[Spellyans] The two roles of â (a-circumflex) in Kernowek Standard

Philip Newton philip.newton at gmail.com
Thu Sep 19 16:21:24 BST 2013

On 19 September 2013 15:49, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:
> On 19 Sep 2013, at 00:31, Philip Newton <philip.newton at gmail.com> wrote:
>> and that one of its goals was to enable users to pronounce any word they see written.
> Which it is, according to the rules. Fâls, âls, brâssa, and glânder follow the rules, though the particular rule for those was overlooked when making them explicit.

Could you formulate the rule that "fâls" and "âls" follow, please?

I think I understand the one for "brâssa" and "glânder" (it's a
variety of the one that puts short non-word-initial _i_ - rather than
_y_ which is how that sound usually gets spelled - in words such as
"gwiryoneth, tiryow" based on the spelling of the base word, I

I thought that "fâls, âls" were exceptions (which would be fair enough
-- if those were the only exceptions to be learned in KS, it would
still be wonderful for students!), and am intrigued to learn that they
also follow a rule.

I suppose the rule means that the (borrowed) name of the Dutch town
Vaals (pronunciation [f̠aːɫs] according to German Wikipedia) cannot be
represented in Cornish since written _Fâls_ cannot represent
[fa:ls~fæ:ls]. (Or would that be _Fâlss_? I suppose that would work.)

>> Perhaps a better description would be something like "SWF with as many ambiguities as possible removed"?
> Oh, please. We took the SWF spec as the starting point for a mature, traditionally-based orthography that could stand up to academic scrutiny (where UC and KK and the SWF are open to serious criticism). I believe we have achieved the development of such an orthography.

It wasn't intended as an attack. You yourself said that "No one ever
claimed that KS orthography was entirely free from occasional

I presume this means that complete freedom from ambiguity was not a
goal... just to remove as many as possible, starting with the "worst"
ones (the most confusing, the ones with most wide-ranging effects,
etc.). "As many as possible" may well mean 99%.

I wasn't offering a motto statement for your website (i.e. something
you'd have to accept or proclaim in your name), just trying to
understand better for myself what the goals of KS are and what, if
any, its limits (self-imposed or externally-imposed) are.

>>> "Continue to guess"? At what point does one learn?
>> Learn from where? There's no complete list of such corner cases that I'm aware of, there's no KS dictionary indicating pronunciation,
> Books do not write themselves.
> So the making-explicit of one rule was missed out. Please try to forgive us our imperfections.

Of course. In return, please understand my slight annoyance at being
(essentially) told to "just learn" when the learning material is not
yet available.

Thank you for explaining this part of the orthography which I was not
able to learn on my own! Especially for your look through the Bible
concordance to give me a sense of perspective concerning the use of
_â_ and the potential for ambiguity; that was more than I had
expected, and I'm grateful for it.

Philip Newton <philip.newton at gmail.com>

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