[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed May 16 22:05:11 IST 2012

Head on the block time.

"Reduced to the status of a code.  Every principle of sound and  
spelling....must be followed to its logical end and strictly observed".

Anyone remember those words?  Written by P.A.S. Pool in "The Second  
Death of Cornish" about the excesses of KK.
I worry that many of the debates and arguments on this group may be in  
danger of going too far down the same path.  Must we codify every last  
thing, giving the language no room to breathe?

With the SWF, and the oncoming Review, we should be looking for such  
improvements as reintroducing vowels and vowel groups that have been  
unwisely omitted.  We should be looking for areas where there is  
further room for compromise.  Like it or not (and I don't) SWF will  
retain certain features of KK.  It will retain features of traditional  
Cornish and we have to ensure that these do not continue to be as  
unbalanced as they currently are.  This is the nature of compromise if  
it's applied evenly.

If the result contains a few inconsistencies, does it really matter?   
I mentioned the many ways of pronouncing <-ough> in English.  Is it  
<customise> or <customize>, or is it legitimately both?  Is <vase>,  
"vaiz", "vahz" or "vawz"?   For <grass>, south-easterners say  
"grahss", the rest of us say "grass".  Is one wrong or are both  
right?  Who really cares as long as the language thrives, is used, and  
passed on to future generations?


On 16 Me 2012, at 21:54, ewan wilson wrote:

> I can see where Ray is coming from on this.
> I do wonder if 'apathy' or possible waning enthusiasm for the  
> language is not down to the fact most learners are not high powered  
> linguistics experts and so much of the hotly argued minutiae of  
> things like degrees of stress, etc go right over their heads and the  
> consequent conflicts in orthography and revival 'brands' dissuade  
> folk from investing in a system that might well ultimately be ditched!
> What is the feeling on the ground, I wonder?
> Ewan.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ray Chubb" <ray at spyrys.org>
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 4:06 PM
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?
>> My own view is that unless we can get the SWF into schools big time  
>> it does not have much of a future.  Agan Tavas is beginning to  
>> think that they only way to get schools to teach Cornish is through  
>> the  compulsion that would be provided by a Cornish Language Act.
>> I am not happy at all about the treatment of the traditional graph   
>> option but I am deliberately trying to avoid public arguments over  
>> it  in order to give the SWF the best possible crack of the whip.
>> Some are of the opinion that it was only the public rows over  
>> spelling that were holding the language back.  It seems to me that  
>> the absence  of those arguments in the public forum has only served  
>> to increase a  general apathy towards the language.  Or maybe it's  
>> just the recession!
>> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Spellyans mailing list
>>> Spellyans at kernowek.net
>>> http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net
>> Ray Chubb
>> Portreth
>> Kernow
>> Agan Tavas web site:  www.agantavas.com
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>> Spellyans at kernowek.net
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