[Spellyans] diacritics

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed Feb 2 13:29:41 GMT 2011

I think there's a problem of wording here.  "Mandatory" sounds as  
though we're dictating.  It's obvious that diacritics are essential to  
the KS system.  Perhaps better to make that plain, to say that all KS  
publications will feature them, and that their everyday use is highly  
recommended/encouraged to assist problems of pronunciation.


On 2 Whe 2011, at 13:19, Michael Everson wrote:

> On 2 Feb 2011, at 11:59, Ceri Young wrote:
>> I agree with Craig & Herbie's point here - that diacritics are  
>> ultimately unenforceable.
> No aspect of spelling is "enforceable".
>> Beyond that, Michael's 'everything in an orthography is mandatory'  
>> line troubles me - it indicates that KS is really being designed as  
>> a highly formal orthography for officialdom and the editing world  
>> of the publishing house, but clearly not one with the real world of  
>> a living language in mind, since it has virtually been designed to  
>> be unceremoniously dumped or at least scraped clean for the  
>> intimate and less formal world of SMS messages, e-mails, Facebook  
>> posts, cursive handwriting or any written exchanges between fluent  
>> Cornish speakers to whom an orthography which slavishly labours how  
>> it's pronounced with diacrits is actually superfluous.
> KS has been designed to be an accurate and unambiguous orthography  
> which supports the dialect spectrum of the revived language while  
> using traditional orthographic forms.
> If people do not spell English or Welsh according to the rules of  
> English or Welsh on Facebook, in cursive handwriting, or whatever,  
> then they are not conforming to the orthographies of English or  
> Welsh. Cornish is no different. If you want to use UC, or UCR, or  
> KK, or the SWF, please do. None of them describes the phonology of  
> Revived Cornish accurately and unambiguously. None of them offers  
> comprehensive support to learners (and everyone is a learner) to  
> reinforce vowel length and quality.
>> I agree that the complete system has clear virtues for a the formal  
>> publications & communications of a language in the process of  
>> revival (I don't see anyone arguing against that) but then, does it  
>> not appear to lack ambition for Cornish attaining even greater  
>> vitality as a language of extensive interpersonal communications of  
>> all levels of formality? Of becoming a daily language of regular  
>> SMS, e-mails, internet postings, cursive handwriting & private,  
>> informal exchanges between fluent speakers? I'd even question if it  
>> was a little too slavish for letters sent into magazines, where a  
>> magazine editor would publish them, as received.
> When I write SMS, e-mail, internet postings, and in cursive  
> handwriting, I spell English (and other languages) correctly. Some  
> people don't. Some people don't even know HOW to spell English  
> correctly. That has nothing to do with the rules of English  
> orthography: those rules are what they are.
> If someone doesn't want to use the diacritical marks described in  
> KS, then evidently that person doesn't want to write accurately and  
> unambiguously. That is the choice of that person, but it does not  
> mean that the orthography of KS should change to become less  
> accurate and more ambiguous.
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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Craig Weatherhill

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