[Spellyans] SWF

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Tue Nov 16 22:53:07 GMT 2010

And KG still gets appointed to an SWF (signage) panel!  Work that one  
out, gents - I already have.


On 16 Du 2010, at 20:12, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> The spelling is not the same. I always write screfa as do the Middle
> and Late texts so often. After all Lhuyd writes skrepha. George's
> opinion on this matter is not a theory but a hypothesis which is not
> borne out by the facts.
> You, Dan, don't believe George on the question of length any more than
> I do, so don't pretend that the two opinions are on equal footing. All
> the evidence suggests that half-length had been lost in Middle
> Cornish.
> Clutching dogmatically cuts both ways. The KK people have been
> insisting that there was half-length for years without actually using
> it--and that includes the inventor himself. If that's not dogmatic,
> what is? I merely suggested returning to the position of Nance and
> Caradar. Polin Pris was a firm advocate of KK but when confronted by
> Albert in the LWG about half-length, asked "What's half-length?"
> The spelling of RC should not pander to mistakes.
> I am very opposed to KG's position because I think he has done the
> revival massive damage. You weren't at the LWG where everybody was
> prepared to compromise except one person. Nor were you at Tremough
> when KG insisted that Trond refer to him publicly as a fellow linguist
> as the price for agreeing to the SWF. Trond did so, and apologised to
> me afterwards for it. But KG reneged on his word and still refuses to
> accept the SWF.
> Nicholas
> On 11/16/10, Daniel Prohaska <daniel at ryan-prohaska.com> wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Nicholas Williams
>> Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:48 AM
>> ”All power to your elbow, Dan. But please spare a thought for  
>> those people
>> who cannot in conscience use the SWF either M or T. I cannot write  
>> <iw> in
>> dyw, because I have read all the Cornish texts and know it doesn't  
>> occur
>> anywhere. I cannot write chi, ki, bri because I know such forms are
>> virtually unknown. I cannot write genev, orthiv, warnav because I  
>> know such
>> forms are Lhuydian inventions based on Welsh and are unknown in  
>> traditional
>> Cornish.”
>> That’s fine, if that is your opinion. I don’t think it’s all  
>> that difficult.
>> Since <i> and <y> have been redistributed both in KS and SWF I see  
>> little
>> problem with writing <iw>, even if it does not occur in MC. Note  
>> that <iu>
>> occurs in Lhuyd though who distinguishes it from <eu> found in  
>> etyma that
>> frequently have <yw> in MC. If you can stand the general  
>> redistribution of
>> <i> and <y> I don’t see what the problem is bearing with <iw> if  
>> it’s
>> useful.
>> I, too, don’t like <chi, ki, bri> etc. and would much rather be  
>> allowed to
>> write <chy, ky, bry> - this is definitely something the people who  
>> prefer
>> SWF/t will need in 2013, if the SWF : SWF/t dichotomy is to continue.
>> I think we could propose to write <f> in <genef, orthif, warnaf> by  
>> spelling
>> [f] as <ff>, [v] as <v> and using <f> as an umbrella graph for [v]  
>> and [f].
>> This would work for secondary lenition, initial voicing in LC as  
>> well as
>> word final traditional <f> which can be either [v] or dropped.
>> “So what am I supposed to do? Do you think I should write SWF/T  
>> — an
>> orthography for Cornish devised by people who know Cornish less  
>> well than I
>> and who for the most part don't understand the linguistic arguments  
>> and have
>> never read the texts?”
>> I would like to see RC as close to traditional Cornish, too, but it  
>> has to a
>> certain extent become its own thing. The texts always have to be  
>> our main
>> corrective, I agree, but there are some practical considerations we  
>> have
>> accepted for RC such as writing <dh> and <j>. And while KK went  
>> over the top
>> with these “practical” characteristics, we have learnt from it  
>> that many
>> people don’t so much care for the traditional texts as much as  
>> having (or at
>> least believing so) a solid guide to pronunciation for RC. These  
>> sentiments
>> need to be considered.
>> “I have no choice but to avoid the SWF. The SWF has two merits. 1.  
>> it is not
>> as erroneous as KK (with its specious phonology—unused by  
>> anybody). 2. Since
>> it is not KK, it has removed George's ability to dictate to the  
>> revival.”
>> Sorry Nicholas, this is too much anti-George for my taste. We’ve  
>> got what
>> we’ve got for now. There is the upcoming 2013 adjustment and I’m  
>> sure if
>> errors can be pointed out, they can at any time be addressed  
>> discussed and
>> in the spirit of consensus and reasoned argument, implemented.
>> “It is far from perfect however, and where it is mistaken it does  
>> not
>> resemble the texts. In this respect it differs notably from UC and  
>> UCR.
>> Until the SWF is emended I won't use it.
>> Finally I don't think the Cornish people should be compelled to  
>> "live with"
>> an orthography that is neither traditional nor correct.
>> Nicholas”
>> Correct is a matter of interpretation of the data. None of us  
>> possess the
>> absolute truth about what traditional Cornish phonology was at a  
>> given time.
>> We must not make the mistake of dogmatically clutching to our pet  
>> theories
>> if problems with them are pointed out. Also, in an orthography of  
>> RC there
>> can be room for considerable variation in pronunciation while  
>> sticking to a
>> standard spelling, thus even mutually exclusive theories underlying  
>> the
>> phonology can be orthographically represented to allow adherents of  
>> the
>> various schools of thought to read their Cornish in their  
>> pronunciation,
>> e.g. a follower of George’s phonological theories will read  
>> <scrifa> as
>> [ˈskriˑfa] while somebody who espouses your theories can say  
>> [ˈskrɪfə] or
>> [ˈskrɛfə]. The spelling is the same.
>> Dan
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Craig Weatherhill

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