[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Wed Jul 30 12:08:54 BST 2014

A reason for preferring iw to ju is that this appears to have been the pronunciation in traditional Cornish until the death of the language.
Look, for example, at the following from Boson's Duchess of Cornwall's Progress:

Why a ra Cavas dr’eeu an gwas Harry ma Poddrak broas [Why a wra cavos der yw an gwas Harry-ma podrak brâs]
Der yw (for earlier Dell yw) is written <dreeu> as though it were [dri:u] or [dri:w] not [drju]. This suggests that at the end of the seventeenth
century yw was [iw] not [ju].

There are several examples of ow for ew 'is' in CW, which suggest that the diphthong may on occasion have been treated like the diphthong in
clewes, kewsel. This would imply that the nucleus of the diphthong was the second part, i.e. iw, ew not ju. 

A common Late spelling of yth yw is ethew, thew. This looks as though it should rhyme with the late spellings Dew 'God', blew 'yellow'. 
The ew in both these is surely a falling diphthong.


On 30 Jul 2014, at 11:24, Jon Mills <j.mills at email.com> wrote:

> The impression that I have from listening to today's speakers is that [ju] predominates whether preceded by a vowel or a consonant, followed by a linking [w] when followed by a vowel. Is there any seriously justifiable reason for proscribing what seems to be commonplace today?

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