[Spellyans] tavas

Janice Lobb janicelobb at gmail.com
Wed May 15 16:02:47 BST 2013

You say "In KK melin and gwelyn rhyme perfectly, but are spelt differently
for etymological reasons." A problem I have in teaching Late Cornish is
explaining that "hir" and "fur" rhyme

On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM, Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>wrote:

> The two cases are completely different. The Breton dialects are known and
> understood.
> In the case of Cornish the spellings are all we have to go on. There are
> no speakers.
> Of course standard forms of spoken languages use etymological spellings in
> order to arrive at hyperdialects acceptable to all.
> In the case of Cornish, however, the question of taves is not a matter of
> dialect, but rather a question of how the now extinct language developed.
> Taves
> is a possible etymological spelling, but so for that matter is tavas,
> since the expected e hardly occurs at all in the texts. We have a rule that
> OC oe is not unrounded in certain environments. The unstressed vowel is
> almost invariably
> a and I suggest that this is a result of the labial immediately preceding.
> That tavas not taves was the attested form is further suggested by the
> plural.
> The orthography of Breton, though interesting, is not relevant.
> The bias against etymological spellings understandable. In KK melin and
> gwelyn rhyme perfectly, but are spelt differently for etymological reasons.
> Not only does this violate the phonemic principle, it also makes learning
> the orthography much more difficult.
> The SWF is a new orthography and it is a great pity that it should be
> burdened with the incubus of etymological (but non-phonemic spellings)
> taken holus
> bolus from an orthography which has been found wanting.
> Nicholas
> On 14 May 2013, at 15:13, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:
> I don’t really understand the persistent bias against etymology in this
> group. My etymological orthography for Breton builds on the interdialectal
> (S-SS) orthography, and works much the best of all systems to accomodate
> predictable dialect reflexes with a minimum of spelling variation.
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