Spelling preferences

These spelling options are a work in progress, but are provided in the hope that they will help performers around the world find a system that they are comfortable and familiar with, especially those who are native speakers and readers of Portuguese and Galician, as well as other modern Romance languages such as Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Italian and French. If you don't fit that description and cannot immediately see the benefit of having alternative spellings, don't worry: you won't miss anything by ignoring them. Stick with the default settings and you'll be getting exactly the same information as you would from the others, just with a slightly different veneer.

I would like to emphasize—just in case it is not completely obvious—that these variant spellings have nothing to do with translations into the associated modern languages. Nor do they represent variant pronunciations: whether we write ben or bem, the pronunciation is exactly the same, i.e. [bẽŋ] (and indeed the pronunciations [ben] and [bem] are equally wrong). More generally, the availability of a Portuguese-based orthography is absolutely not intended to encourage an overtly modern Portuguese pronunciation of the Cantigas; everything in the Pronunciation guide still applies.

As well as the main lyric texts and the underlay to the music, my footnotes also use the variable spellings where it makes sense to do so. However, when talking about the specific form of words in a specific manuscript, I do of course keep to the original spellings.

Palatal and word-final nasal consonants

Standard CSM for Singers spelling: ll, nn, final -n
 This is based on Mettmann's spelling of palatals and word-final nasals, and reflects normal usage in all four CSM manuscripts.
Galician-style spelling: ll, ñ, final -n
 Although Mettmann doesn't use ñ and I have not seen it in any other CSM editions, the letter has its origins in scribal shorthand for nn (IPA [ɲ]), and appears as such in the CSM manuscripts (although the tilde tends to float between the n and the preceding vowel: see for example the words Señor and España in the bottom right corner of the [E] manuscript folio for Cantiga 2.) By the way, if you use the Concordance with this spelling system activated, bear in mind that ñ sorts as a distinct letter between n and o in accordance with modern collation rules, so for example BAÑADA follows BANDO under B.
Portuguese-style spelling: lh, nh, final -m
 This option is a bigger departure from the manuscript spelling. Although word-final m does occur sporadically in the CSM manuscripts, and becomes more frequent in the later Cantigas, the spellings lh and nh never do, and are something of an anachronism. These digraphs were borrowed from Occitan and popularized by King Denis, grandson of Alfonso X, and only became standard some time after the period of the Cantigas de Santa Maria. However, at least one other edition of the Cantigas de Santa Maria has used this system, and for the benefit of Portuguese-speaking performers I'm very happy to offer it up as a more familiar alternative.

Do please note that selecting this option will not have any effect on the marking of vowel stress and hiatus, so María will stay as such and not become Maria, which modern Portuguese orthography would demand. I hope to add support for the latter in future, but for now I trust that this option is still worth having despite any minor inconsistencies.

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