[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

ewan wilson butlerdunnit at ntlworld.com
Mon May 21 18:14:23 IST 2012

Penwith Telegraphs....

So not only 'alien graphs' but also alien telegraphs?! 
Actually, I must confess I do find the odd lurching, lichen covered old telegraph pole quite charming, in its own way. I wonder if the ancients found the tin mine stacks objectionable?! 
I've never found the glorious Penwith landscapes glaringly disfigured by the poles, or them all that conspicuous. However, everything in moderation, I do agree! 

I think what Nicholas has to say about UC interesting from a linguistic perspective, at any rate. Certainly when Cornish was still offered as a paper in the old Celtic Dept at Glasgow University, the revived language was entirely ignored, and only the actual texts in the manuscripts studied. Such a pity. Nowadays there is uch a plethora of material, both on the literary/cultural front as well as all the intricate linguistic front that I am sure any enterprising Celtic Dept could effortlessly be offering a full three years course of  Cornish in its syllabus! Shocking that not even a single college in Wales seems to be doing so! The Celtic Dept in Glasgow seems to have contracted its options down to only the Goidelic field, whereas it used to cover all the Brythonic and Goidelic fields over the  Junior and Senior Honours years...though charging through Old Irish in a single term seemed pretty brutal to me- especially when Mr Gleasure informed us they did it over the full four years in Trinity, Dublin! 

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: deliabrotherton at aol.com 
  To: spellyans at kernowek.net 
  Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 1:52 PM
  Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

  Well said Craig.

  Delia Brotherton
  -----Original Message-----
  From: Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org>
  To: Standard Cornish discussion list <spellyans at kernowek.net>
  Sent: Mon, 21 May 2012 12:16
  Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

  I totally agree with Nance regarding telegraph poles, which are all over the place in West Penwith and a blight on our otherwise wonderful landscape.  Why can't they put all the cabling underground in the 21st century?  We managed it in several Conservation Areas when I was Conservation Officer at Penwith Council. 


  On 21 Me 2012, at 12:01, Nicholas Williams wrote:

    In spelling, yes. In vocabulary and morphology, however, Nance had his own purist ideas. 
    Nance's shift from Jenner's orthography (based to some extent on the later language) to UC seems, in part at least, to have been driven by Nance's desire to be archaic, medieval, and distinctly anti-modern.
    This was related to Nance's dislike of technological advance. 

    C. Morton Raymont says of Nance's house at Nancecledra:

    All water had to be carried into the house from the well, and he thought this ideal, remarking that it was desecration of water to bring it through metal pipes' (quoted in Pool (ed.), A Glossary of Cornish Sea-Words (1963), page 14.

    Amy Baker writes of Nance:

    …and at that time I remember walking up Nancecledra Hill with Mr Nance when the first telegraph poles were being erected between Penzance and St Ives. We both hated the sight of them, and he suddenly turned to me and said "Do you think we could ill-wish them away?" ibid., page 15.

    UC deliberately went back to the 15th century, but Nance actually concentrated on the Passion Poem——from the 14th century. In consequence UC is archaic even for Middle Cornish. For example in proscribing any of the analogical developments in y'm beus, for using the conditional byen, dodhyen, carsen as pluperfect. Nance also failed to recognise that the future was usually made in Cornish with mynnes, e.g. me a vyn mos; and that om- for reflexives was already obsolescent in the MC period. 

    Nance was born in 1873 and thus into the age of the Gothic Revival, Pugin (1834-75), the Pre-Raphaelites and Tennyson's Idylls of the King. Much of contemporary medievalism was a reaction to the dirt and squalor of industrial Britain. And remember that he himself was born and grew up in industrial South Wales; for many years he lived and worked in London. Nance did not actually come to live in Cornwall until 1906 when he was 33.

    Nance was primarily an antiquarian and illustrator, not a linguist. It seems to me a pity that UC, the dominant form of Cornish from 1928 to 1986, was inspired as much by a particular aesthetic as by linguistic criteria.


    On 21 May 2012, at 11:09, Ray Chubb wrote:

       because he wanted everyday written Cornish to appear as historically accurate as possible.

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