[Spellyans] dictionnaire de l'Académie française
everson at evertype.com
Sun Jan 30 21:03:26 GMT 2011
On 30 Jan 2011, at 20:23, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
> I have to say that KS might have gone too far with the diacritical marks.
KS marks anomalous vowel length and anomalous vowel quality. (It also marks a handful of minimal pairs but no one seems to have noticed that so it must not be problematic.)
The only thing people seem to worry about is marking the bÿs/bës distinction. Well, sorry, boys and girls, but as I said earlier once upon a time we ignored that distinction and only gave "bes" forms. We were criticized for that by RTC and RLC users, and so we came up with "beis" forms. Those were rejected and we were given a huge number of bys/bes alongside bys and bes forms. Structurally this affects a very large number of words indeed. If it were a few here and there, fine, one could say "these are exceptions". But this is *systematic* throughout and there is no avoiding it. Either we are inclusive and mark the difference so that people from the different dialects can recognize each other's words or we allow a huge amount of ambiguity. Since we decided not to allow ambiguity, we have the diacritics. I'm sorry if this bothers you, but not a one of you have offered an alternative.
Sure we could shift to "beis" but I bet you anything this will end up with word-forms that you'll complain about, plus it would be derogating in a very very big way from the SWF. At present, if you can read their Little Prince, you can read Treasure Island. The orthographies are clearly related to one another and share most features in common. "Beis" would shift everything quite dramatically.
> I can fully understand why, but compare with English. I knew at a very early age that rough was "ruff", that through was "throo", and cough was "koff". Nobody needed diacritical marks to distinguish one from another,
That is because you are all native speakers of English. And that triplet of words is a trivial anomaly, not a systemic structural feature.
Writing systems are systems.
> and we have to be very aware that there's a load of people out there who don't like them, and won't be persuaded. They won't accept KS in its present form, and we have to produce a Cornish that has the widest possible appeal.
At the expense of accuracy and unambiguousness? 80 years of Revival have shown us that ambiguity leads to poor pronunciation. At the expense of authenticity? Sure, you can mark all the short vowels with double consonants--if you like KK.
> If we can cut the diacritics down, we might attract more people but, as I wrote earlier, if people don't want to write them, then they won't, and can't be made to. This does need serious thought.
Craig, we're marking anomalous vowel length and anomalous vowel quality. In order to do that, you have to, well, mark the vowels. How can you "cut that down"? Do you want to start by ditching support for RMC and RTC and RLC?
I assure you all of this has been thought through, many times, since February 2006. At some point you have to take a stand. Now "unyielding" Michael and Nicholas (as Eddie uncharitably describes us) have taken a stand:
*The orthography should be authentic
*The orthography should be accurate
*The orthography should be unambiguous
I don't think we should compromise on this. Haven't we all compromised enough in hostile negotiations with those who don't care about authenticity, accuracy, or ambiguity?
For pity's sake, Craig, we can sit around and second-guess what "a load of people" will want today or next week and it doesn't matter a damn. A couple of hundred people care about the Cornish language at all. Fifty thousand other people don't. If KS isn't popular in 2013, it may become more popular in 2018, or in 2023, or two decades after that. All I can do is what I can to work with Nicholas, and anyone else who wants authentic, accurate, and unambiguous Cornish and make it available. If not for this generation, then for the next.
I'm standing with Jenner. Proudly.
KS uses diacritics and KS without them loses accuracy and becomes ambiguous. KS will recommend the use of the diacritics which it uses. To do anything else would be to betray the Cornish language for an expedient based on laziness or ignorance. We can do better, and we should do better.
And if you don't like it, use UC or UCR or the SWF, where there is plenty of inaccuracy and ambiguity. We all worked together since 2006 to do the best we can, and damned if we should second-guess ourselves out of fear and back-pedal to something that is less than the best.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
More information about the Spellyans