[Spellyans] SWF vowel inconsistencies

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Wed Jul 2 12:20:20 IST 2008

I forgot about Neil (shame be upon me).  Add his 
pronunciation/intonation to Dan's and Dick's.


nicholas williams wrote:
> Not having native speakers to imitate is *the* problem. It was  
> actually why I abandoned
> Cornish between ca 1969 and 1987 and learnt Irish instead.
> There is really no way round the difficulty. Revived Cornish even when  
> fluent
> sounds like English in both phonemic inventory and intonation.
> The problem is exacerbated by the inevitable tendency to sound- 
> substitution.
> Matthew Clarke and Bernard Deacon though using varying dialects both  
> pronounce yw/ew
> as ju: rather than i:w. Ken George, is a fluent but very anglicised  
> speaker of Unified: he also says ju:. He
> moreover pronounces den as [dein] and le as [lei]. He certainly does  
> not pronounce my a grys
> with a long open i, but rather with a long closed i. But because he is  
> anglophone
> the actual realisation is as in Modern English [Ii] where the nucleus  
> is lower than the
> latter part of the vowel.
> The best Cornish I have ever heard was Neil Kennedy's before he left  
> for Brittany and
> Dan's JCH. Dan has the great advantages
> of being 1. a trained linguist; 2. a professional actor.
> Perhaps Dan should be employed to produce learners' materials.
> At least we won't have Christian's problem of inability to understand  
> native speakers
> since there are no native speakers.
> Nicholas
> On 2 Jul 2008, at 09:59, Christian Semmens wrote:
>> This is a particular bugbear of mine. The audio resources (living
>> people or recordings) for language learning are (IMHO) the MOST vital
>> piece of the puzzle and in the case of Cornish are, more often than
>> not wholly inadequate. You only have to hear poor Graham Sandercock
>> gargling his way through the "Holywgh an Lergh" tapes to hear what I
>> mean - and he actually seems to have a Cornish accent (I've never
>> heard him speak anywhere else though).
>> We NEED good examples of well spoken Cornish and I am with Craig on
>> this matter, West Penwith gives you the best guide. I was never
>> particularly impressed by the rather disparaging tone taken by
>> supporters of some other orthographies to the West Penwith accent. It
>> seems some people have the attitude that its the way bumpkins talk and
>> rather look down on it.
>> For distance learners and people well away from Cornwall I cannot
>> believe they have a hope of even coming close to reasonable spoken
>> Cornish without access to a good teacher or at the barest minimum good
>> audio recordings. Thinking back to my school days when learning
>> French, my first teacher was English. My second teacher, on the other
>> hand was French, and I had no idea what she was saying for weeks.
>> We need examples of conversations, more than the simple "Good morning
>> Mr Angwin" type basic interchanges although they have their place. We
>> need more examples like Dan's wonderful JCH recording. I have heard
>> one KK teacher speaking 'Cornish' with impeccable English RP vowels -
>> makes my hair stand on end!
>> Christian
>> 2008/7/2 Ken MacKinnon <kenmackinnon at enterprise.net>:
>>> Yes - that is my problem too.  I attempted fourth grade exams two  
>>> or three
>>> years ago - but came a cropper (inter alia) with the pronunciation  
>>> in the
>>> oral test.  So that is where I am stuck at present.   With the  
>>> current
>>> developments I do not see any way forward at present.
>>> I do not propose to re-run my experience learning Gaelic ( as a  
>>> teenager
>>> some sixty years ago in circumstances beyond reavch of any native  
>>> speakers)
>>> having learned the language from books - I had effectively to re- 
>>> learn it
>>> when I came in contact with actual native speakers whom I could not
>>> understand and who could not understand me.
>>> This is a real problem and it needs to be addressed.
>>> - an Ken ken
>>> (Prof) Ken MacKinnon,
>>> Ivy Cottage, Ferintosh,
>>> The Black Isle, by Dingwall,
>>> Ross-shire  IV7 8HX
>>> Tel: 01349 - 863460
>>> E-mail: kenmackinnon at enterprise.net
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "John Sheridan" <john_s_sheridan at yahoo.com>
>>> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>>> Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 1:16 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] SWF vowel inconsistencies
>>>> --- On Tue, 7/1/08, nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> I don't understand what you mean by this remark.
>>>>> It's not most KK speakers, it's all KK speakers
>>>>> (except Ben Bruch who
>>>>> now doesn't believe KK anyway).
>>>> Well, and Ben's students, e.g. me.
>>>> Although I've wondered often if, in order to pronounce revived  
>>>> Cornish
>>>> properly, I need to overlay it with a heavy southwestern UK  
>>>> accent.  That
>>>> is not meant to be a criticism in any way, but a legitimate  
>>>> question.  If
>>>> the current Cornish language community uses the inventory of  
>>>> vowels and
>>>> consonants from their native English dialect when pronouncing  
>>>> Cornish,
>>>> doesn't that amount to those sounds being the inventory of sounds in
>>>> contemporary Cornish, and shouldn't I emulate that?  If, rather, I  
>>>> try to
>>>> pronounce it as laid out in some book whether by Ken George or by  
>>>> you,
>>>> Professor Williams, or anyone else, can I be said to be  
>>>> pronouncing it
>>>> properly?
>>>> Yn lel,
>>>> -John Sheridan
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