[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed May 9 21:26:46 BST 2012

The term "side form" was officially abandoned 4 years ago.  That  
certain people insist on using these years later speaks volumes about  
their attitude to it.

Treyarnon (where Andrew Climo, Bernard Deacon and Mina Dresser  
represented the traditional argument) should have been closely  
minuted.  We were told that it would be, but it was not.  Now, if one  
of the AHG says "X was agreed"; someone from the opposite side of the  
table will say: "That's not what I recall".  The whole thing was  
extremely unprofessional (and 5 days was woefully inadequate).

For 4 years, I've been advised that that SWF for "beech trees" was  
<fow>, as per KK.  I thought this unwise because it's exactly the same  
sound as <scaw> (<skaw>: SWF/K and KK) "elder trees".  The new on-line  
SWF dictionary has just been published, and what do I find?  <faw>!   
Why was <fow> being pushed?

I'm all for compromise, but that involves all sides, not just one.


On 9 Me 2012, at 17:01, Nicky Rowe wrote:

> Lowena dhewgh Spellyans
> I did work experience at the Maga office earlier this year and had a  
> discussion with Jenefer about this very topic. She says that there  
> is a lot of confusion about the SWF agreement - apparently the  
> traditional form is not meant to be a separate orthography, but  
> merely a set of allowed variants that individuals can use if they  
> choose to. Anything done in public, and anything done by Maga would  
> be in the main form. The AHG agreement regarding this is on the SWF  
> page on the Maga site. I don't know who was part of the AHG but  
> there surely must have been some representatives from the  
> traditional side there.
> I wouldn't mind whichever form is the agreed form, they both have  
> merits, but I prefer to stick to cooperation and agreement rather  
> than going off on my own. It's unlikely that the situation will  
> change much as of the review. According to Jenefer most people use  
> the main form. To me there is no future without the SWF, whatever it  
> may look like in the future.
> Besides I don't think that spelling is by any means the most  
> important aspect of Cornish that needs attention, but the grammar,  
> syntax and pronunciation.
> Nicky Rowe
> On 9 May 2012 16:55, Christian Semmens <christian.semmens at gmail.com>  
> wrote:
> I believe the time has come to publicly argue again, Ray. Holding our
> own council only allows the drift into the acceptance of the current
> situation, which is the inevitable deprecation of the "Side Form",
> which is patently unacceptable. Even the term "Side Form" is
> unacceptable.
> The two form process is the result of compromising without  
> compromising.
> As I said earlier, without the KK phonology it is the SWF "Main" form
> that needs to justify its existence not the traditional form which is
> the Cinderella of this particular pantomime.
> The problem here has been the last four years of positive
> discrimination in favour of this novel variant, the price paid for the
> acceptance of vocalic alternation. It is the Main/Side issue that is
> at fault here, not the unsuitability of the traditional form. By
> "Officially" defaulting to the Main variant there is no point in
> having a traditional variant. It is a ghetto, condemned to a short
> life in the twilight before complete deprecation.
> Also, don't forget that without the backing of traditional spelling
> groups you have no SWF, you just have two forms of KK, one without the
> phonology and one where it exists, but isn't used.
> Christian
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