[Spellyans] tavas

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed May 15 00:52:37 BST 2013

On 14 May 2013, at 22:15, Daniel Prohaska <daniel at ryan-prohaska.com> wrote:

>>> I prefer attested spellings, but as ‹taves› IS attested I don't see a problem. 
>> It is attested. A lot of crap is attested. This one is poorly attested compared to the better spelling ‹tavas›, and its use of "e" has nothing to do with Brythonic reconstruction, either.
> Oh, hasn't it? How do you explain tis attestation in an early MC Cornish text.

It is one of several ways that text has of writing schwa in final unstressed position. 

> It's direct and explicable predecessor in OC ‹tauot›.

So are the many many many attested examples of ‹tavas›, Dan. When the value of the final unstressed syllable weakens and they fall together as schwa, an artificial distinction preserving ‹e› ceases to be useful. 

> Now you're just leaving the field of historical linguistics and are becomming dogmatic in dismissing ‹taves› because it is KK, or whatever reason you have for dismissing it.

I have explained the structural reasons for preferring tavas/tavosow to taves/tavosow before. Maybe I will have to do so again. The shift Ken George made to etymological vowels did not add value to the system. Such value exists where the vowel returns under stress when a suffix is added. In those cases it makes good sense to retain the vowel in unstressed position. Otherwise, it's just an additional random spelling that doesn't assist learners or writers.

>> It's one of the many ways of writing schwa. It's an accident, and using it to justify Ken George's penchant for etymologies is just plain silly.
> Explain why it lines up to OC ‹tauot›, maybe it's an accident, maybe it's not.

Yes, but who the hell cares? What value doe it add? How does it make the language easier? How does it fit into a coherent synchronic system? Old Cornish was a different language from Middle/Tudor/Late Cornish. We know practically nothing about it. Nobody speaks it. Nobody tries to speak it either. 

> But the same can be said of ‹tavas›. Also a spelling for schwa. 

Yes, and one which fits better into a more useful system. 

The same goes for all of George's -es plurals. Not a one of them is an improvement over -as. 

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

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