[Spellyans] Llawlyfr Cernyweg Canol by Lewis

janicelobb at tiscali.co.uk janicelobb at tiscali.co.uk
Wed Jun 9 09:21:25 IST 2010

Alien? Fans of Tolkein might appreciate why I call KK "orcish" (or 
should that be "orkish"?) and UC/UCR/RLC "elvish"!

>----Original Message----
>From: craig at agantavas.org
>Date: 09/06/2010 8:56 
>To: "Standard Cornish discussion list"<spellyans at kernowek.net>
>Subj: Re: [Spellyans] Llawlyfr Cernyweg Canol by Lewis
>The alien appearance of KK played a major role in my rejecting it  
>(there were other factors as well).  The universal K, rejecting C  
>before back vowels, L and R, produced what seemed to me to be a 
>Germanic look.  The C-K distinction in written Cornish was, I 
>unique in the Brythonic languages - Welsh and Cumbric use C  
>throughout, whilst Breton chose K (can anyone tell me if Breton 
>wrote C for the hard consonant, and is its universal K a recent  
>modification?).  In this regard, Cornish did follow English 
>which the devisers of KK despised and rejected, but is that really 
>valid reason to reject what Cornish scribes wrote over several  
>The sheer numbers of geminate M and N in KK was overpowering,  
>unnecessary, and made the language aesthetically ugly.  "Kammbronn" 
>an oft-cited example (where Cornish scribes used "Cambron" over 
>centuries).  The SWF has moderated that problem to a reasonable 
> From my perspective, KW looked like 'skoolboy' spelling.  There 
>no need to introduce this graph but, again, there appeared to be a  
>despising of English practice with QU (which was adopted into 
>through Latin and Norman-French).  QU in Unified Cornish was  
>problematic in that mutation required both letters to be altered  
>('gwary' > 'ow quary').  During the SWF process, I suggested we 
>this graph to QW (nicely convenient on a QWERTY keyboard), in the 
>that it would be accepted.  Sadly, the so-called Main Form (or, as 
>call it, SWF/K) rejected it and retained the awful KW. QW was used 
>Jordan and Jenner, so had a Cornish pedigree.  As I can't think of 
>other language that uses it, it would be a uniquely Cornish graph.   
>Thankfully, SWF/T and KS were happy to adopt it.
>HW is another KK graph that I simply can't live with.  It isn't  
>Cornish (nor is KW which I believe occurs just once in all the  
>available texts).  Lhuyd used it twice (I think) in his phonetic  
>script, more often writing HU.  When used in a modern context, both  
>invite mispronunciation.  Lhuyd's 'huel', a mine, invites "hyoo-el" 
>and I've even heard that.  Again WH was despised as "English" but,  
>again, that was no reason to reject it.  To bring in graphs like KW  
>and HW and then to say, 'they're Cornish', when they clearly aren't  
>was unacceptable to me.  Despising the origins of certain graphs in  
>this way rather smacks of linguistic ethnic cleansing.  By 
>would the people responsible rather abandon the use of the Roman  
>alphabet?  What would they do?  Adopt Ogam (because it does occur on 
>Cornish inscribed stones)?  There'd be problems there - being a 
>script, Ogam doesn't have a symbol for P, for example!
>Other items of KK are more acceptable to me.  I have no objection 
><oe> for the short 'oo'.  'Goen' (downland), 'woeles' (lower) - the  
>latter is traditionally pronounced "woolus" - are probably the most  
>common spellings of the words in historic place-name records.  Nor 
>I have any real problem with final -i.  Again, in historic place- 
>names, "chi" (house) is very common.  In the SWF, this gives an 
>transition to the Late variant, chi > chei.  (However, if you try 
>type "i" [they], the computer will annoyingly adjust it to a capital 
>when you're not looking!)
>I've often been criticised for disliking KK, but my accusers rarely  
>ask WHY I dislike it.
>I have never seen Lewis's book - is it available on the Internet?
>On 8 Efn 2010, at 23:29, A. J. Trim wrote:
>> In my opinion, Llawlyfr Cernyweg Canol by Lewis is well worth a 
>> Of course, it is out of date and full of errors, and it's in Welsh 
>> but the Welsh is mostly quite easy to follow. This book is 
>> in that Lewis did not try to re-spell Cornish but presents it as 
>> found it. To an extent, that makes it purer, and you should feel  
