[Spellyans] Rules for the apostrophe

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed May 19 14:25:49 BST 2010

Point 3 is laughable.  The KK brigade want to purge all English  
influence out of Cornish (name the minority language that hasn't been  
influenced by its majority neighbour), but Latin influence is OK.

KS HAS my support - didn't I OK translation of 'The Lyonesse Stone'  
into it?  And loved the result.  As did others - on MOnday night, Mick  
Paynter asked if 'Seat of Storms' and 'The Tinners' way will be  
similarly translated because he's looking forward to that happening.   
I can't understand your attitude on this.  Michael, you are going to  
have to learn to listen to all points of view, and consider why they  
may differ from yours.  Don't just get the hump because our opinions  
might differ.  You've sniped at Eddie's concerns, now you're sniping  
at mine.  Why?  Aren't we entitled to a point of view?  If we aren't  
then there's not much point in continuing, is there?  KS was supposed  
to be a TEAM effort and ownership.

The bare fact is that SWF, flawed and unsatisfactory as it is,  
resulted from consensus.  KS doesn't have that consensus, however much  
we might think it should.  No, I don't have a crystal ball but I'm  
here, on the ground, seeing and hearing reactions/opinions, etc. at  
first hand.  That is NOT a dig at where you happen to live, but here,  
it's all around me and, therefore, I think my opinion counts for  
something.  In 2013, SWF will undergo corrections and revisions  
(probably not nearly enough).  How much of that will be influenced by  
KS is as much your guess as ours.

"This will not succeed" really isn't good enough.  How do you know?   
Do you have the crystal ball that I haven't?  You know as well as I do  
how well organised the opposition is and 1987 is a lesson we learn  
from.  We can't just assume that because KS orthography is better,  
that it's going to replace all else.  Pride comes before a fall, and  
we're going to have to come to terms with that basic truth.  Otherwise  
we just fall into its trap.

Michael, please stop talking down to us:  a) we don't like it;  b) we  
have just as much to give from our own perspectives and fields of  
expertise as you do.

Yes, you are doing your best - as are we all - but are you seeing the  
real picture?  You know the difficulties I'm having on the Signage  
panel even to get traditional graph SWF a look in.  Talk to Ray about  
his experiences on the Partnership.  You need to know these things and  
the realities of what is happening on the ground.

WE count for something, too.


On 19 Me 2010, at 13:20, Michael Everson wrote:

