[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed May 23 06:56:59 IST 2012

I think the Land's End may be learning the errors of their ways  
(although, to be honest, many of us believe that the instruction to  
keep Cornish linguistic heritage from the TV cameras came from  
London).  The issue has been the subject of a critical ITV news report  
where "before and after" shots were televised.  No one from the Land's  
End company would be interviewed, but the claim of their bland written  
statement that the repainted sign had "nothing to do with the Olympic  
Torch relay" was put into serious doubt when the ITV news presenter  
remarked that he had been there for the event on Saturday and "could  
smell the fresh paint".

Land's End are being advised that many prominent groups are buying  
into a bilingual signage policy in Cornwall - town and parish  
councils, the Environment Agency, the National Trust and even (of all  
people) 'English' Heritage!  I think that, once Land's End realise  
that they are the odd man out, and are moving in a different direction  
to everyone else, they will recognise that it could be detrimental to  
their business.

When (not if) the prominent bilingual sign is restored, you will be  
pleased to know that the Signage Panel has agreed that it should  
read:  PEDN AN WLAS, yes, with the pre-occlusion.  I have managed to  
get a policy agreed that pre-occlusion in place-names will be written  
where it is historically found.  Not an easy achievement when you  
consider that the Signage Panel and its active advisors consists of 4  
KK-SWF/K users; one who takes a "broad church" view (Rod Lyon), and  
myself, the only traditional Cornish representative.


On 22 Me 2012, at 22:27, ewan wilson wrote:

> As a Scot who maintains perfectly amicable relations with many  
> Englishmen and women, nevertheless one does come across the odd  
> crass 'superiority complex' haughty and plain pig ignorant offensive  
> types. ( It , alas, works both ways, I confess) .
> However, when one's language and culture are being deliberately  
> sudelined and denigrated then indignation is a perfectly justified  
> response! The latest 'snub' at Land's End really takes the biscuit.  
> Considering the way the Establishment fall over backwards to  
> accommodate so many 'immigrant' tongues it makes this latest  
> suppression all the more insulting.
> What were the circumstances in which Tregear was found? How long did  
> it take to 'decipher' it and then issue it for publish consumption?
> I believe the late Prof Caerwyn Williams discovered BK but it  
> languished in his possession till his passing? Wonder where exactly  
> he laid hands on it? Again it says something about the 'cinderella'  
> status Celtic Studies Depts seem to accord to Cornish  ( a result,  
> even of 'snooty'  prejudice, perhaps?!) Does Manx suffer similarly,  
> I wonder?
> At least Glasgow University Celtic Dept, to give them their due,  
> offered both Cornish and Breton as an optional paper up to the early  
> 80s when the late Donald Howells retired. The Cornish literature  
> studied included Sokes Pascon agan Arluth; Beunans Meriasek and  
> Norris' The Ancient Cornish Drama. No Tregear. Not a thing from the  
> later period or the revival or UC. Breton included a whole range up  
> to the modern period. Evidently UC was sniffed at! Manx was supposed  
> to follow Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson's phonology study but it had  
> been 'pinched' from the University Library so we just did the new  
> Manx Bible and some carvals instead!!
> There was a 'thesis' option instead of one of the Papers, so I  
> guess, theoretically, one might have offered something specialising  
> in Revived Cornish.
> Ewan.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ray Chubb" <ray at spyrys.org>
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 1:58 PM
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?
> On 21 Me 2012, at 21:55, Michael Everson wrote:
>> On 21 May 2012, at 14:17, Ray Chubb wrote:
>>> The spelling for revived Cornish should reflect that of Cornish  
>>> at  its zenith because spelling afterwards was the outcome of  
>>> English oppression.
>> When is the zenith? Who decides?
> That's an easy one, up until Glasney College was surpressed.
>> Spelling afterwards was devised by the speakers using the tools  
>> they  had. Some of those speakers had no access to the scribal  
>> tradition,  it is true. I shouldn't bother with "oppression" as a  
>> factor in  judging an orthographic form. I like most of us favour  
>> the scribal  tradition to some of the later forms, but none of  
>> those writers were  thinking "Oh, drat, I wish I could write  
>> properly, but I've been  oppressed."
> Somewhat facetious Michael. If you were a Cornishman living in
> Cornwall today and still suffering under that oppression, (I have
> commented here about the difficulty of getting Cornish into schools),
> you would have a better appreciation of where I am coming from.
>>> West Cornish dialect can be shown with alternate spellings, many  
>>> of which are found in the Middle Cornish texts.
>> KS offers the usual options (bÿs/bës, penn/pedn). Some later forms   
>> like -ei have been put to good use in texts like Enys Tresour  
>> where  the dialect distinctions are important to the enjoyment of  
>> the story.
> That's fine but why not mark a single final 'n' and 'm' with a
> diacritic to show that it can pre-occlude?  Final double consonants
> are only rarely found in the historical texts.
>>> The current academic view on correct pronunciation can be  
>>> indicated  with diacritics.
>>> Everyday writing should omit diacritics to ensure that what we   
>>> write looks like Cornish.
>> Sorry, Ray, but this is anachronistic. Most of the medieval   
>> orthographies in Europe didn't start out making use of diacritical   
>> marks, but modern languages do because it was part of the   
>> development of their orthographies.
> How can real Cornish be anachronistic? You may as well say the Mona
> Lisa is anachronistic. Cornish is what it is.
>> In fact, traditional Cornish manuscripts make use of a huge number   
>> of abbreviations and special symbols which go far beyond the   
>> alphabet A-Z. It's simply not true to say that Cornish doesn't  
>> look  like Cornish if it has marks outside of the alphabet. Cornish  
>> has  looked like all sorts of things throughout its history!
> If the manuscripts have so many markings perhaps you would like to
> restrict yourself to the ones that are found.
>> Everyday traditional Cornish didn't make any allowance for   
>> regularity in spelling, either, yet today we are happy to do so.
> Yes of course, Nance had to make choices. We should restrict ourselves
> to saying that his choices were wrong not indulge in wholesale
> invention as some revivalists have done.
>> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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> Ray Chubb
> Portreth
> Kernow
> Agan Tavas web site:  www.agantavas.com
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