[Spellyans] chair

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sun Jul 19 14:47:44 IST 2009


On 19 Jul 2009, at 14:08, Eddie Climo wrote:

> On 19 Gor 2009, at 10:01, Michael Everson wrote:
>> Your logic is assailable, Eddie.
>> Are you saying that the word which Cornish speakers commonly and  
>> usually used for chair (namely, "chair") has no place in Revived  
>> Cornish?
>
> Your own logic is threadbare here, Michael, or at least your powers  
> of observation.

Fine, let us refrain from disparaging one another then. :-S

> Manifestly I did not say that, otherwise you would not have to ask,  
> would you? To clarify, I have no objection to people using chayr if  
> they choose to; I merely assert the reasons why cadar whould not be  
> rejected.

No! No! I did not say "cader" should be rejected. I suggest however,  
that since the name of the familiar object is well attested as  
"chair", we should prefer that for the ordinary word, and reserve  
"cader" for less generic items. "Chair of linguistics" and "chairman"  
would certainly suit that usage.

>> Since it is by far the most common word for the object in the  
>> texts, why not use it as the most common word in the revival?
>
> Because cadar is more commonly used nowadays, and has been over 4  
> generations of the Revival.

Then what use have you for "chair"?

None, I guess.

>> If Gendall restricts the use of "cadar" to a position and the  
>> person who holds it, he does so because he recognizes that the  
>> usual word for chair is "chair".
>
> Perhaps he does, but many Revivalists don't agree with his  
> restriction.

Few Revivalists know Cornish as well as Gendall. I don't. Neither do  
you.

>> I think your suggestion that "chair" is frequently attested because  
>> the corpus is slanted towards medieval religious plays to be very  
>> strange indeed.
>
> I find your suggestion that 4 generations of RC usage should be  
> overturned to be very strange indeed.

You did not respond to my criticism. Did you not suggest that the  
corpus is slanted towards medieval religious plays? (Yes, you did.) So  
if those texts have "chair", does that mean that "chair" is "medieval"  
or "religious"?

That's not what the Bêwnans Meryasek text looks like to me.

> Languages evolve, even ones in the situation of RC, and this is just  
> another example of such evolution.

Not four generations of usage. Do we even know ANY fourth-generation  
Cornish speakers? No. We may have 104 years of usage, of learners  
attempting to master the language. That is not the same as  
generational transmission.

> Or are we to leave the development of our language solely in the  
> hands of academics and bureaucrats?

There wouldn't be a language without people studying the SOURCES for  
Cornish and attempting to understand what is there and pass that  
knowledge on. It is the height of arrogance, is it not, to say that  
any of us know Cornish better than those who wrote the sources?

So when we learn new things from the sources, we can either, humbly,  
revise our pratice, or we can, arrogantly, give them two fingers and  
say "I don't care what the sources say, people have been making this  
mistake since Nance and that qualifies as 'evolution'."

Well, I don't subscribe to the latter view. Where Nance was wrong --  
even where Caradar and Talek followed him because they didn't have the  
same kind of access to text analysis we do -- then we should try to do  
better than Nance.

(And where George errs, we should do better than George. And were  
Williams errs, we should do better than Williams.)

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/





More information about the Spellyans mailing list