I believe (but am far to be sure) that the last Cornish mother-tongue
speaker died at the beginning of this century. If this is right, perhaps
there exist sound recordings of genuine spoken Cornish.
I think that many Celtists would not even agree that Cornish is dead today,
as some people is probably teaching it to their childres as a first
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Corey Miller [SMTP:email@example.com]
> Sent: 1999 December 07, Tuesday 19.45
> To: Unicode List
> Subject: Re: IPA query for all you linguists out there
> I thought Cornish was extinct since the 1700s! How can we know the
> quality of
> its vowels ; ) ?
> Are you searching for a phonemic or a phonetic representation of Cornish?
> Do you
> have a website indicating the vowel system as you have transcribed it so
> far? I
> appreciate that the symbol I have suggested is not midway in geometric
> terms on
> the IPA's vowel chart, but this may not be that important.
> In a strictly phonetic Daniel Jones cardinal vowels sense the exact
> quality may
> be important, but you will find that linguists take some liberties with
> transcription. In fact, this is part of the IPA philosophy as recently
> in the recent Handbook of the IPA.
> In a phonemic transcription, one could use 0251 for father and 0254 for
> law in
> New York, Chicago and London. The actual phonetic distances between these
> will differ widely; for example, they are much closer together in Chicago
> they are in New York.
> I assume that the fact the Cornish vowel in question is midway between
> 0251 and
> 0254 means that it is somewhat rounded; however you can tell us whether
> midwayness has more to do with height than rounding. In any case, the IPA
> philosophy (as I interpret it) is that using existing symbols is
> preferable to
> belaboring a transcription with diacritics. In my experience, 0252 is
> often used
> for a rounded vowel that is not as rounded, nor as high (close) as 0254.
> A quick
> glance through the Handbook shows that 0254 is only used in the
> description of
> Persian (Southern British is not treated).
> Corey Miller
> Nuance Communications
> Michael Everson wrote:
> > Ar 09:34 -0800 1999-12-07, scríobh Corey Miller:
> > >I suggest U+0252 which is the vowel in the Southern British
> pronunciation of
> > >top, hot. It is also a useful vowel to represent the slightly rounded
> > >of Canadians and Bostoners for those words. Also, in a phonemic
> > >representation of English, I don't think you need the length marks in
> any of
> > >these.
> > Nope. This is a Cornish vowel. 0252 is not "midway" between the two on
> > IPA vowel chart; it is rounded 0251. Or is that midway? Hmmmm.
> > >> [U+0251U+02D0] is used to indicate the long a as in father.
> > >> [U+0254U+02D0] is used to indicate the long aw as in law.
> > >>
> > >> How, exactly, do I represent a vowel midway between the two? It must
> be a
> > >> diacritic of some sort, probably on U+0251....
> > Michael Everson * Everson Gunn Teoranta * http://www.indigo.ie/egt
> > 15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
> > Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
> > 27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
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