[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Sun May 20 11:03:27 IST 2012

On May 10, 2012, at 12:38 PM, Ray Chubb wrote:

> The whole AHG process was weighted against those of us who prefer traditional/authentic Cornish.

Yes, and as I said earlier, there was no unified traditional side to begin with. 

> I'm sure that the Commission expected each orthographic grouping to be equally represented but this was not the case.  The outcome from Treyarnon was a shambles, more about KK face saving than giving Cornish school children their Cornish language heritage. 

There was no consensus among the "traditionalists" about what traditional spelling was. Even the RLC faction has its "traditionalists" that follow Rowe, the Bosons, the Tonkins, and those who follow Lhuyd. This lack of coordination between the groups also lead to a position of strength of the KK group in the AHG. KS1 managed to bring quite a few people together, but there were so many people in the KK group ignorant of both recommended reform proposals KS1 and KD, that KK was quickly reverted to as a a starting point. I was appalled at how bad some of the AHG members were prepared for these meetings in that they were so ignorant of KS1 and KD. After the commissions recommendations and knowing they would be on the board I would have expected more thorough preparation of the reform proposals. 

> What the outcome should have been was an orthography that would have taken Cornish into the 21st century and, possibly, something that was even considered good enough for higher academic studies.  Instead we have a hotchpotch based on what most people, allegedly, use.  I think that in the future, when personality issues have died with their perpetrators, Cornish users will look upon the SWF with shame.

I think this is unduly pessimistic. We all here feel very passionately about matters of orthography, but let's be realistic. Most people just want the "spelling wars" to end. They don't really feel very strongly one way or the other. They stick to the features of the orthography through they have learnt Cornish and that in the 1990s and early 2000s, like it or not, was predominantly KK. In their awful rag "Kernewek Kemmyn - Cornish for the 21st Century" Paul Dunbar and Ken George pat each other's back by saying that KK was a huge success story, and yes, it was. A Revival movement confronted with the difficulties and mistakes of the Nancean orthography (sorry Eddie and Ray, but from the point of view of a phonological analysis - not from the perspective of standardised textual spellings, though UC was neither fish nor flesh in that respect either) was yearning for something easier to deal with from a learner's point of view. ken George was one of their own and he came up with a rather radical reform proposal. This lead to people moving to KK for all sorts of reasons, personal, because they were told it's "phonemic" (or popularly: "phonetic"), regular etc, etc. etc. Fact remains they believed in one man's proposal and went with it. In this respect the SWF is an entirely different beast. It may seem tedious to work through all its boards and groups and whatever, but it's consensual, more people are involved in shaping it. The only problem from the traditionalists' perspective is that too few of these have become involved in it. People working from within the SWF are mainly ex-KKers who, I'm sure, see the preference for SWF/K as a victory and confirmation of their having been right all along. Working for traditional graphs from within the SWF I sometimes feel I'm completely alone… no, Craig has been incredibly supportive here too, but still, I would like to see the "traditionalists" taking a more active part in the process. If they don't do anything or write in the SWF/T how are the SWF/K-ers supposed to realise there is a desire to use the  t-graphs in the first place? To get the funds available, the few people quite willing to use SWF/t are "coerced" into using SWF/K because Maga said they wouldn't publish other wise or fear that early learners' material would get the support their work deserves. It's very unfortunate. 

> On 10 Me 2012, at 10:44, Nicky Rowe wrote:
>> Eddie said:
>> "As the 'traditional' form has been deliberately marginalised and sidelined by MAGA itself, Jenefer is accurately stating the status quo that MAGA has allowed to happen."
>> I think that's a bit unfair. Jenefer and everyone at the Maga office work according to the AHG agreement - an agreement that says that the main form will be used by public bodies. There were representatives from the traditional group on the AHG so surely they must have agreed to this too. As for the Partnership itself and its own agreements since then you would need to speak to whoever's on it to get their view.
>> Nicky
> Ray Chubb
> Portreth
> Kernow
> Agan Tavas web site:  www.agantavas.com
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