[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Wed May 9 23:48:23 IST 2012

Thanks Jon, 
I you permit I would like to quote and cross-post this passage on the Corpus list…

On May 9, 2012, at 5:28 PM, Jon Mills wrote:

> I don't see how one can justify using taxpayers money to support a SWF that is not the preferred form for a large proportion of the Cornish language community. The Commission found that "a new consensus stands out as a better alternative than choosing any of the four existing orthographies, and we will strongly suggest to the Cornish community the imperative of arriving at a consensus." The Main form of the SWF does not have such consensual support.
> The Commission also wrote,
> "In the area of consonants, the k/c issue seems to be hotly debated. This we may brand the
> King Cong issue, or writing consonants following the sources or not. Here, KK has k only.
> There is of course no minimal pair between k and c. But the medieval practice (known from
> English and Scandinavian) has a phonetic base: the k is palatal, and the c is velar. Since it has
> the support of both articulatory phonetics (if not phonology), historical tradition, and, not
> least, our knowledge of English, changing what has been called the "German" "k only" policy
> into velar c and palatal k should be seen as a small compromise for KK users. We understand
> that the K may have become some sort of shibboleth after 20 years of proud use of K across
> the board, but this is not an issue that deserves to block consensus. Cornishmen used the c, it
> is easy to use the c, as all know how to use it, and if it helps the revitalisation, then it is really
> needed.
> As we see it, this is thus not a big “loss” for KK: and no pedagogical principle is violated.
> Another issue, over hw/wh, has raised the eyebrows of the non-linguists in the Commission,
> for it seems to be just a symbolic issue, by which we mean that either form is equally easy to
> learn."
> Had the Commissions recommendations concerning k/c and hw/wh been accepted, there would be considerably less variation between Traditional and Main forms.
> It seems that the Cornish language community is not yet ready for a standard written form.
> Ol an gwella,
> Jon
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: David Trethewey
>> Sent: 05/09/12 02:24 PM
>> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?
>> I don't see how it is really possible to have parity between the 
>> different forms of the SWF, I mean would you have road signs with both 
>> traditional and 'main form' on? I fear that would lead to Cornish as a 
>> whole being ridiculed in some quarters. 
>> On 5/9/12, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote: 
>> > That pretty much accords with my own view.  The future of SWF is on a 
>> > tightrope. 
>> > 
>> > It's still very prominent in my mind that the Commission recommended 
>> > that the SWF be based upon KD, with KS input.  The compilers of KD and 
>> > KS had, as you'll recall, held frequent discussions, with agreements 
>> > on several points.  A promising process that seemed the way to go to 
>> > reach a single compromise solution. 
>> > 
>> > At Treyarnon, an AHG top-heavy with non-traditional supporters, and 
>> > with NJAW and ME excluded under threat of a KK walkout, threw that 
>> > recommendation aside without a single reference to the 200 people 
>> > who'd been at the previous Tremough meeting and applauded it. 
>> > Suddenly , KK was to be the default orthography, when the Commission 
>> > had rejected KK.  They' d only agree to vocalic alternation if the SWF 
>> > was split into a "main form" and "side form" (yet they blame US for 
>> > that!).  The Commission had detailed, as an example, that SWF could 
>> > quite easily do without the universal K and a return to the prctices 
>> > of revived Cornish other than KK.  That was thrown out on the first day. 
>> > 
>> > Linguistic advisors were appointed (these DID include NJAW and ME), 
>> > and then virtually ignored. 
>> > 
>> > Since then, and despite assurances to the contrary, SWF/T has been 
>> > treated as though it doesn't exist.  I've even had people state that 
>> > it "isn't the SWF". 
>> > 
>> > The crunch will come next year at the Review, because we can all see 
>> > the way it's being engineered.  If further, meaningful compromise 
>> > can't be thrashed out there; if it opens the door for further 
>> > Kemmynising, then I can see most Trad. users walking away from it, and 
>> > from the entire Partnership completely. Then it's back to Square One. 
>> > 
>> > It's clear that not everyone is happy with the "main form" (or SWF/K, 
>> > as I call it).  I noticed, this morning, at Nancledra that the parish 
>> > council (presumably) have erected a very nice, painted, roadside 
>> > signboard, welcoming drivers to "Nancledra: Nans Cludri", even though 
>> > MAGA's Signage Panel had recommended Nansklodri.  From this, it also 
>> > appears that "official use" does not extend to town and parish 
>> > councils.  (Before anyone asks - I had nothing to do with this sign, 
>> > and knew nothing about it until I saw it today). 
>> > 
>> > Craig 
>> > 
>> > 
>> > 
>> > 
>> > On 9 Me 2012, at 13:24, Christian Semmens wrote: 
>> > 
>> >> Dear all, 
>> >> 
>> >> As it is a rather slow and dull afternoon, I thought I'd play devil's 
>> >> advocate and ask this question, as I am having some grave reservations 
>> >> over the direction the "compromise" process seems to be taking. It 
>> >> would seem that the rumble of distant thunder can be heard regarding 
>> >> the future direction of the SWF from some areas. The traditional form 
>> >> of the SWF has lived in an enforced twilight for the last four years 
>> >> and it would seem that some would like to bury it completely. From my 
>> >> point of view, anything less than total and absolute parity for the 
>> >> SWF/T including (especially!) for "Official" purposes and in schools, 
>> >> would be utterly unacceptable. Complaints about possible confusion be 
>> >> damned. Let the people choose. 
>> >> 
>> >> The SWF, so far, has been a vehicle for ditching the dodgy phonology 
>> >> of KK, but maintaining its (now meaningless) spelling system. 
>> >> 
>> >> In the Cornish language movement today, without KK phonology, there is 
>> >> now absolutely no reason for maintaining this spelling system other 
>> >> than that it looks familiar to one fraction of learners, and in a 
>> >> revival we are all learners. It is precisely this spelling form that 
>> >> needs to justify its existence, not the traditional variant. 
>> >> 
>> >> I wonder where others stand on this? 
>> >> 
>> >> Christian 
>> >> 
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>> > 
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> _____________________________________ 
> Dr. Jon Mills, 
> University of Kent _______________________________________________
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