Spellyans

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carrek
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Re: Spellyans

Post by carrek » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:32 pm

Pub scrifa-composter oll veu arvreusys. Nag ew pub scrifa-composter oll perfeth. Ma dhe bub scrifa-composter poyntys da ha poyntys drog. Nag ellyn nei bus obery warbar rag gwellhe tavas nei.

pietercharles
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Re: Spellyans

Post by pietercharles » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:57 pm

carrek a skrifas:
Nag ellyn nei bus obery warbar rag gwellhe tavas nei.
Tybyans splann yw henna, dell hevel.
Mes pan assayir gwellhe agan taves - hag apert yw hemma - gweth vydh y studh pup-prys!!
Martesen termyn yw rag y asa yn kres...nebes, dhe'n lyha.

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Evertype
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Re: Spellyans

Post by Evertype » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

factotum wrote:Williams holds that there was no MC distinction between the _i_ sound and the _y_,
He and I and others hold that the OC phoneme /ɪ/ was unstable and merged with either /i/ or /e/ depending on dialect.
so they are considered interchangeable in KS
No, we hold that the phoneme /i/ is [iː] when long and [ɪ] when short.
and assigned in some (to me) incomprehensible fashion.
It's easy.

In stressed monosyllables i is [iː] and y is [ɪ]. In polysyllabic derivatives of those monosyllables orthographic i and y are retained and pronounced [ɪ]

In initial position we write i pronounced [ɪ] and in final position we write y pronounced [ i ] in polysyllables and either [iː] or [iː]~[əɪ] in monosyllables (these being so few and so frequent that no orthographic distinction need be made).

In other polysyllables we write î for [iː] and y for [ɪ].

In words belonging to the large class with [iː]~[eː] alternation we write ÿ~ë.

This has been all explained before, as you well know. These rules are not complicated and in fact enable one to spell by sound rather easily. You don't have to know that kegin has an i because of Latin coquina; you just write kegyn.
However they have different outcomes in LC where _y_ normally merges into _e_, but _i_ stays as _i_.
That's not what we have in the Revived Language. We have the reflex of OC /ɪ/ merging with either /i/ (RMC) or with /e/ (RTC, RLC)
So once you muddle up the two sounds you can't align MC with LC. That is essentially your problem.
We solve the problem by writing this class of words with ÿ~ë. This is less ambiguious than the SWF, which writes them just y~e, confusing them with words which do not share the dialect alternation.
The simple rule is always i spell i, always e spell e, MC y > LC e, spell y. Works in practice and as best we can tell actually reflects what went on historically.
It doesn't work in practice, because RTC and RLC users reject y as a graph for [eː].
If you can't be bothered to figure out how to say y, the merge it with e as in Late. y was always closer to e (the two sounds swaps occasionally),
Their closeness is what made them unstable in the phonology of Middle Cornish, which is why it merged with /e/ or /i/
but _i_ is much more aloof.
I believe you mean "stable".
There is only a problem here if you want to make one and choose to ignore the clues present in the language itself.
I think we describe accurately what happened to OC /ɪ/. The thing that you ignore is the native phonology of learners of Cornish, and of speakers of the Revived Language. They've all got an underlying phonology which approximates the phonology of Revived Cornish: /i/ [iː]~[ɪ] (seat, sit) and /e/ [eː]~[ɛ] (sate, set): Two phonemes /i/ and /e/, not three /i/, */ɪ/, /e/. You and Ken and your friends had two decades to try to get people to make a three-way distinction, and you just failed: there's no */ɪ/ to be found. I listened with my trained ear to all the KK speakers at the Kescùssullyans and made notes on their phonology. (I did not make fun of them or belittle them. I listened and transcribed.) These are some of your leading speakers: there was no */ɪ/ to be found.

It was all the same phonology that Jenner taught Nance. That's the reality of the Revived Language. That's the language people use to speak to each other with. Is it perfect? No. Most speakers of every orthographic persuasion make little effort to pronounce [eː] rather than [eɪ], or [oː] rather than [oʊ] or [əʊ]. They should, and that's what we recommend. But there's a hope in hell they'll be able to manage that. There's little hope of introducing an unstable distinction between /i/ and /ɪ/ and /e/—we know this already, because you already failed to do it.

Enough of your fantasy, now.

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factotum
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Re: Spellyans

Post by factotum » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:42 pm

No Williams is the fantasist here.
[Dr. Williams] and I and others hold that the OC phoneme /ɪ/ was unstable and merged with either /i/ or /e/ depending on dialect.
Dialects! Say no more :shock:

Well such a reanalysis of the data would be a ground-breaking advance in the study of Brittonic historical phonology. Where has it been published in a legitimate academic journal? Where has it (or any of Williams work for that matter) been quoted with approval in secondary sources (e.g. books and chapters summarising the field), demonstrating that they are taken seriously by the other specialists? His 'revolutionary' ideas (e.g. pre MC PS) have been around for long enough now for them to have been taken up if convincing.

