"Whedhlow Kernowek" dyllys gans Evertype

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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Karesk
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Post by Karesk » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:33 am

Pietercharles, thank you for your help.

truru
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Post by truru » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:07 am

Karesk said:
factotum said:
 you were spelling sometimes in KK and other times in SWF. Pretty much half and half although I wasn't counting. I couldn't begin to guess which form you intended, or maybe you didn't care (can't blame you!)



Variable spelling seems to be a good Cornish tradition!
It's not so much that I don't care as somewhere between I don't know any better and I'm too lazy to do it properly, along with a bit of hedging my bets.
I have been learning by reading in at least 4 spelling systems plus some non-systems (the original texts), and by writing with the help of reference material in UC, KK, and SWF. I've just started looking at some Late Cornish, too, though I think I'd prefer to treat that as something separate for now. I haven't had a teacher or followed a fixed course. I could check every word I'm not sure about in the GM and stick to that spelling, or try to work out the right SWF way. But when I know the word I want to write, I'd rather just write it and move on.
It's true it would be easy to make a choice between gh and h, and maybe in that case I would prefer gh because it leaves open the posibility of pronouncing it that way as I presume was once done and I think may still be done sometimes.
It's hard for me to make a decision about oe though, because I don't feel well enough informed about it. That's why I asked for other views (perhaps unwisely given the relative peace that seems to be prevailing here just now).


Nothing wrong with it, Karesk.
The mess over the past 20 years has meant mixing and matching of spellings by new learners is inevitable. It doesn't really matter, it's all Cornish, and I'd imagine that new learners are less likely to attach themselves to any middle/late ideology.
Those who don't like it and see it as an "abominable hybrid" only have themselves to blame.

ThingsThatGoFlirInTheShla
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Post by ThingsThatGoFlirInTheShla » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:28 pm

truru said:
Karesk said:
factotum said:
 you were spelling sometimes in KK and other times in SWF. Pretty much half and half although I wasn't counting. I couldn't begin to guess which form you intended, or maybe you didn't care (can't blame you!)



Variable spelling seems to be a good Cornish tradition!
It's not so much that I don't care as somewhere between I don't know any better and I'm too lazy to do it properly, along with a bit of hedging my bets.
I have been learning by reading in at least 4 spelling systems plus some non-systems (the original texts), and by writing with the help of reference material in UC, KK, and SWF. I've just started looking at some Late Cornish, too, though I think I'd prefer to treat that as something separate for now. I haven't had a teacher or followed a fixed course. I could check every word I'm not sure about in the GM and stick to that spelling, or try to work out the right SWF way. But when I know the word I want to write, I'd rather just write it and move on.
It's true it would be easy to make a choice between gh and h, and maybe in that case I would prefer gh because it leaves open the posibility of pronouncing it that way as I presume was once done and I think may still be done sometimes.
It's hard for me to make a decision about oe though, because I don't feel well enough informed about it. That's why I asked for other views (perhaps unwisely given the relative peace that seems to be prevailing here just now).


Nothing wrong with it, Karesk.
The mess over the past 20 years has meant mixing and matching of spellings by new learners is inevitable. It doesn't really matter, it's all Cornish, and I'd imagine that new learners are less likely to attach themselves to any middle/late ideology.
Those who don't like it and see it as an "abominable hybrid" only have themselves to blame.




Too true! It seems like a natural progression. An evolution.......... Which is exactly what a LIVING language does!
Be happy about this!

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factotum
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Post by factotum » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:17 am

Kersek : For me it's all about remembering where the different sounds come, so where there are distinctions, I like to have them in my face as I'm reading. That's why I prefer KK because it shows all the oe's and other distinctions, I don't have to put them in from memory. The SWF deliberately removes several important distinctions for no useful reason really. It's basically just KK vandalised out of spite. If you don't believe that some of KK's distinctions existed then you can ignore them, although even then they help to distinguish the sense of a few words that would otherwise look the same.
This is much worse that simply making asthetic changes like changing all the 'gh's to 'h's or 'k's to 'c's or whatever. Indeed the proKK AHG people were advised to give way on asthetics if necessary but stand firm on the actual fabric of the language -- in the event the did the exact opposite!


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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:21 am

Except, Keith, that all these pretty little distinctions that you favour in George's reconstruction are simply fictions. They've got nothing to do with the reality of Revived Cornish phonology—which is not Nancian, as you have often claimed. It was Jenner whose phonology was the real basis for the Revived Language.You're right though about the SWF. It isn't based on the spurious KK phonology. It's clear that in having short vowels before voiceless consonants and long vowels before voiced consonants in stressed monosyllables that the SWF follows the "vowel length is phonemic" model, and that your beloved geminates really have no place in the Revived language.

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Post by CJenkin » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:11 am

Evertype said:
Except, Keith, that all these pretty little distinctions that you favour in George's reconstruction are simply fictions. They've got nothing to do with the reality of Revived Cornish phonology—which is not Nancian, as you have often claimed. It was Jenner whose phonology was the real basis for the Revived Language.
You're right though about the SWF. It isn't based on the spurious KK phonology. It's clear that in having short vowels before voiceless consonants and long vowels before voiced consonants in stressed monosyllables that the SWF follows the "vowel length is phonemic" model, and that your beloved geminates really have no place in the Revived language.


