[Spellyans] An SWF glossary

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Mon Jun 7 07:58:34 IST 2010

On 7 Jun 2010, at 05:42, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

> I should add, Michael, that the sidelining of SWF/T is not simply confined to a 60-page glossary.  It's happening all over the place.  And merely saying that: "I'm not afraid of them" isn't going to improve the situation, or spike their guns.  If you're not afraid of them, then you should be.  Remember 1987.

That's when hooligans took over your major publishing house and imposed a bogus form of Cornish on the Revival. I've heard the story many times. 

> Yes, SWF/T is flawed in the ways that you've detailed.  Only by publishing in it can we show this - detailing the flaws in footnotes and appendices.

You want me to publish "Alice in Wonderland" not as a book to be read, but in a mistaken orthography with footnotes and appendices explaining why "the orthography used in this book is substandard"? Why? Is this going to help learners improve their Cornish? 

KS engages with the SWF and puts right what is wrong with it. There maybe other ways to put right what is wrong with it, but KS is the way we do it. We plan to publish a formal review of the SWF in advance of 2013. But the SWF, whether /K or /T, is not fit for use by anyone but the Partnership. 

Its use of unattested "iw" in some words because Ken George admires Breton and Welsh is indefensible. Its use of "-in" in unstressed syllables deriving from Latin but "-yn" in unstressed syllables in Celtic words has already been footnoted in Skeul an Tavas. Learners are still expected to learn this distinction -- to what good? Does it help pronunciation? No. Is it easy to remember? Sure, if you know your Latin etymologies. Its substitution of "o" for "u" to represent shot [ʊ] is surely going to cause mispronunciations, as is its use of "-v" and "-dh" in final unstressed syllables. 

No one can pretend that KS isn't a response to the SWF. I've given up UCR. I'm not pushing for its reinstatement. I'm publishing new material, and lots of it, in an orthography based on the SWF. This is a lot different from the Kesva's publishing of George's newest foray into lexicography. 

> By the way, I don't really follow the argument that SWF caused KS to abandon 'beis' - what the SWF decided upon was a problem that 'beis' surely solves.

We wished to "tread lightly". Re-spelling bys/bes words as beis is a major change from the SWF. Marking the words with diacritics bÿs/bës is less obtrusive and does not change the basic word-shapes.

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

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