[Spellyans] Ian Jackson: introduction

Janice Lobb janicelobb at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 16:31:06 GMT 2015

The one example of s to j that always springs to my mind is a place name
near my home. On the map it is Porth Losowek, but everybody calls it Polly


On Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 4:13 PM, Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>

> I am not sure that s did become j. It seems rather that Old Cornish -d-
> assibilated first to -dz- and then either simplified to -z- or was
> palatalised to
> -dzh- written <g, j>. As a result we find both *gallosek* and *gallogek*
> in the texts. Had all examples of s become j ,one would not have
> intervocalic -s- or -z- in Late Cornish at all, but such forms are not
> uncommon.
> In Late Cornish we find *preezyo eaue A Rage *and *preezyo gormall ha
> beniggo e hannawe da stella* by Thomas Boson.
> In those cases -z- is a reflex of English -z- borrowed into Cornish not of
> assibilated -d-.
> It is true that the instances of -z- > -r- occur with z from assibilated
> -d-, e.g. *gero ny* < *gesowgh ny* < root **ged*- and *th’era ny* < *eson*
> < **edon*, but the shift z > r occurs only in those cases where -d- has
> not already given -dzh- (written <g, j> in the early MC period.
> Anthony writes:
> Incidentally, the shift from 'z' to 'r' indicates to my satisfaction that
> the 'r' was a flap - and fairly close to the teeth - and not an approximant.
> I wonder whether we can really be so sure.
> The rhotacisation of -s/z- to -r- is well attested in IE languages .
> Think of **swesor* > Latin *soror*, or *genus* but *generis*, *flos* but
> *florem*.
> Then we have many examples of the alternation -s/z- and -r- in the
> Germanic languages by Verner’s Law,
> e.g. *rise* but *rear*; *was* but *were*; Dutch *verliezen, verloor,
> verloren* ‘lose’.
> Can we say, therefore, that r in Latin and Germanic was always a flap?
> Nicholas
> On 22 Dec 2015, at 15:46, Janice Lobb <janicelobb at gmail.com> wrote
> Is there anything that resisted rhotacisation? Do we know why <s> in some
> words became <r> (e.g. yth esa to thera) while in others it became <j>
> (e.g. losowek to lojowek)? Was there some difference in the pronunciation
> of s?
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