Sunday, 18 January 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 39 (Pronunciation 1)

A Little Bit about Pronunciation I

Consonants following vowels affect how we pronounce those vowels. This can be shown by a number of words which differ only in their consonants. Sometimes the differences in vowel sound are quite subtle. In stressed monosyllables, the vowel is (usually) long before a single consonant but short before a double consonant or a cluster of different consonants, e.g.:

car                                 relative (a bit like Eng. [care] but pronounce r )
carr                                car       (vowel like Eng. [cat] but pronounce r)

Ma’n car vy o toas.      My relative is coming.
Ma va o lewa y garr.    He is driving his car.

el                                   angel  (long like Eng. [ale] but pure vowel)
ell                                  can      (rhymes with Eng. [fell])

El a dheuth dhe Maria.      An angel came to Mary.
Me a ell gweles pictûr.       I can see a picture.

pel                                ball (f)  (long like Eng. [pale] but pure vowel)
pell                               far        (rhymes with Eng. [fell])
an bel                           the ball (fem. noun mutates after an)
bell                               war, warfare

Ma’n maw o qwary gen pel.         The boy is playing with a ball.
Ma va o ponya pell gen y bel.      He runs (is running) far with his ball.
Thera bell en pow pell.                  There was war in a far country.

gwel[1]                          field     (rhymes with Eng. [ale] as above )
gwel[2]                          view    (rhymes with Eng. [ale] as above)
gwell[3]                         better  (rhymes with Eng. [fell])

Ma maw ha pel en gwel.         There is a boy and a ball in a field.
Gwell ew genam mos pell.      
                                     I prefer to go far. It is better with me to go far.
O chei ew henwys “Gwel an Mor”.         
                                     My house is called “Sea View”.
Ma gwell gwel a’n gwel.                             
                                    There is a better view of the field.

ber[4]                           spike, spear, spit
berr[5]                         short, brief

Thera an den coth ow treylya an ber.     
                                    The old man was turning the spit.
Ma’n maw o tegy lavrek berr.                  
                                    The boy was wearing short trousers (shorts).

gwin                             wine               (rhymes with Eng. [been])
gwydn, gwynn            white               (rhymes with Eng. [bin])

Gwin rüdh ew da genam.            I like red wine.
Bes gwin gwydn ew gwell.         But white wine is better.
En pow ma nag eus gwell gwin. In this country there is no better wine.

clok                              cloak              (sounds like  [clauk] )
clock                            clock              (sounds like Eng. [clock])

Ma clok coth en kist.                       There is old cloak in a chest.
Cabm ew an clock war an vos.      The clock on the wall is wrong.

[1] Gendall spells this gweal
[2] Gendall uses gwêl to show the long vowel
[3] Comparatives such as this can come before the noun
[4] Gendall uses bêr to show the long vowel. Pronounce somewhere between [beer] and [bear]
[5]  Short vowel as in [bet] but pronounce the r

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