[Spellyans] KK ha'n SWF - pronunciation - re DG

Penny Squire pennysquire at ymail.com
Sat Aug 9 12:31:00 IST 2008


Many thanks, Jan, for bringing this to our attention. I have only listened to it once through, but when I have time I will study it properly and make some notes on his pronunciation.

Yes, Craig, Dick Gendall certainly gallops through the story in fine style - he is a natural storyteller, and he tells it in a very lively fashion.

Having said that, even from a single viewing it is obvious that he has learned the story by heart - few people could read a piece, cold, at that speeed in their first language . So, in itself, it can't indicate anything about his abilites in spontaneous speech. I'm not knocking him, but it is a fact.

When my brother was at school his class learned the Chinese national anthem by heart and sang it at the school concert, and as they ended it an enormous Communist flag rolled down behind them as a backdrop. (They did it to wind up the Head, who was known to be a member of the Conservative Party!) They had got one of the staff at the local Chinese restaurant to record it, and they all got it off by heart and it sounded totally convincing especially as none of the audience spoke Chinese. But - none of those who sang could speak a word of conversational Chinese.

As I say, I'm not at all knocking Dick Gendall, and I haven't heard him speak spontaneously and you have, but comparing recordings of very well rehearsed tours de force with cold readings and spontaneous conversation has limited value for the purpose of comparison and can be totally misleading.

Thinking in Cornish: I've seen plenty of people do this at the Kowethas events I've attended - it is impossible to be fluent if you can't, but again, if we are arguing about pronunciation, it tells us nothing.  One can be fluent in a language and still have poor pronunciation.

Penny


From: Craig Weatherhill <weatherhill at freenet.co.uk>

I never knew that was on Youtube.  If anyone was ever in any doubt the 
most fluent speaker of Cornish alive today is Dick Gendall, then this 
must surely convince you.  He's in his 80s now, but he started to learn 
the language when he was 4.   This man can THINK in Cornish.  I have 
seen him do this in front of an audience with not a scrap of paper in 
front of him.  For me, at least, THIS is Cornish as it should be 
spoken.  Remember the descriptions of the spoken Cornish from years when 
it was still a community vernacular.

"Lively and manly spoken" - William Scawen (c. 1680)

"Spoken rapidly" - Don Antonio Ortes (1600) [coming from a Spaniard, 
that must be taken seriously!]

This clip shows extremely well what these two gentlemen were 
describing.  Now, compare this to the KK speakers on the Youtube menu. 
(Well, you can't.  There's no comparison whatsoever).

Craig


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