It's true that the distinction between /i/ and /I/ was sufficiently neutralised in unstressed finals for them to be regularly rhymed together, although they may still have been distinguishable in deliberate speech. However a word like kegin still basically contains /i/ which takes on its distinctive sound when the stress shifts on to it, as in the plural keginow, or a derivative e.g. kegine 'to cook' (implying keginav, keginydh ...); keginer 'a (male) cook, chief'; keginyz 'cooked'. So writing *kegyn is simply misleading, and altogether unhelpful to learners.

It's true that there are very few words where /i/ is stressed before two or more consonants and so pronounced short. This is also the case in Welsh, showing that the cause lies way back in Common Brittonic rather than being an active force in Cornish or Welsh as we know them. However examples exist, if only in compounds such as gwinlann 'vinyard'. Nevertheless, the Welsh who speak their language every day by the tens of thousands, still find it useful to distinguish 'i' from 'y' in writing, even in finals. The need is greater in Cornish were reliance on the written word is so much more important.

The MC mss actually show a sporadic tendency for e to become y as a result of analogy, vowel harmony, raising before certain consonant groups, or whatever. This shows that these sounds were perceived as similar. I don't really see the opposite tendency, y > e, even though the two sounds appear to have merged as LC e. Nor do I see examples of i and y interchanging, other than the neutralisation in finals already mentioned.

Anyway, enough of the technicalities.

I invite others here to judge whether or not your scheme is "easy" :?
RTC and RLC users reject y as a graph for [eː].
Do they indeed? Who exactly are these people? More to the point how many are there? In particular, how many Late fans are there who actually wish to use the same spelling as the mainstream, yet object to using 'y'? If they amount to no more than a handful, then clearly the tail will be wagging the dog. And if you say that any minority, however small must be catered for, then I demands my z's be included, and that proper account be given to Tim's preferences, or those of Toorians (an academic no less!)

I can see no virtue in institutionalising learners' errors, however common. That is the road to Cornic and derision. If what you claim is true, then there has been a serious failure in teacher training. If your perceptions are so accute, and your dedication to the Revival so sincere, then you ought to be using your skills and training to help eradicate such faults. It is odd though that you wish to legitimise lapses of pronunciation, which effect almost every utterance in the language, yet object so strongly to grammatical and vocabulary choices which are quite marginal in their effect.

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Evertype
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Re: Spellyans

Post by Evertype » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:45 am

factotum wrote:No Williams is the fantasist here.
[Dr. Williams] and I and others hold that the OC phoneme /ɪ/ was unstable and merged with either /i/ or /e/ depending on dialect.
Dialects! Say no more :shock:
If you're not linguist enough to understand that there must have been dialects in Cornwall then you should really not be dabbling in linguistics.
Well such a reanalysis of the data would be a ground-breaking advance in the study of Brittonic historical phonology. Where has it been published in a legitimate academic journal? Where has it (or any of Williams work for that matter) been quoted with approval in secondary sources (e.g. books and chapters summarising the field), demonstrating that they are taken seriously by the other specialists? His 'revolutionary' ideas (e.g. pre MC PS) have been around for long enough now for them to have been taken up if convincing.
It's the mainstream view, if only you would pay attention. You won't, though. You'll look for any excuse to wiggle out of it and to support your failed phonology. I could list some of the articles which mention dialect that have been published in journals, but you would just find another excuse.
It's true that the distinction between /i/ and /I/ was sufficiently neutralised in unstressed finals for them to be regularly rhymed together, although they may still have been distinguishable in deliberate speech. However a word like kegin still basically contains /i/ which takes on its distinctive sound when the stress shifts on to it, as in the plural keginow, or a derivative e.g. kegine 'to cook' (implying keginav, keginydh ...); keginer 'a (male) cook, chief'; keginyz 'cooked'. So writing *kegyn is simply misleading, and altogether unhelpful to learners.
kegyn [ˈkɛɡɪn], kegyna [kɛˈɡɪnə], kegynaf [kɛˈɡɪnəf], kegynyth [kɛˈɡɪnᵻθ]; kegyner [kɛˈɡɪnəɹ]; kegynys [kɛˈɡɪnᵻs].

Not one of these derivatives has a long i. We would write *kegin [kɛˈɡᵻn], but only if the stressed vowel ended up long, in which case we would mark it *kegîner *[kɛˈɡiːnəɹ]—which it doesn't. So UNLIKE what you say, it is by no means misleading to write kegyn, since under stress the vowel remains short and in none of the derivatives does the vowel become long [iː]. Therfore the only reason that there could be for writing kegin is because of Latin coquina.

