[Spellyans] ragtho, rygthy

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Nov 18 21:19:06 GMT 2010

And George can't, I take it. He certainly never has properly defended his phonology—quite simply because it is mistaken from the ground up.
It cannot be defended. In his "defence" of KK in KKC21 he says a. the prosodic shift took place in the early seventeenth century (i.e. when the language was moribund) b. the prosodic shift shortened some vowels and lengthened others.
If any serious historical linguist were to accept either of those two propositions, he or she would need his or her head examined.
You, Dan, know that KK is ineluctably flawed and so does Albert. Why then should allowances be made for any part of it in the SWF?

Yet so many aspects of George's phonology are in the SWF, notably the pretended difference between iw and yw and the the whole v/dh business.
To say nothing of the meaningless distinctions between say lyver and niver and between gwelyn and melin. I can see no reason for rewriting Tregear's gyffras as gyfres simply because of George's erstwhile fiat. 

Tregear writes blythes 'wolves' twice at TH 19a. George didn't like that plural which he thought was from English, so he arbitrarily changed the plural to *bleydhi in KK, which, he said, had the advantage of keeping the plural of bleydh 'wolf' separate from bleydhes 'she wolf' (an unattested word). In  his most recent dictionary he has changed his mind and gives both bleydhi and bleydhes as the plural of bleydh 'wolf', as well as the word bleydhes 'she wolf'. So in the new (and one hopes the last) hypostasis of KK bleydhes 'wolves' and bleydhes 'she wolf' are no longer distinguished in writing. So George is not even consistent with his arbitrary rewriting of Cornish. And yet the SWF follows him. Why? 
I could understand the SWF starting with UC, since Nance was a meticulous scholar, if an indifferent linguist. Why was KK ever even considered as a suitable starting point?

In the long run the SWF (like UC and KK) is unlikely to survive—at least in its present incoherent forms. I say forms, because there is SWF/M and SWF/T and both have Middle and Late variants. Four standards for the price of one. No wonder the "Single Written Form" has become the "Standard Written Form". 

I am not completely happy with all aspects of KS, but it is phonetic and systematic. And I know that because I have used it very extensively.
The SWF on the other hand is neither phonetic, nor traditional, nor coherent. 

I won't write ki, whi, bri nor genev, orthiv, nor diwedh, diwes or any of the other spurious forms demanded by the SWF. But I can actually read the Cornish texts and have done so many times.


On 2010 Du 18, at 19:12, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> Ogh, that’s cause we know Nicholas can defend himself …

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