Spellyans Watch -- Goelva Spellyans

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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Morvran
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Post by Morvran » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:13 pm

Michael's faith in the Great Prophet Mordon is rather touching :

---------------------
ME:
> “Truan is [truːən] (Nance trūan)
> Buan (unattested, borrowed by Nance) is [byːan]~[biːən]. This
> rhymes with ! Unless it would be read [biʊən] as ,
> , . But it's not used in RLC, which uses and
> .
> In KS we can write and . like is a quasi-
> diphthong, it seems. Or do we classify it as a proper diphthong?”

Dan:
> The regular development would give a diphthong *[ˈtrɪʊən] and
> *[ˈbɪʊən].

ME:
What? One is [uːə] and the other is [iːə]. Both > [iʊə]?

Dan:
> The former pronunciation is apparently attested in traditional
> dialect, Gendall mentions it. The /yː/ remains long in hiatus and
> develops in this position as if it occurred word-finally, thus the
> du “black”, tu “side” category. So diphthongisation in this
> position occurred before unrounding.

ME:
I'm sure that [iʊə] would > [iwə] pretty easily.

Trûwan and buwan? Trûan and buan? Cf. Duwan.

The RLC homonymy between buan and bian is not a bad reason to avoid
this unattested word in any case.
-------------

No, it's a bad reason for not spelling byghan properly.

Dan, btw, is quite right here. Words like tru 'alas' and quite probably truan 'pityful' originally had /y/ like their W and B cognates. The stressed final (or hiatus) /y/ then started to develop a /w/ off-glide, enough for tu to be rhymed with Duw in PC, but not enough to cause these two sets of words to be spelled alike. Duw and the few other -uw words are mostly spelled "-ew" in the Ordinalia, clearly Middle English had no good approximation to [yw]. The next stage was for words like tru to develop a full-blown /yw/ diphthong truw. This provided a conveniant spelling for both the -u words and the -uw since now they all sounded alike. As a result PA, BM, BK, Treg. all spell God "Du" a 'reverse spelling' based on the change in sound of the -u words. Finally by the time of CW the /y/ was starting to unround, as it was in all positions, so that original -u words and -uw words now had the same diphthong as -yw words like yw 'is'. All three sets of words were now spelled "-ew", the 'e' sounding more like ModE 'ee' by that time.

Nance used "u" for both u, eu, oe and ou. He distinguished the first two (usually) with an umlaut. He distinguished long vowels with a macron. But when he needed to write a long u /y/ he was stuck, because the technology at his disposal didn't allow him to stack dire critics one above the other (like Vietnamese). So he had to choose one or the other. He marked tru and truan long with a macron, so couldn't show that they were front rounded vowels. Can anyone have doubted that they were? Clearly Michael doesn't know his comparative Celtic very well. OTOH Nance seems to have forgotten that buan would have a long u in hiatus, and so didn't use his macron, which left room for an umlaut. I can see no reason why truan and buan should not always have had exactly the some rhyme, going from -uan (1400?) to -uwan (1500?) (like duwon as Dan says) to -ywan (1600?) and no doubt on to -ewan (1700?) in Late Cornish.

This is yet another demonstration of the ad hoc foundations (or rather lack of) to KS (and indeed of Williams' whole approach to Cornish). The historic corpus is neither large enough, nor consistent enough to allow conclusions to be drawn from the spelling of individual words, let alone individual examples. The evidence must be used to construct a theoretical model of the whole history of Cornish phonology, and on the basis of this individual cases can be explained. Where there are regular or persistent mismatches between the evidence and the theory, then the theory is adjusted or recast to create a better fit. But it is a 'best-fit' procedure. A perfect fit is impossible because of the noise (random element) inherent in the data.

You can't just look at the texts and 'see' how it all works. You have to have some inspiration or an idea from background information or other languages or whatever, and then test it. It has to be a cyclic process of trial and error, something Williams with his arts background, where authority, tradition and opinion are all, just cannot see.

Morvran
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:48 am

Post by Morvran » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:24 pm


Bardh said:
Re gevis keskows hwath y'n negysyow priveth gans Alphonse - muskog yw an gwas, muskog hys ha hys!



Dhe wir, Muskog?


The Creek or Muskogee language has a long written history ...



Kemmerewgh with, kowethe, yma Myghal ow toz!

http://web.wm.edu/linguistics/creek/about_creek.php

http://web.wm.edu/linguistics/creek/


Bardh
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Post by Bardh » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:57 pm


Bardh said:
[quote=Craig]It is doubtful that I will ever become a fluent speaker of Cornish ...



Craig - please tell us why you don't want to join the community of Cornish-speakers.[/quote]

Kemmyn lowr a vydh dhe duz kasa an re na wodhons i aga yeth. Mes pur danow yw niver an re a vynn leverel aga bos ow kara yeth an dus, skonya hy dyski ... ha kasa an dus!

