[Spellyans] KK ha'n SWF - pronunciation

Christian Semmens christian.semmens at gmail.com
Fri Aug 8 16:31:01 IST 2008


This is an interesting point about the revival. Although we have many
guides to pronunciation, a great deal of the Cornish speakers fail to
follow these guides, at least in part. Their spoken Cornish is more
coloured by their English accent (ususally RP - which makes my hair
stand on end when it is used to speak English let alone foist it on to
any other language) than by their chosen orthography's pronunciation
guides. If someone were to utilise modern cornish vowel sounds (and by
that I mean early to mid 20th century rather than the pallid, RP
affected, facsimilie becoming current in the 21st Century population)
then I would think that would be an infinite improvement over the
efforts of the RP affected revival community. And that 'accent' is the
only living fragment of the Cornish that was once spoken, you should
cultivate it.

What constitutes 'Good Spoken Cornish'?
Does a French man with a thick French accent speak good English? Perhaps.
Is this a good role model to teach others how to pronounce English?
.... I'm not so sure.

Matthew speaks fluently, but somehow it sounds....awkward, like French
spoken with English RP sounds would sound. By the way I do not wish to
denigrate his efforts or cast aspersions upon his capabilities in any
way, merely question using him as a pronunciation exemplar.

It is, of course, *necessary* to hear others speak, especially for
those of us far away most of the time, so that we can understand
current usage. However the value of using these examples as a
reference to guide our own efforts at pronunciation I think is
questionable.

What we are missing is good *Reference* recordings. I have heard some
of Dick Gendall's recordings and they 'felt right', but I haven't been
able to locate any recently. We do need something along the lines that
Penny is suggesting. I would suggest that a repository of reference
recordings and associated transcriptions is a vital part of the
revival.




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