>> more in touch with the language after reading it. It makes KK 
>> very alien.
>> Regards,
>> Andrew J. Trim
>> From: ewan wilson
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 10:39 PM
>> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] An SWF glossary & Unified versus SWF
>> Eddie,
>> I think you have hit the nail on the head for why many of us are  
>> instinctivelt attracted to UC ( and UCR, for that matter!) Its  
>> grammar and orthography IS largely a standardising exercise and  
>> combined with UCR's vocabulary enrichment one feels it really is  
>> reflecting how the language worked and was used.
>> As for the large corpus of UC literature it would seem silly  
>> deliberately to cut oneself off from it by going for a quite 
>> orthography. However I must also be honest and say I find the 
>> of the Late Cornish very appealling too. Lots of hard research 
>> gone into it and one senses it IS the language of the later 
>> with whom it is putting us in touch.
>> Would others agree that in some ways the UC/UCR- LC distinction  
>> parallels the difference we find in Welsh between the Colloquial 
>> the Literary registers, or is there a bigger gulf?
>> Anyway, it's good to know that if I continue with UC/UCR ( my own  
>> favourite, I guess) it won't all be for nothing.
>> Anyone have experience of the old Llawlyfr Cernyweg Canol by 
>> I know it's in Welsh but is it any good in its analysis of  
>> MiddleCornish, and how does it tie in with UC? Or is it largely a  
>> waste of money?
>> Ewan.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Eddie Climo
>> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 5:52 PM
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] An SWF glossary & Unified versus SWF
>> On 8 Efn 2010, at 16:29, Ray Chubb wrote:
>>> Unified should not be looked at from a totally linguistic point 
>>> view.
>> Agreed, but UC can stand up to such scrutiny. The group of people  
>> who collaborated on designing UC were fine linguists who crafted  
>> well. Moreover, their hearts were in the right place: not for 
>> the factional back-stabbing we've seen far too much of over the 
>> quarter century.
>>> Nance's original aim of using an orthography based on historical  
>>> Cornish at its zenith, simply standardising out some  
>>> irregularities, is still a valid one and will remain an 
>>> one to future generations who have put some thought into which 
>>> of Cornish they are going to learn.
>> Indeed. Unlike some forms of Revived Cornish, UC has stood the 
>> of time, and given Kernewegoryon over 80 years of valuable 
>> It is, in my opinion, the classic form of revived Middle Cornish,  
>> and is as valid now as it was when launched all those years ago. 
>> designers have earned an honoured place in the history of our  
>> language, unlike some of today's wannabes.
>> Moreover, it has a massive literature that has built up over that  
>> period, and the reality is that —despite the efforts of modern  
>> bowdlerisers and plagiarists in the KKesva, and elsewhere— most 
>> it will never be republished in any other orthography. Anyone who  
>> aspires to 'Tota Cornicitas' cannot simply wish that corpus away.
>> In the face of this large corpus of UC, Kernewegoryon now and in 
>> years to come will be obliged (at the very least) to read UC, 
>> if they choose not to write it.
>> Perhaps the same might be said by future generations (post 2013)  
>> about the substantial (and growing corpus) of KS literature that 
>> currently being created.
>>> Therefore Christian's opinion that Unified will only last until 
>>> current users die out could well be mistaken.
>> I very much suspect it is mistaken. I, for one, love UC and will  
>> continue to study and write in it.
>> Gwren ny perthy cof a un poynt a skyans a glewas Jowan Chy an 
>> y'n whethel mur y vry:
>>> "Kemer wyth na wreta gasa an forth coth rak an forth noweth."
>> Eddie Foirbeis Climo
>> - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -
>> Dres ethom akennow byner re bo lyeshes
>> Accenti non multiplicandi praeter necessitatem
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>Craig Weatherhill
>Spellyans mailing list
>Spellyans at kernowek.net

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