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:30 pm

Didn't realise that you were missing me so much, Tim, that you should put such a plea on now. I actually gave the reasons a while ago but it runs something like this:

There are 24 hours in a day. 8 of them are spent doing the work that (hopefully) pays the bills. Several more are spent on the research/writing that I do. Other hours are spent with the horses. Then I might get a bit of me time if I'm lucky. Plus whatever's left for sleeping.

In addition, my own way of life and place of residence doesn't put me in a great deal of contact with Cornish speakers, so I don't get the opportunity that, say, Keith has in getting used to conversations.

So, and at my stage of life, I feel it's best to concentrate upon my own specialist fields of study, and do what I can to make the language available for those who will be its future.

If Cornish had been available to me at, say, age 16 (and it is far more available now than it was back then), things might have been very different. But they're not and I have to make the best of it, and you have to accept that I've been doing my best, whatever else you might think of me.

Right, back to my self-imposed exile.



edited by: marhak, Mar 02, 2009 - 10:31 PM

Bardh
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Post by Bardh » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:34 pm


=^o^= said:
he didn't say he didn't want to join the community of Cornish speakers he said it was doubtful he would ever be a fluent speaker. not the same at all



Your distinction's probably right, up to a point. He said that didn't suppose he ever would join, but didn't say whether or not this was of his own volition. Gonn meur ras dhis a veneges henna.

Bardh
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 3:18 pm

Post by Bardh » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:38 pm


marhak said:
In addition, my own way of life and place of residence doesn't put me in a great deal of contact with Cornish speakers, so I don't get the opportunity that, say, Keith has in getting used to conversations.



Yn hwir, yn hwir, ev a lever dhyn ... yn mysk eseli AT (Provysyonal) ny vydh chons vyth kewsel Kernewek!

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:59 am

AT has many fluent speakers among its membership, including the oldest living speaker, Kaspar Hocking (96), translator of the recently published Cornish version of 'Around the World in 80 Days'. Remarkable man - I'm told that he recently went up and down Jacob's Ladder, Falmouth (all 111 steps of it) just to show that a 96-year old could still do it!



edited by: marhak, Mar 03, 2009 - 08:01 AM

Bardh
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 3:18 pm

Post by Bardh » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:09 am


marhak said:
AT has many fluent speakers among its membership, including the oldest living speaker, Kaspar Hocking (96), translator of the recently published Cornish version of 'Around the World in 80 Days'.



Da lowr. Ottomma onan ahanowgh. Piw yw an huni arall?


marhak said:
Remarkable man - I'm told that he recently went up and down Jacob's Ladder, Falmouth (all 111 steps of it) just to show that a 96-year old could still do it!



Pur dha. Y'n eur ma ytho martesen y fynn ev dhyski dhis kewsel an yeth!

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Taran
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Post by Taran » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:15 am

Scraping the barrel for cheap shots aren't we?
A dry day at the shit flinging factory?
:roll:

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Taran
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Post by Taran » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:40 pm

Not at all, it would simply appear that some peoples definition of humour is considerably looser than others.

And antiquarian? Hmmm... I'm not the one that aspires to speak like someone who's just popped out of the 14th century, goky. :)

Morvran
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Post by Morvran » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:16 am

This thread was supposed to be for interesting snippits from and comments about the "Spellyans" list. Please try to keep on topic. Meur ras dhywgh hwi oll. ;-)

---------------

Dan : The word for time/occasion gweyth seems to simplify (optionally??) in compounds to -(g)weth, especially bythkweth (LC byskath 'biscath'), tergweth.

The last rhymes with haneth which never had a diphthong in MC afaik (but iirc OW 'henoid' ? pres. from something like sinda noxti ?)

In PA049 the lines have got slightly scrambled. The last two lines should I think come after the first two like this :

Kyn fallens oll | my a vydh
Yn-medh Peder | y'th servis
Awos meth | ha tann ow fydh
Ny'th naghav | kyn fen ledhyz
:
Yn-medh Kryst | y'n nos haneth
Kyn ez boz | kulyek klywyz
Peder | ty a'm nagh teyrgweth
Bythkweth : arloedh | na veuv dhys

That makes a little more sense, works better dramatically and sorts the rhymes out. The binding rhyme is -i~y+s~z (only dhys is stressed so will rhyme with unstressed -is and -yz since the /i~I/ and /s~z/ distinctions are both neutralised when unstressed). The second rhyme in the first half is -ydh which alters to a related rhyme the second half, -eth. There is no need for both odd and even rhymes to remain the same in both halves. Note also the odl gyrch between teyrgweth and bythkweth, this does not have to be a good rhyme, but it looks like we have one here.







edited by: morvran, Mar 07, 2009 - 02:31 AM

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