[Spellyans] UC/UCR

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Nov 14 10:25:52 GMT 2012

On 14 Nov 2012, at 09:47, Ray Chubb <ray at spyrys.org> wrote:

> No we shouldn't get bogged down in UC/UCr on this forum except from the point of view of countering those on this forum who want KS to replace everything that went before in the same way that there are people who want the SWF to replace everything that went before.

Spelling reform is spelling reform, and generally people don't like changing from what they know. UCR was a spelling reform. UCR was based on a knowledge of Cornish that was greater than the knowledge Nance had. That's no criticism of Nance: He did the best job he thought he could do. But he was wrong about some things. In preferring -k and -p in stressed monosyllables, he inadvertently encouraged people to pronounce those words with short vowels, due to their English speech habits. In conflating /y/ and /ø/ under ‹ü›, he omitted a phoneme which we know to have existed in Cornish. 

UCR was a spelling reform. A step forward. That's what a reform should be. Not what KK was. That was pure invention in the guise of spelling reform, because KK tried to change the phonology of Cornish. KS never tried to change the phonology of Cornish. It tried to represent the revived language -- the ideal pronunciation people strive for -- accurately so that if a person learnt the rules, he or she would know how a word was to be pronounced. You can't do that with either UC or UCR. They are both very ambiguous. (What are the rules for distribution of ‹i› and ‹y› in UCR? There aren't any, beyond "‹i› tends to be used in Latinate loanwords".)

Similarly, KS is a step forward. Unlike UC and UCR, it does try to accommodate both earlier and later pronunciation styles ("dialects", if you will). It does so accurately and regularly. That's a feature, not a fault. 

> Ewan is perfectly correct, if the Cornish revival is to have any credibility with academia we must have something that at least has the same aims as UC/UCr.

Can you explain what, in your view, are the aims of UC/UCR, and how to these differ from the aims of KS? 

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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