This is why KS's rational distribution of i and y makes it easier to learn to spell these words than the SWF does. You don't have to remember why kegin has an i and termyn has a y, since they both sound alike, and since when the final syllable strengthens under stress both of them still sound alike. (Sure, there are other things to remember, but none of them are arbitrarily based on things like etymology pointing to another languge several centuries distant from the target.)
It's true that there are very few words where /i/ is stressed before two or more consonants and so pronounced short.
What's true is that all vowels tend to be short in polysyllables.
This is also the case in Welsh, showing that the cause lies way back in Common Brittonic rather than being an active force in Cornish or Welsh as we know them.
No, because the prosody of Welsh is very different from that of Cornish.
However examples exist, if only in compounds such as gwinlann 'vinyard'.
Compounds are probably not indicative since one may find secondary stress on either element.
Nevertheless, the Welsh who speak their language every day by the tens of thousands, still find it useful to distinguish 'i' from 'y' in writing, even in finals. The need is greater in Cornish were reliance on the written word is so much more important.
There is no reason to write kegyn differently from termyn in Cornish, since when the final syllable strengthens under stress, it is still [ɪ] in both.
The MC mss actually show a sporadic tendency for e to become y as a result of analogy, vowel harmony, raising before certain consonant groups, or whatever.
Vowel harmony. Really? Vowel harmony? That's something operative in Uralic and Turkic. You'll be trying to convince us that Cornish had a tj and dj next. But "or whatever" just shows that you really don't know what you're on about.
This shows that these sounds were perceived as similar.
More likely it showed that there were dialects in Cornish and these sounds (which are close) were operative. This isn't unusual. The same thing is found in modern dialects of English, where pin [pɪn] and pen [pɛn] become [piən] and [pɪn], or even [pɪn] and [pɪn].
I don't really see the opposite tendency, y > e, even though the two sounds appear to have merged as LC e. Nor do I see examples of i and y interchanging, other than the neutralisation in finals already mentioned.
It is Ken who innovated the "interchange". We've got kegynow [kɛˈɡɪnoʊ] and termynyow [tɛɹˈmɪnjoʊ], both with [ɪ] under stress.
Anyway, enough of the technicalities.
Enough of your gobbledegook.
I invite others here to judge whether or not your scheme is "easy" :?
Anecdotal evidence from everybody on our side of the house who's tried to teach the SWF is that this -in/-yn lark foisted upon the orthography is a serious problem.
RTC and RLC users reject y as a graph for [eː].
Do they indeed? Who exactly are these people? More to the point how many are there? In particular, how many Late fans are there who actually wish to use the same spelling as the mainstream, yet object to using 'y'?
I will not name them nor number them. They are the people involved with deciding what is and is not suitable for RLC. And they do not object to using y in the abstract. They object to using y and being expected to pronounce it [eː]. This is why the SWF has bys/bes (and why KS has bÿs/bës).
If they amount to no more than a handful, then clearly the tail will be wagging the dog.
The whole Revival amounts to a handful in terms of percentage of the population of Cornwall.
And if you say that any minority, however small must be catered for, then I demands my z's be included, and that proper account be given to Tim's preferences, or those of Toorians (an academic no less!)
Do you, indeed.
I can see no virtue in institutionalising learners' errors, however common. That is the road to Cornic and derision.
I'm not institutionalizing errors. Indeed the phonetic guides I have written make it clear what sounds to use.
If what you claim is true, then there has been a serious failure in teacher training.
What I say is that KK speakers and KK teachers and Ken George himself do not distinguish between /i/ [iː]~ and /ɪ/ [ɪː]~[ɪ]. Instead they have /i/ [iː]~[ɪ]. And they have since 1904.
If your perceptions are so accute, and your dedication to the Revival so sincere, then you ought to be using your skills and training to help eradicate such faults.
I do use my skill to try to encourage the use of "pure vowels" rather than diphthongs. But I am not going to try to bolster the element of KK phonology which says that there are two phonemes /i/ and /ɪ/ because that distinction was lost after OC and is also not a part of the phonology of the Revived language despite your two decades of failing to promulgate it.
It is odd though that you wish to legitimise lapses of pronunciation, which effect almost every utterance in the language, yet object so strongly to grammatical and vocabulary choices which are quite marginal in their effect.
I'm a phonetician with a good ear, so naturally I am sensitive to certain things. With regard to your other point, I certainly don't approve of fictional grammar being pushed onto Cornish (like the erroneous and unattested use of in kever with nouns even though Cornish has other ways of saying 'about', 'concerning'). I do not mind neologisms when they fill gaps, but I do not think they should be preferred to loanwords that were attested in use by native speakers. I object to a suggestion to say cafos or gwaynya in preference to procurya for some semantic domains, since procuring is not the same as getting or winning and since procurya is attested. But George's dictionaries warn against procurya.

