[Spellyans] ragtho, rygthy

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Mon Nov 15 17:02:13 GMT 2010

While Reeves is skulking here, as the worthless little sh*t's told  
C24, and reporting it all.  Back to serious business, gentlemen.


On 15 Du 2010, at 15:56, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Everson
> Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 1:22 PM
> On 15 Nov 2010, at 10:45, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
> > Go ahead Michael, bully me instead – insult me,
> “I did not insult you. I have observed that in many respects you  
> have worked to ensure that KK forms are in the SWF. I don't find  
> that admirable. I don't think those things should be taught to  
> learners.”
> Yes, you did. I told you the last time you called me an “apologist  
> for the SWF” (or similar wording) that I considered this insulting.  
> Insults are not only insults when you intend them to be, but also if  
> your conversation partner is insulted by them even if no insult was  
> intended. No clever footnote on the original meaning of  
> “apologist” can change that.
> I resent the fact that you portray my work and involvement in the  
> process as “ensuring that KK forms are in the SWF”. That is not  
> my doing, but on the other hand I will not protest a certain word  
> form that can equally be possible going by the evidence and has been  
> arrived at by consensus just because it doesn’t fit your pet  
> theory. Yes, there are many things wrong with KK and forms that have  
> entered the SWF through KK, but others that aren’t that you  
> continually oppose or “derogate”, as you put it, because they  
> were used in KK, not because they are linguistically questionable  
> (taves, gaver etc.). The things that are wrong need to be corrected,  
> which is exactly what we’re working on.
> I find a lot of things in KS which are not admirable and which I  
> wouldn’t teach learners, such as the <i ~ y> distribution and some  
> solutions for unstressed vowels (-ek ~ -ak). Also KS has derogated  
> from the SWF and is thus not an orthography by consensus any more.  
> But the consensus in the SWF entirely the point of the whole  
> exercise. I’d rather work from within to make the SWF  
> linguistically more sound.
> Don’t get me wrong, I love your books and especially Nicholas’  
> Cornish which is most enjoyable to read… but I will stick to the  
> SWF because there has been too much in-fighting and many KK-flaws  
> have been expunged from the SWF and I’m sure there are quite a few  
> that will follow. But the first step was to get the people to sit  
> down at the same table and talk … and that is what the SWF has  
> achieved – not KS and not KK. Rant over.
> “> dismiss my points and theories as you have others’, because  
> you happen to disagree with them.
> I agreed with you that ragtho, rygthy, ragtha(ns) are the correct  
> forms. Where I disagree with you is the blytheness with which you  
> say "George appears to believe that the <g> indicates the <th> may  
> have been voiced" as though it didn't matter. The evidence suggests  
> that he was wrong. Why should learners be taught "ragdho", then?”
> No, we cannot say this with absolute certainty, because none of us,  
> you included, has ever interviewed a traditional native speaker of  
> Cornish. The voiceless forms are undisputable in CW, but apart from  
> that one text the cluster is spelt <gth> and <g> usually stands for  
> a voiced sound and <th> can stand for [ð] or [θ]. The point is –  
> we don’t know. What I would like have as a brief for correcting and  
> emending SWF forms is something like “if in doubt follow the MSS”.
> “> You’ve done it before. Who cares… I have a thick skin… Or,  
> on the other hand I dare you to be a little more open minded.
> About what?”
> About a great deal of things. Usually phonological theories and  
> orthographical designs which differ somewhat from your  
> interpretations and ideas and are justifiable using the very same  
> evidence.
> “About your argument that we should be happy with -dh and -v in  
> unstressed syllables because German Hand/Hande is [hant]/[handǝ]?”
> It’s <Hand> [hant] ~ <Hände> [ˈhɛndə] – no, not because of,  
> but as far as orthographical design is concerned, by analogy with  
> this solution (and many other languages that show word-final  
> devoicing). With the evidence we have from – well mainly Lhuyd –  
> there is some doubt as to whether [ð] was at all devoiced in such  
> positions – in which case – behold! – KK could actually have  
> been correct!!! [v] is usually dropped in this position anyway, so  
> no need to worry about that, though I would definitely prefer to  
> spell <f> finally whether I drop the sound or not. This would lead  
> to <ff> = [f]; <f> = [f] ~ [v]; <v> = [v] which would be something I  
> could live with…
> Just a little demonstration of what open minded and able to  
> compromise can mean…
> “I think that argument is poor, since the SWF otherwise permits -p   
> and -k in unstressed syllables while having -b and -g in stressed  
> ones.”
> What’s right for stops may not be so for fricatives. Lhuyd suggests  
> [ð] in this position was retained. Some MMS spellings add magic-e,  
> which can be interpreted as making sequence such as -athe mean [əð].
> “I think, in fact, that that argument is apologism for a blot in  
> the orthography.”
> … or historically and linguistically correct, given the evidence…
> “It's making an excuse for inconsistency in order to "make it all  
> right", and it's just not "all right". Is pointing this out  
> "bullying" you?”
> No, closing your eyes to the evidence or dismissing it out of hand,  
> or not reacting to it at all and then talking down to me is.
> “Sorry, Dan, but your analogy deserves criticism.”
> The analogy is an orthographical solution – one of many. I can take  
> criticism, don’t you worry about that. What I cannot take is a  
> dogmatic approach to phonological problems that have not yet been  
> solved or cannot be at any time re-opened given the presentation of  
> the proper evidence.
> “Maybe I'm not "nice enough" when I criticize, but I don't, at the  
> end of the day, think that what you are doing is going the right  
> direction.”
> And yours is? It’s easy to find consensus in a group that agrees,  
> but so much harder where there is considerable disagreement. The way  
> you have proceeded has alienated so many people who beg to differ  
> with your point of view – or some of them at least. In fact you  
> have alienated so many people don’t even want to talk to you  
> anymore. Thus all the very good and bright things you say are also  
> lost because they fall on deaf ears – “Der Ton macht die Musik!”
>  “May I not hold such a view?”
> You’re free to hold any views you want to and I in turn am just as  
> free to disagree and point that out, also when you, even if  
> unwittingly or unintentionally, insult me.
> “Or do I have to admire you for working to ensure that all the  
> Kemmynisms are implemented completely?”
> An unnecessary, and unworthy stab…
> “You're a tireless worker. You're smart. But it is hard for me to  
> see that you are doing anybody any favours.”
> Condescension aside, I am at least working from within the process,  
> I believe in this process, I believe it will do the SWF and the  
> Cornish language movement as a whole a favour to agree to a Single  
> Written Form and achieve something that we can all live with, so  
> that Cornish language speakers in and outside of Cornwall can spend  
> their energy on producing good Cornish in speech and writing without  
> the dark shadow of the spelling wars looming over them. People, I  
> find, are listening to my reasoned arguments as I am to theirs and  
> that makes compromise possible, you should have seen how much more  
> Kemmyn the first drafts of the Glossary were before Neil and I sent  
> in our proofs. But, people listened to what we had to say because we  
> generally respected the agreement, the consensus. You derogated from  
> it from day one and argue from the outside and all the people on the  
> inside go “lalalalalalalaaa”. That’s not doing much good is it?
> Now, if you’d published those books in SWF/Mt or SWF/Lt you might  
> have a completely different standing in fora such as the corpus group.
> Dan
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Craig Weatherhill

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