[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Wed Jul 30 12:25:00 BST 2014

You have a good point here, Dan, about ûsya.
Interestingly the only example of yu rather than ew I can find in Late Cornish is the sentence by Gwavas: Yu hemma screpha Kernuack da?
Is it possible (cf. Jon's query) that in sentence initial position yw was sometimes pronounced ju, but elsewhere as iu?

In Irish the diphthong ia is [i@] but in word initial it is often ja.
In the Irish of Donegal for example iasacht 'loan' ['i at s@xt] is ['jEsaht].

In the light of Late Cornish, Welsh yw and Breton eo, I think we can be reasonably sure that MC yw was not ju: as suggested Nance (1938 page 202). Jenner only ever wrote yu without a macron.
A pronunciation of iw alternating allophonically with ju (with a short u) seems more likely.

On 30 Jul 2014, at 11:30, Daniel Prohaska <daniel at ryan-prohaska.com> wrote:

> This and the still prevalent pronunciation in the 20th century of Modern Standard English /ju/ as [iʊ] in Cornwall, Lhuyd's attestations at least cast doubt on the assumption that the onset in ‹ûsya› was [jʊ] rather than [ɪʊ] (or [iʊ]). 

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