Fred
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Re: Spellyans

Post by Fred » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:30 am

Of course dialects may have existed in Cornwall. but is there textual evidence.? and are dialects mentioned by Lluyd or others that were wondering around Cornwall at the time, you cannot just explain away textual features by imaginary dialects, unless you have more proof.

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Anselm
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Re: Spellyans

Post by Anselm » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:55 am

Fatell vern henna dhe'gan gisyow kewsel hedhyw? Nyns esov ow leverel na vern mann, mes meur y karsen vy konvedhes prag y fydh nebes tus prest o klappya yn y gever.
Anselm

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'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
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Cornish Pirates

carrek
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Re: Spellyans

Post by carrek » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:31 pm

Evertype wrote:There is no reason to write kegyn differently from termyn in Cornish, since when the final syllable strengthens under stress, it is still [ɪ] in both.
But what about y in termyn being schwa for LC speakers? How would LC speakers know not to pronounce it schwa in kegyn?

Palores
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Re: Spellyans

Post by Palores » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:56 pm

So far as one can tell, the unstressed vowel in termyn was not schwa in Late Cornish. It was nearly always spelled <e>.

carrek
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Re: Spellyans

Post by carrek » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:59 pm

Palores wrote:So far as one can tell, the unstressed vowel in termyn was not schwa in Late Cornish. It was nearly always spelled <e>.
Yes, yes, we all know what you think it was. The issue is representing how people speak Cornish today.

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factotum
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Re: Spellyans

Post by factotum » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:55 pm

First, Palores is correct. Just look at JCH for example, words like gwelas 'he saw' and gwelez 'to see' are both spelled gwelaz because unstressed final e, a, o had all become a (already in Tudor times), but words like gwelyz 'seen' are spelled with an e or sometimes by Lhuyd with a y. What may have cause confusion is a grammatical simplification. In MC the 3rd sing. past of some verbs uses -is instead of the more common -as, but by Late, the -is conjugation had gone out of use and -as used across the board. So that instead of leveris 'he said' we get lavaras and so on.

Carrek : Things that make sense for a 'normal' language that is naturally learned and regularly spoken, make no sense at all for Cornish. Think of those desert mesas you see in the westerns, there's a more or less level flat top, and there's the plain below, and between them a relatively small area of near vertical cliffs. A natural language is like that. There is a group, large or small, with a high level of competence (the mesa top), a large surrounding population with zero knowledge of the language (the plains below) and an insignificant number of people with partial competence (babies; people who've recently married into the community; visiting administrators, linguists, missionaries and other bad news ...) In such a situation it's possible to get a picture of the correct current form of the language by listening to the competent speakers. The few semi-speakers will stand out clearly. However when a language is on the road to oblivion, or when as with Cornish it is attempting to come back again, the situation is different. The mesa has largely been eroded away, it's upper surface has gone and the cliffs are no longer steep. All we have is a sort of low irregular hump. There is no level surface to measure and survey. That 'surface' (native competence) has yet to be rebuilt and any elevations you measure will vary wildly as you move around.

Or for ME who can't handle analogy: People learn Cornish in classes. If they're taught well and correctly they may speak well, if they're not they won't. There is no excuse for knowingly teaching phoney Cornish, and if it happens through neglect that still doesn't make it right.

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factotum
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Re: Spellyans

Post by factotum » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:32 pm

Procurya (a word I've never seen used in Cornish myself) occurs once only in Tregear. A couple of lines above he uses the English word 'according' and a couple of lines after the word 'captivite'. So these should also be recommended for use in Revived Cornish?

Suitable Cornish words for 'procure' that Treg. might have used are 'dyghtya' and 'spedya'.

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factotum
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Re: Spellyans

Post by factotum » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:53 pm

A passage from PA comes to mind, where Judas offers to 'procure' Christ for the Jewish authorities :

Ev | a leveris dhedhe
Pyth | a vynnowgh hwi : dhe ri
Ha my a wra | dhywgh : spedye
Ow kavoez
Kryst | yredi


He said to them, "What are you willing to give for me to arrange for you to easily find Christ?"

or more idiomatically "fix it for you to get hold of him".

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factotum
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Re: Spellyans

Post by factotum » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:00 pm

Michael : If as you claim, there was no longer an /I/ phoneme in Middle Cornish, then you would have no need go running around putting silly marks on the 'y's in your 'bys' words. The fact that you do is part of the evidence for there being three distinct vowels /i/ vs /I/ vs /E/. You are simply not making sense.

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factotum
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Re: Spellyans

Post by factotum » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:30 pm

I would actually like to see any papers etc. that quote and accept Williams' views. E.g. recent surveys of Celtic/Brittonic/Cornish historical phonology by the acknowledged experts in the field.

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