[Spellyans] Rules for the apostrophe

Ken MacKinnon ken at ferintosh.org
Wed May 19 16:16:56 BST 2010

- and don't forget Gresham's Law.

- ken Ken

Ken MacKinnon is now on Broadband  with new e-mail addresses:-

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(Prof) Ken MacKinnon
Ivy Cottage, Ferintosh,
The Black Isle, by Dingwall,
Ross-shire  IV 7 8HX
Scotland  UK

Tel: 01349 - 863460

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Craig Weatherhill" <craig at agantavas.org>
To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:25 PM
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Rules for the apostrophe

> 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.
> Craig
> 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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