[Spellyans] Spelling and linguistics - Yes

Chris Parkinson brynbow at btinternet.com
Wed Jun 16 09:09:51 IST 2010


Thanks for the comments, Ewan. Literary Welsh indeed makes more use of inflected verbs, but not, I think, to be particularly Latinate. All the Celtic languages were quite highly inflected, just as was Latin.  And they have become simplified in speech. (How did they get so highly inflected in the first place?!)  Your description of the difficulties of learning the UC of Nance makes the point. Nance's UC produced few really fluent speakers. That is why Dick Gendall turned to Late Cornish which Jenner also considered a legitimate part of the heritage. As I said before, KK only tried to improve UC's orthography to make it easier to get the pronunciation right. In this he was unsuccessful because few follow all of his guidelines. What really concerns me is the problem of what register should be used in primary schools because it seems that this hasn't been discussed. Maybe the Partnership's two new education officers are thinking about it. Literary Welsh is not used in Welsh primary schools. It was realised in the 50's and 60's that this didn't work and steps were successfully taken to improve the situation.  Successful learners, and of course L1 speakers gradually come to more literary versions of the language as they read more widely. So, to come back to 'Spellyans',  if  an officially acceptable  orthography is not worked out for all aspects of RLC then as Craig suggested, the SWF favoured by mainly KK followers, and the formal language that goes with it, will take precedence in 2013. How many fluent Cornish infants will come out of that? Or am I overstating the case and being too negative? What do other people on this list think? Michael, what do you think?

Chris
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: ewan wilson 
  To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
  Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 10:41 PM
  Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Spelling and linguistics - Yes


  Well, Chris , I'm glad somebody has had the same idea about there being a parallel with the Welsh Literary- Colloquial division. To be honest, the Welsh I've learned has been the 'Gog' colloquial version. Looking at the more literary Welsh, it strikes me it maybe aspires to be more 'Latinate' with its more elaborate accidence, word order, etc whereas the colloquial has to some extent 'simplified'. 
  I've just been galloping back through good, old Cornish Simplified and one is remnded by Lesson 17 of the sheer 'finickness' of the language with its various verbal particles, compounded by the quite complex mutation systems. These all have to juggled in ones head, along with a half decent stab at pronunciation and I have nothing but admiration for those who have managed it. However it is an impressive achievement of Nance and I think it desrves our best effort. The one ting that does go through my mind is would this really be the form of Cornish that Dolly Pentreath and the later users would readily recognise? Or would they more easily align with the Late Cornish of Gendall, et al? 
  I think the one of the beauties of UCR is its ready assimilation of the actual Late(-ish!) English borrowings which far from diluting the language seem to give it added, distinctively Cornish pungency, oddly enough! 
  I was watching a Scottish Gaelic TV programme this evening and it struck me the amount of English  two native speakers had to insert into their conversation eg, 'upside down', 'slug pellets', 'keeping up with the Jones's'( maybe this last is Welsh?!). Is this necessarily a sign of 'decay' or simple lack of advanced literacy? After all, travelling on a bus daily, one can hear lots of English conversation with fairly restricted vocabulary bases!!

  Ewan.    
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Chris Parkinson 
    To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
    Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 9:25 AM
    Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Spelling and linguistics - Yes


    Maybe I need to say now that an interest in linguistics certainly does not mean that I think KK was ever a good idea. What  I do think is that Ewan's thought is right and that UC is a literary form of the language and RLC is like the spoken form - of the same language, which corresponds to the picture in Welsh. KK is a different way of spelling UC. Isn't it? I'm not sure how UCR fits into this picture. But RLC needs to be written down, which raises problems. What for example is to happen to the verbal particle 'ow'? RLC leaves it out or reduces it to 'a'.  Would this be acceptable using SWF, or in using KS for that matter. Chris
      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: Christian Semmens 
      To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
      Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 9:01 AM
      Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Spelling and linguistics - Yes


      Hi Ray,

      It is amazing when you first try it.

      However, it does require full familiarity with the language to do it. And as Chris says, it certainly wouldn't help a learner pronounce English, not that English does a good job of that anyway! :)

      Christian



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