[Spellyans] cleudh etc

Hewitt, Stephen s.hewitt at unesco.org
Mon Jan 14 17:20:34 GMT 2013


Many thanks – I’ll look forward to seeing it.

These things often get pretty heated. I, for one, can see the point of Nicholas and Michael, but I don’t agree with it. In fact, I don’t the small community is really clear about what it wants, or the logical implications of particular choices…

All the best,



From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Daniel Prohaska
Sent: 14 January 2013 18:18
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] cleudh etc


I completely agree with what you wrote below. This is how I try to proceed with my dictionary.


On Jan 14, 2013, at 11:51 AM, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:

Cornish texts are of course the primary basis. The point is that there are not enough of them. The fact that the word cleudh does not happen to occur in Middle Cornish texts does not mean that it would not have had an /œ/ vowel in that period. If you rely on “tota cornicitas” and that only, you are bound to end up with an unholy mix of forms from different periods mascarading as if they belonged to one and the same period.

If, in addition, you want your orthography to serve two or three different periods of the language (e.g. Middle, Tudor, Late Cornish) so as to cater to all sensibilities with a minimum of differences in writing, the only solution is to adopt an etymologizing orthography, which in turn, in the case of sparsely documented Cornish, means making an educated etymological guess from time to time in order to fill in the gaps. The alternative is a mixed salad with synchronic authenticity in no period at all.

Steve Hewitt
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