ‹e› throughout the spelling system. 
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> 3.) aesthetics; 
> Again, it is not clear by listing this one word what is meant by ‘aesthetics’ and which kind of aesthetic considerations come into play in the question of reviewing the SWF and standardising written Cornish. Please elaborate! 
> The word “aesthetics” has often been used in the context of the pro & con discussion relating to traditional graphs v. KK-graphs (i.e. TG ‹c› before ‹a o u› and consonants, ‹k› before ‹e y i›, ‹qw› or ‹qu› before /w/ and ‹wh› for [ʍ], as well as word-final ‹y›; v. KK graphs ‹k› before ‹a o u› and consonants, ‹k› before ‹e y i›, ‹kw› before /w/ and ‹hw› for [ʍ], as well as word-final ‹i›;
> To many Cornish speakers the KK-graphs 'feel' constructed and very technical, 'as if a robot had taken over the language'...
> The so-called traditional graphs tie in nicely with traditional Cornish literature since the Middle Ages, Cornish literature of the 20th century and beyond as well as place names. They form an emotional bond. They look real and can be defended as real Cornish whereas the KK-graphs look constructed and have little and sometimes no precedence in traditional Cornish. Some Cornish people are attempting and have, for a few hundred speakers, succeeded in reviving the traditional language of Cornwall. Why should it not be spelt in the traditional manner? Surely a simple matter of how to spell (un)mutated /k/ can’t be such a huge issue, to give up the ties to the traditional written language of Cornwall.
> Dan
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