[Spellyans] KK ha'n SWF - pronunciation

Penny Squire pennysquire at ymail.com
Fri Aug 8 13:57:53 IST 2008


You said     "... if KK is so good, why does Ken not actually speak it, rather than a rather anglicised Unified?"

I wouldn't actually agree with this. As I have said before,  I don't do linguistics but there is nothing wrong with my hearing.

Although my attendance at Cornish language events is rather hit-and-miss because I spend so much time working away, over the last few years I have  listened to as much live spoken Cornish as possible. I have been to several Cornish Language Weekends, Cornish language church services and the Gorsedd/Gorseth/Gorsedh (!). I have  also have managed to lay my hands on some recordings of people who use KK, UC and LC.  

Ken George's spoken Cornish certainly has several differences from that of Unifed users that I have heard. He pronounces <eu> in words like bleujenn where UC users say blejen, for example, and distinguishes the KK <o> and <oe> sounds where they don't because UC only has <o>.  He doesn't pronounce  'res' as if it were English 'raise' (which can't be right, surely, but all UC users say it) .  

His <a> doesn't sound right to me, though, here he sounds like the UC users who say it as in English 'far'  (and RP 'father') instead of as in English 'barrow' which is the recommended KK pronunciation.

It may be influence from Breton - his wife is Breton and I believe that they often speak together in Breton. 

In contrast, I have somewhere a copy of Rod Lyon and Julia Allard's 'Flows ha Furneth', a collection of humerous pieces. It is very lively and amusing and they speak Cornish very fluently and naturally, but their pronunciation is modern day English with a Cornish accent. Vanessa Beaman's Cornish is RP, but the Cornish heard in the Gorsedd ceremony usually sounds horribly English.

It would be very helpful if those who disagree with the pronunciation of X or Y were to produce some recordings showing how they believe that Cornish should be pronounced. LC users could read Dzhuan Choy an Hor, and MC users could read a couple of hundred words from CW or something. Didn't someone suggest something similar on Cornwall 24 once upon a time?

Perhaps, Nicholas, you and Michael could get the ball rolling with some MC recordings and perhaps Dan could give us his ideas on LC?

It would at least give those of us who are bored with the endless 'I'm right and you are wrong' arguments over arcane linguistic arguments and IPA squiggles a chance to hear what the different ideas sound like in practice.


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