[Spellyans] The sound of r

Herbie Blackburn kevin.blackburn1 at ntlworld.com
Thu Dec 12 16:06:19 GMT 2013

.and surely Pronunciation and Orthography are two sides of the same coin if
there is to be authentic revived Cornish?


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From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Eddie
Sent: 12 December 2013 15:46
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] The sound of r


On 12 Dec 2013, at 11:53, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:

Well, I'm sure Michael will slap us for these observations when he gets back
from China (on his way back now) but.what the hell!  


Surely not! after all, this is a consensual forum and we are discussing the
Cornish Language.

The gentleman we've both referred to, and some others, intone Cornish as
though it was a language from some great classical civilization of the


That reminds me of a remark in a book on palaeolinguistics that I read once,
which went something like this:


"He was the sort of linguist who chose to study dead languages, because
there would be no inconveniently living native speakers to contradict his


Such 'necrotaxic' scholar have been attracted to Cornish, under the dubious
assumption that our language is dead--or, if it isn't, it jolly well ought
to be! There was, for instance, one such from The Land of Song who was quite
vile,or, as we might say in Cornish 'Vyl Glan,' or should that be 'Glan
Vyl'? You may well be able to think of a few others for yourself.


...in stentorian tones that no Cornishman would ever have used, and more
suited to an Oxford Don or a Shakespearian actor.


Yeah, what was the name of that awful old ham?

Many fluent Cornish speakers do sound like English folk trying to speak a
foreign tongue using English sounds and intonation.


Still, all praise to them for making the effort to learn and use Kernewek.
Just as with some of the speakers on 'Radio an Gernewegva', whose
pronunciation is not so good, I'm glad they're making the effort and, rather
than the derisive sneers they attract from some 'experts,' they surely
deserve encouragement and praise. I believe that's exactly what they would
have got from a popular and respected teacher like Morton Nance, anyway.

By the way - Neil's OK.  He tells me that he did suffer a minor stroke, but
with no discernible effect.  The cause remains unknown and he's on some
preventive pills.  Otherwise, he's home, up and running again, which is good
to hear.


That's good news; I must send him a quick email and wish him 'Nadelek


Eddie Climo


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