[Spellyans] <y Y> + diacritical

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Jun 25 13:47:52 BST 2008

At 12:35 +0000 2008-06-25, Jon Mills wrote:
>Context tells you which type of word you have.

Not if you are a learner.

>It was not a problem for the readers/writers of the Middle Cornish texts.

That's not very helpful.

>I don't find it a problem when I read the Middle Cornish texts.

You're not an average user, are you?

>Of course, what many language learners would like is a single 
>written form. However the Cornish language community is not yet 
>ready for a single written form and so we have the Standard Written 
>Form with variants.

Yes, and we want to use diacritical marks to distinguish words which 
are otherwise ambiguous.

>From talking to various people at the Tremough conferences, it seems 
>evident to me that the overwhelming majority of Cornish speakers and 
>learners would prefer to eschew diacritics altogether.

You don't hear that in Ireland, or in Scotland, or in Wales, or in Brittany.

Although the text did not appear in the final published SWF, Trond 
and Ben and Albert had agreed with Nicholas and me the following text:

"Diacritical marks are not a part of the mandated SWF orthography. 
However, publishers are permitted to be use them, optionally, to mark 
words with anomalous vowel length or quality."

In a document by Ben and Albert summarizing discussions of the AHG, 
they said this:

"Diacritical marks are not part of the SWF. (Publishers can add some 
if they think that they are necessary for pedagogical reasons.)"

They did not include this text in the SWF, which I consider to be a 
broken promise. As a publisher, however, I believe that anomalous 
vowel length and quality is something that should be marked.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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