[Spellyans] -ssy-

Herbie Blackburn kevin.blackburn1 at ntlworld.com
Mon Dec 14 19:33:44 GMT 2009

Don't forget though that German is a natural language, but has very strict rules, that are carried out to the letter - I was working in Frankfurt and witnessed the new rule that came in governing compound words, where the first finishes in -rr, and the second starts r-. The original rule said that all letters were retained, but the new rule said that in the case above, one r was lost. Overnight the Lufthansa cantene changed the 'tray-return' sign from 'Geschirrruckgabe' to 'Geschirruckgabe'. Impressive, but a bit OTT. No?


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-----Original Message-----
From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Eddie Climo
Sent: 14 December 2009 18:22
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] -ssy-

I agree with Craig. *encrecya is, afaik, unattested; certainly, to my  
eyes, it looks ridiculous.

We must beware of making a fetish of 'precision' where there is no  
need for it. Our orthographic design needs to be REASONABLY phonemic  
and REASONABLY unambiguous, but it most definitedly does not need to  
be TOO phonemic and TOO unambiguous.

As Craig rightly says, natural languages do have their 'foubles and  
irregularities', and we must be careful not to throw these quirks out  
by too close an adherence to Rules.

The 'Befehl ist Befehl' defence did not suffice at the Nürnberg  
Trials, and its linguistic analogue won't suffice for us either. For  
instance, I see no need to make a spelling distinction in KS between  
'yn' (preposition) and 'yn 5' (adverbial particle. Both are pronounced  
the same, and the combination of context and the 5th-state mutation  
are enough to distinguish them. Moreover, they are not distinguished,  
afaik, in this way in the historical corpus.

There is no point in distinguishing [yn / in] when there are so many  
other sets of similarly homophonous function words which are left  
completely unmarked.

I also see no need for the diaeresis to mark [bys / bes] alternation  
when there are so many other alternations which are left completely  
unmarked. We don't mark [esa / era], [crysy / cryjy] etc. etc., so  
there's no reason at all to single out [bys / bes] for special  

Let us remember that we are designing an orthography, we are not  
redesigning the Cornish language to fit in with any individual's pet  
likes and dislikes in lexicon and idiom. That was what Ken George  
tried to do, and his attempt was deservedly a dismal failure -- one,  
moreover, which has caused immense damage to the Cornish language  
Revival over the last quarter century.

We must make absolutely certain that we in this group do not fall into  
a similar hubristic trap. As a general comment, I must say that I have  
strong reservations about some of the features that seem to have been  
adopted into KS, especially the prescriptive element that we hear from  
some quarters on this forum.

However, I must also say that I really have lost track of just what KS  
is supposed to be at the present time. It has been a very long while  
since we had the last specification document on KS -- was it KS-16 a  
year and a half ago? Micheal, as a matter of urgency, please let us  
have an interim draft of the spec so we can see what is proposed for  
KS now, even if it's only for private circulation within the  
membership of this group.

After all, if I'm going to get up on my high horse and protest, I  
should at least have some idea what it is I'm protesting about, eh?!

Eddie Foirbeis Climo

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