IYO - something most sensible people won't take too seriously. Trouble is unfounded opinions are two-a-penny on this forum.

Karesk
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Post by Karesk » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:07 am

To be honest, I think this issue about double/single consonants is a linguists' debate, not a practical one. I don't feel it to be one of the areas I'm confused about (though maybe I should). My understanding is that there's a choice of practices available with regard to syllable length, one of which, which I choose to try to follow, is that streesed syllables are normally long, the length coming either from a vowel or a double consonant or consonant group. However, you can't easily gemminate an unvoiced consonant at the end of a word, hence you pronounce it as single. It doesn't seem a problem to me whether it's written as single or double. If you don't choose this approach to pronouncing Cornish (whoever you are, Evertype seems to say that you don't), then double consonants don't seem to have any consistent meaning, which people who are familiar with English spelling won't find a problem.
No doubt I will be corrected! (and I'm happy to be).

Karesk
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Post by Karesk » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:29 am

On the other hand, the o/oe/oo question does seem a practical one to me, and one I do feel confused about - with regard to pronunciation, rather than aesthetics or authenticity of orthography.

CJenkin
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Post by CJenkin » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:09 pm

Karesk said:On the other hand, the o/oe/oo question does seem a practical one to me, and one I do feel confused about - with regard to pronunciation, rather than aesthetics or authenticity of orthography.

I agree this is a problem area and adds confusion to learners. Root monosyllables which are currently distinguished when they become part of polysyllables they merge and the meaning may be lost. For example Koes and Kos, Goedh and Godh. There are probably lots of othe examples. Pronunciation is also unclear in these vowels whether they are pronounced as o or oe.
In this instance it probably best for teachers to teach both spellings so that the different pronunciation can be indicated.
Double consonants are less of a problem I think but it will adversely affect people's spellings.

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:20 pm

Conan, Thanks for another bit of contentless gainsaying (four posts above). Karesk, your description is a bit muddled. But I'll try to explain the situation. Lhuyd describes long and short vowels in Cornish. When Jenner synthesized Lhuyd and Williams and Jago and the texts, he naturally kept this, as did Hal Wyn, Nance, Smith, Hooper, Gendall, and Williams. The model all of these people have used is that there are (phonemically) long vowels, short vowels, and short/neutral consonants. This happens also to be quite close to English phonology, where vowels tend to be longer before voiced consonants, shorter before voiceless consonants (compare bag/back, big/bic, brogue/broke), and consonants are just short/neutral except sometimes at word boundaries (compare night train [naɪttreɪn] versus night rain [naɪtreɪn]). George's phonology is different. He says there that there are (phonemically) long consonants and short consonants, and that vowel length is conditioned by the length of the consonants. The long consonants he describes occur in some other languages, like Italian, Finnish, and Estonian. They're not really very easy for English speakers to produce, which is one of the reasons that virtually nobody actually speaks with KK phonology. With very few exceptions, it's Jenner's (and Lhuyd's) phonology that is the basis for the actual phonology of Revived Cornish. That's why KK speakers and UC/R speakers can understand each other. If KK speakers really did have all those geminates, it would be a lot harder.I'll give some examples: consider pel 'ball' and pell 'far'. KK says that the first is [pɛːl] and the second [pɛlː]. Neither is really English-speaker friendly, since English has no long [ɛː] and no long [lː]. Actual mainstream Cornish phonology has these as [peːl] and [pɛl]—which would be nearly rhymes with English fail [feɪl] and fell [fɛl]. Now Keith will complain that using "English phonology" is somehow "bad"—and I will agree with him insofar as it's important for Cornish learners not to use English long vowels like [eɪ] when in fact a pure vowel like [eː] is correct. But that's something that English-speaking learners of any European language has to get a handle on. Note that in polysyllables all long vowels tend to shorten, though there are exceptions (mostly in loanwords). KS and RLC mark the exceptions with a circumflex, and UC and UCR mark them in dictionaries with a macron.

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:37 pm

Karesk, what are you concerned about? To think about Conan's examples: We have godh [ɡoːð] 'mole', pl. godhas [ˈɡɔðəz], and we have goodh [guːð]~[ɡoːð] 'goose', pl. godhow [ˈɡɔðoʊ]. If you were to write *goodhow you would get people saying *[ˈgʊðoʊ]. We also have coos [kuːz]~[koːz] 'wood', pl. cosow [ˈkɔzoʊ]. I don't think it's difficult to learn this alternation, is it?

Karesk
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Post by Karesk » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:20 pm

Does the plural of koes (or coos) rhyme with losow? It does for Evertype, but does it for those who do not make stressed syllables of polysyllabic words short?

