[Spellyans] chi v chy

A. J. Trim ajtrim at msn.com
Wed May 5 23:47:37 BST 2010

I agree with Craig here.

Place names may be anglicised, and they may reflect archaic forms but I 
believe that they contain evidence about the Cornish we wish to revive. It 
is difficult to extract that evidence but it is there, and in my view it 
must not be ignored.  Not only do place names tell us something of the 
language but they also tell us something about the culture of the people who 
coined the names and how they saw their world (or at least their little bit 
of it.)

The traditional texts do not distinguish between the preposition <in> "in" 
and the adverbial particle <yn>. Why should we make that distinction but not 
make the distinction between "her" and "she", and between "we" and the 
negative verbal particle?

I have a practical problem with <in> for "in": When you want to say "in 
the", the expected forms would be <i'n> or <y'n>. In the first case, my word 
processor always changes it to <I'n>. This can be turned off but it is very 
annoying. I do have a solution: Use <yn> for "in" and <in> for "in the".

I like to use <yn-> for the adverbial particle, i.e. with a hyphen, though I 
wouldn't have a problem with using <in-> for the adverbial particle.

I think that <y'n> should be reserved for the positive verbal particle with 
the pronoun <'n> infixed. Caradar saw this problem, and he used <y-n-> for 
this but folks didn't like so many hyphens.

I'm not sure about: "Other improvement proposals have a much greater chance 
of  acceptance."  Several of those proposals involve the introduction of 
diacritical marks. I think that these will be given a harder time than the 
likes of when to use <i> instead of <y>.

Yes, 3 years is not long. KS will not be accepted in toto. The SWF should be 
improved. People with other views will make their inputs too. I fear that 
most of the comments will come after 2013. It would be good to avoid that.

I like the idea of a tangible list on the lines of "Problems with the SWF 
and their Proposed Remediation".

There are just a few people on this forum. How can we get other people to 
express their views? Can we publish the list widely? The more views we get 
and from the more people, the easier it will be to rank the proposals 
(because we will know more about what the reaction will be.)  At the moment, 
we think we are right, and we discuss with people who (at least partly) 
agree. That's not necessarily the real world.


Andrew J. Trim

From: "Craig Weatherhill" <craig at agantavas.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 7:59 PM
To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] chi v chy