> On 18 May 2010, at 19:00, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
>> I won't do any service by not voicing concerns, but the  
>> introduction of initial I for Y in some words makes me uncomfortable.
> You need to understand why.
> 1. Jenner used i and î and y and ŷ phonetically, and distributed  
> them on that basis.
> 2. Nance ditched i entirely, whether to avoid having to deal with  
> working out a means to distribute i and y, or because he preferred  
> the more medieval look of y.
> 3. George considered i and y to represent different phonemes in  
> stressed syllables, and distributed i and y elsewhere according to  
> his etymological theories (so we have kegin and molin because of  
> Latin cucina and molina, burdening the user with remembering his  
> Latin to get the spelling right.
> 4. Williams re-introduced i in UCR in some Latin loanwords but there  
> was no real systematicness to it otherwise.
> 5. KS1 and KD made some proposals.
> 6. The SWF specifies the use of i and y in stressed monosyllables  
> and their derivatives (though it fails to distinguish short y and  
> long ÿ in stressed monosyllables). It specifies that -i or -ei be  
> used in monosyllables, and permits either -i or -y in polysyllables.  
> It gives no other guidance to the user as to how to choose i or y in  
> any other environment.
> 7. KS is the only orthography that offers clear rules for the  
> distribution of i and y. These are:
> 7a. Use i- in initial position in all but 6 words.
> 7b. Use i for [iː] and y for [ɪ] in monosyllables and their  
> derivatives.
> 7c. Use î for [iː] and y for [ɪ] in non-initial and non-final  
> position in other polysyllables.
> 7d. Use -y in final position.
> Those rules are pretty simple. No other orthography but Jenner's  
> have rules at all for distributing i and y (Nance's omitting i  
> entirely doesn't count, an in any case is incompatible with the use  
> of i and y in the SWF.)
> One of the reasons we chose 7a is the dislike many RLC users have  
> for the perceived "medievalness" of the letter y. Since RLC users  
> get very little graphic familiarity in the SWF it seemed an  
> appropriate concession to make.
>> KS1 had to be adjusted to cope with the limitations placed on it by  
>> the SWF, but I feel that we've gone too far.
> "Too far"? What is not too far? If you do not like i- your choice is  
> y-. Is that "better"? Initial i- is very well attested in the  
> corpus. There's nothing inauthentic about it. If you're not used to  
> it, it's only because Nance didn't use the letter i at all.
> You ought to be a bit used to it by now; after all these rules are  
> implemented in Jowal Lethesow. They are good, simple, robust rules,  
> easily taught, and easily learnt. Once you learn them, you know how  
> to spell.
>> Overall, KS is fine BUT we mustn't kid ourselves that it will  
>> replace the SWF in 3 years time.  It won't.  It can't.
> You've got a crystal ball, have you? You know who will be invited to  
> the 2013 conference? You know who will attend? Who will refuse to  
> attend? Who will be refused permission to attend?
> I don't know these things. What I do know is that there are  
> linguistic flaws in the SWF which make it insupportable for academic  
> approval and unsuitable for publishing literature. I also know that  
> those flaws are easily corrected. We have corrected them.
>> There is far too much opposition out there for that ever to happen  
>> and, if we don't start publishing in SWF/T as well, the move will  
>> be to dismiss it because no one is visibly using it.
> I for my part am not afraid of the Kesva. They aren't producing  
> anything, in SWF/M or even in KK for  that matter.
> THe 220,000 words we have published since January 2009 are all  
> using /T forms, not /K forms. Our orthography is not UC or UCR or  
> RLC or KK. It is a direct response to the SWF/T which was supposedly  
> created to support our aesthetic. It forces us to use inauthentic  
> graphs, however, so it fails there. But the fact that we are using / 
> T forms and not /K forms cannot be denied.
>> This will then open the door for the return of KK to "correct" SWF/M.
> This will not succeed.
> Please recall that Nicholas and I co-edited SWF/T and SWF/M editions  
> of Skeul an Tavas.
>> I'm having enough problems with the pressure to use SWF/M graphs in  
>> place-names, and the apparent desire to sideline SWF/T as far as  
>> they're able.
> Well, for my part I am publishing with Traditional graphs and not  
> with Kebmyn graphs.
>> We fell for this sort of thing 25 years ago and we'd all be bloody  
>> fools not to be aware of intentions now, and do what is necessary  
>> to thwart them. Publishing in KS alone won't do this.
> Evertype publications are funded by Evertype. If the SWF/T isn't  
> accurate and contains the faults which it does, why should I spend  
> money to publish in it? The Kesva hasn't been publishing much of  
> anything in SWF/K. Hardly anything of any quality has been published  
> in SWF of any kind, in fact. A story about a starfish? A puppy? A  
> reprint of some songbook? A colouring book?
> It's a far cry from a quarter of a million words, don't you think?
>> KS will most certainly inform the corrections to be undertaken in  
>> 2013, and I feel that this aim is what we should be concentrating on.
> There is no 2013 mechanism defined. The arguments about what  
> corrections
> But you know what, Craig? One of the things that the Spellyans  
> effort could use is support. Is it a good orthography? Use it. Is it  
> a better orthography than the SWF? Use it.
> I know: only Skeul an Tavas (KS) is out so far. Eddie is impatient  
> about it, but we are being careful, trying to work out what needs to  
> be done to edge cases. Most of those are polysyllabic loanwords with  
> long vowels in unexpected positions. Nicholas and I, and some other  
> linguistically astute external readers, are working to make sure  
> that what we put forward is accurate, traditional, and useful.
> But when it does come out, people will have to decide whether to  
> support it or not. Right now, the Revival is not really going  
> anywhere. One of my correspondants wrote recently:
>> "Authority" is the word. The whole project is about control and  
>> administrative process at the expense of participation, collective  
>> ownership and good Cornish. The Cornish revival has not just  
>> stalled, it has gone into reverse. Authority began with Nance,  
>> leading to the imposed "authority" of the editor of An Gannas and  
>> of the Kesvapo in the 80s, followed by MAGA.
> From the perspective of KS, all we as linguists can do is our best.  
> To do less than our best would be to insult the language. We'll put  
> it out there. If people say "Holy heck, this is a great  
> orthography!" then they should use it. If people want linguistically  
> weak Council Cornish, then the current SWF is probably suitable. I  
> can't make that choice for any of you, teachers or learners. All I  
> can do is my best.
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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Craig Weatherhill

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