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Post by Evertype » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:35 pm

No, you've got that wrong. Everybody makes stressed syllables of polysyllables short (apart from words which are exceptions). I believe George would writes KK poes 'weight' [poːz] pl. poesow [ˈpoˑzɔw] alongside bos 'to be' [bɔːz] and losow [ˈlɔˑzɔw] 'herbs'—so you can see that in both of them the vowel is shortened in the polysyllable.George tries to distinguish two long o's [oː] and [ɔː] but (since this distinction would be very hard for English speakers) in practice one often hears [oː] for both, though I am told that many learners of KK say [uː] for KK oe—which is no bad thing since those words become [uː] in Late Cornish anyway. You are right to note that I would transcribe poos 'weight' [puːz]~[poːz] pl. posow [ˈpɔzoʊ] alongside bos 'to be' [boːz] and losow [ˈlɔzoʊ]. (We don't bother with that half-length since it's unnecessary, alien to L1 phonology, and not used in the Revived language.)I take it that George's [ɔw] vs my [oʊ] in the plural mark is little more than a transcription style; we all know that they are reduced in a variety of ways.

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Post by factotum » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:08 pm

Karesk said:
To be honest, I think this issue about double/single consonants is a linguists' debate, not a practical one. I don't feel it to be one of the areas I'm confused about (though maybe I should). My understanding is that there's a choice of practices available with regard to syllable length, one of which, which I choose to try to follow, is that streesed syllables are normally long, the length coming either from a vowel or a double consonant or consonant group. However, you can't easily gemminate an unvoiced consonant at the end of a word, hence you pronounce it as single. It doesn't seem a problem to me whether it's written as single or double. If you don't choose this approach to pronouncing Cornish (whoever you are, Evertype seems to say that you don't), then double consonants don't seem to have any consistent meaning, which people who are familiar with English spelling won't find a problem.
No doubt I will be corrected! (and I'm happy to be).


Even at the end of a word, the 'double' nature of a consonant (in a stressed monosyllable) is expressed as a shortening of the vowel, and the double nature would be heard if the next word began with a vowel, and perhaps even before a pause, there is nothing impossible about this, despite Michael's pseudo-learned protestations. It's nothing really to do with 'voiced vs voiceless' except that for historical reasons, in native British words 't' 'c' 'p' would almost always be double (except at the start of words) and 'd' 'g' 'b' would be single. This rule is used in Welsh, where p,t,c (and 'm') are taken  as double by default to save ink, so that only loans need special treatment. In Cornish however there are a lot more loanwords, and they are older and more integrated into the language, so single vs double /p,t,k/ is a distinction that needs making, and double /bb,dd,gg/ while uncommon, do turn up in a few words. Since groups of consonants have the same effect of vowels as two of the same consonant, it makes perfect sense to write them double, and the reader has only one simple rule to remember. As you put it, stressed syllables are 'long' either the consonant doubles up, or the vowel stretches out to take up the slack. KS tries to be like Welsh (I think?) but gets itself in an awful muddle and ends up all tied up in diacritics.
For reason that I don't entirely understand, the texts don't double final consonants, maybe they thought it was unlucky? But within words and in double rhymes, the single/geminate distinction is kept pretty faithfully. When we come to CW then suddenly consonants start being doubled pretty much at the whim of the writer, just as final mute 'e's are stuck on here and there without much rhyme nor reason. This was almost certainly an English spelling habit. I've just noticed that the English based spelling of Manx doubles consonants randomly, (there are no double consonants as such in Manx), whereas a earlier version of Manx spelling doesn't do this.
For a little comforting perspective, see here :
http://books.google.co.uk/book.....mp;f=false


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factotum
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Post by factotum » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:28 pm

CJenkin said:
Karesk said:On the other hand, the o/oe/oo question does seem a practical one to me, and one I do feel confused about - with regard to pronunciation, rather than aesthetics or authenticity of orthography.

I agree this is a problem area and adds confusion to learners. Root monosyllables which are currently distinguished when they become part of polysyllables they merge and the meaning may be lost. For example Koes and Kos, Goedh and Godh. There are probably lots of othe examples. Pronunciation is also unclear in these vowels whether they are pronounced as o or oe.
In this instance it probably best for teachers to teach both spellings so that the different pronunciation can be indicated.
Double consonants are less of a problem I think but it will adversely affect people's spellings.


Yes, in fact even if you really believed* that e.g. goedh became *godhow in the plural, there would still be a strong argument for writing it as 'goedhow', firstly to keep what's known in the orthography business as a "constant word image", and secondly so we know whether we're talking 'geese' or 'moles'. But there is no excuse for spelling words like kavoez and galloez with 'o' not 'oe' because the spellings and rhymes in the texts show clearly that the sound was indeed oe and not o. Writing 'o' in such words is simply making the language up.
----
*The evidence from the texts here is lacking because they seem never to have been prepared to use two vowel letter together in this position (stressed vowel in words of more than one syllable). So they had no 'machinery' to clearly separate oe from o, just as they couldn't write the first vowel of beudhyz 'drowned' unambiguously, only a choice between 'bethys' and 'buthys' --- '*buethys' etc being ruled out by their habits. It's the same story for th vs dh, but no one really has a problem with that, and 'eu' or 'ue' is now accepted (apart from UC which is set in stone), so why did they dig in their heels over oe and force a senseless 'compromise' which is really bad orthographic design?


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