> Surely the OCV is a text.  We can't go picking and choosing what is 
> textual evidence and what is not.  You keep saying 'we', Michael, but 
> Spellyans is 'we', and some of us have viewpoints which are not 
> necessarily those of yourself or Nicholas.  We all have something to  say 
> and to give, and consensus is the name of the game.
> You state that historical place-name evidence is "**NOT**" considered  to 
> be part of the scribal tradition etc.  Who says so?  And why?  I  take 
> entirely the opposite view here.  It **IS** valuable evidence  that cannot 
> be simply ignored because it doesn't fit into comfort  zones.  If Jenner 
> and Nance rejected that evidence, then that was poor  judgement on their 
> part.  Do we ignore it just because they did?   Never forget that some 
> place-name elements are words that don't appear  in the available texts 
> (as an example - yorghel (yorghell), diminutive  of yorgh, 'roe-deer', 
> appears nowhere except a single place-name).
> Place-name elements have an advantage over the texts because they are 
> available over a longer period of time.  They are also living evidence  in 
> that one can often see the development of those words over the  passage of 
> time.  They are there to be taken seriously, not rejected  for no good 
> reason.
> I didn't spend over 25 years gathering all that historical information 
> just to have it ignored.  I gathered it because it WAS being ignored.   I 
> am also perfectly capable of distinguishing which place-name forms  have 
> been Anglicised and which haven't.  Another by-product of half a  lifetime 
> of place-name research and I'd rather have my input  considered than 
> ignored, or rejected out of hand.  If place-name  evidence is to be so 
> easily discarded, then there'd be no point in my  continuing on this list 
> because, as my speciality, it's all the input  I can realistically offer.
> Can we please throttle back on some of the personal remarks.   Spellyans 
> was intended to avoid that.  Dan is not an 'apologist' -  he's trying to 
> make the best of a shoddy job (for which he is  blameless), although I 
> don't think that the SWF is quite as shoddy as  it could have been.
> I think we need to get real, too.  In 2013, the SWF is not going to be 
> replaced by KS, but KS can do a great deal to inform its improvement. 
> Are we really doing that right now?  Like everything else, we are not 
> going to get everything we want.  Other people are also involved,  people 
> with very different opinions, and we need to remember that.  We  should be 
> concentrating on getting as much KS input into those  improvements as we 
> can, bearing in mind that 2013 is only 3 years away  (just think about how 
> quickly the last 2 years have flown by).   Although we can aspire to huge 
> SWF improvements from KS, only some of  it is going to happen - we have to 
> accept that and think about what is  most likely to get agreement.  The 
> i/y distinction (in/yn) is one  example that, in my opinion, won't get a 
> look in, however hard it's  pushed.  Other improvement proposals have a 
> much greater chance of  acceptance.  Once we get our list up of the SWF 
> faults and what's  needed to rectify them, we can score off on a 1-10 
> scale and be ready  for some to be rejected.
> Let's get back on track.
> Craig
> On 5 Me 2010, at 18:56, Michael Everson wrote:
>> Dan,
>> On 5 May 2010, at 16:56, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
>>> You said: “There is no justification for preferring them.” Neither 
>>> Craig, nor Andrew, nor I said that we preferred them. In fact said  the 
>>> exact opposite, that we preferred <chy, ky, why> etc.
>> In general you are a great apologist for the flaws in the SWF, and  it 
>> seems to me that you work hard to justify things which are not  really 
>> justifiable.
>>> What Craig rather brought up though, was, that since <chi> and <ki>  do 
>>> occur traditionally, albeit much less frequently, they are to be 
>>> considered traditional and correct.
>> I don't buy it, Dan. This is a naïve view of orthographic systems.  There 
>> are *MANY* forms found here or there in the texts which we  reject as 
>> unsuitable for a useful system. We reject the use of "u"  for /v/. We 
>> reject the use of "th" for /ð/. We traditionalists have  long rejected 
>> the ad-hoc graphs used by Ken George, for instance. We  were given a side 
>> form -y (against the Main Form -i), but forbidden  this in monosyllables. 
>> That's simply not an acceptable provision in  the SWF.
>> The spelling of place-names is **NOT** considered to be a part of  the 
>> scribal tradition per se, and has never informed the  orthographic 
>> choices we have made. The spelling of place-names is  very important for 
>> interpreting the language -- but place-name forms  do not count (and have 
>> never counted) as candidate forms for a  standard orthography. And this 
>> is not a tradition we began: Jenner  and Nance likewise used the scribal 
>> tradition, not the forms of the  (often anglicized) orthography of 
>> place-names.
>> (Craig, it's really important that you take this distinction on  board, 
>> in my opinion.)
>>> So, while preferring <chy, ky> there aren’t apparently grounds for 
>>> rejecting <chi, ki> if this is the majority decision for the SWF.
>> Again, Dan, I don't accept your argument. Nicholas has shown us  there 
>> are NO exampes of "ki" in the texts, though there are 18  examples of 
>> "ky"; there is 1 example of "chi" against who knows how  many examples of 
>> "chy"; there are two examples of "whi" and 380  examples of "why".
>> This is not "good" evidence; it is *poor* evidence. This does not  lead 
>> one to say "oh, hey, -i is perfectly traditional and should be 
>> considered suitable". This is a flaw in the SWF/T. The SWF/T was  given 
>> to us to allow us to write according to our preferences -- but  forces us 
>> to use non-Traditional forms. I am sure it was designed by  our cynical 
>> KK colleagues precisely to keep us from using it. This  feature of the 
>> SWF/T is not acceptable to us.
>> (This is nothing new.)
>> The *rationale*, the *reason* we have a -i/-ei vs -y split amongst 
>> monosyllables in the SWF is because Trond thought that it would be 
>> handier for automatic conversion between SWF/TL and SWF/RMC. There  are 
>> two things wrong with this. First, we traditionalists don't  value such a 
>> automatic operations over Traditional orthographic  forms (and we weren't 
>> asked about it either). Second, there are (as  I pointed out) there are 
>> three classes, not two, of words in final / i/, so the exercise is simply 
>> incomplete.
>> At the end of the day, the number of monosyllables in final /i/ is  not 
>> very great, and the correct pronunciation of them is not  difficult to 
>> learn -- certainly not in terms of high-frequency words  like pronouns.
>> Moreover, the distribution of "i" and "y" in the SWF is not well 
>> specified anyway. The whole thing needs to be revisited. Only 
>> UdnFormScrefys and Spellyans have ever tried to deal with the  problem --  
>> and the solution we have in KS is simple, predictable,  and easy to 
>> learn.
>> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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> --
> Craig Weatherhill
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