[Spellyans] cledh etc

Christian Semmens christian.semmens at gmail.com
Fri Jan 18 15:09:27 GMT 2013


One of the huge problems of learning Cornish so far has been the lack of
accessibility to exemplar speakers (whoever they may be) and deficiencies
in the orthographies resulting in poor pronunciation.

The presentation of an archaic form of pronunciation in standard spelling
does nothing to help this. In fact it makes things worse. It invites a
synchronically mixed mishmash of potential pronunciations. KS gets around
this neatly by spelling the word the way it should be pronounced, but
marking where there would be a synchronically different pronunciation. The
SWF does not do this and leads learners to the erroneous conclusion that a
word should be pronounced archaically by preference simply by being written
in its archaic form. I formly believe this should be turned on its head.

If I could put it a bit more bluntly, I doubt mediaevel Cornish
pronunciation is high on many learner's list of Cornish aspirations, except
for the high clergy of KK. And once again, the SWF is not KK. The form that
would suit the majority of Cornish speakers, to fit both their aspiration
and achieved result would be 'e'  and not 'eu'. Perhaps an optional
diacritical mark for those that want to observe a postulated /ø/ would be
in order here. It seems plain daft to saddle a prmary spelling promoting an
edge-case pronunciation.

Granted, quantification of the number of dedicated supporters of Ken's
postulated archaic pronunciation is difficult, however I would suggest that
most KK know of it (KK) because that is what they learned (as a way to
spell words) in the books they bought and not because they find his sound
system compelling.

Christian


On 18 January 2013 12:43, Linus Band <linusband at gmail.com> wrote:

> I also prefer Late Cornish phonology over the Middle Cornish one, but
> still there are those that do not agree. About 'those', I often see the
> argument that "most people don't use this or that" (in this case: Middle
> Cornish phonology). That is probably true in the sense that it is
> relatively hard for English speakers to get to grips with the exact sounds
> they are striving after, but still I believe that many make an effort of
> sounding /y/ different from /i/ and /ø/ from /e/ and therefore believe in
> the written distinction between these phonemes. What I would like to know
> now is the EXACT numbers of users for both MC, Tudor Cornish and LC. From
> internet visibility alone I myself get the feeling that the balance is more
> towards the MC pronunciation group. The problem with counting them would of
> course be that many learners don't know that there is more than one
> dialect, but the more experienced speaker would know. I think that a
> petition would be useful. Then we'd really know what most people do and
> don't do. Perhaps that would be something for MAGA to do?
> And to keep this discussion on track: I still agree with Dan and am
> therefore a proponent of using historical linguistics (diligently) to
> ascertain the sounds that we are looking at, and therefore advocate the
> writing of *cleudh*.
>
> Linus
>
>
> 2013/1/18 Christian Semmens <christian.semmens at gmail.com>
>
>>
>> Ken may well feel this, but the question is, how much of the revival
>> wants to place pronunciation at this very early period?
>>
>> The further back in time you go the less reliable are your attempts at
>> synthesizing a pronunciation. This far back and the sounds are little more
>> than guesswork, educated guesswork at the very best. With later
>> pronunciation you are on much firmer ground. Also, once again, KK is not
>> the SWF, and the KK phonology is not the phonology of the SWF.
>>
>> The SWF, along with most of the revival, attempts to use a sound system
>> based in the 16th century and later, after the general unrounding of this
>> sound, so why attempt to present the mediaeval form in the spelling? What
>> is the benefit of presenting a spelling system that leans towards a
>> phonology that was rejected?
>>
>> I would be extremely surprised if the revival had a majority of
>> proponents for mediaeval pronunciation. For
>>
>> Christian
>>
>>
>> On 18 January 2013 08:31, Hewitt, Stephen <s.hewitt at unesco.org> wrote:
>>
>>>  I agree completely,****
>>>
>>> Steve****
>>>
>>> ** **
>>>
>>> *From:* spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:
>>> spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] *On Behalf Of *Linus Band
>>> *Sent:* 17 January 2013 13:35
>>>
>>> *To:* Standard Cornish discussion list
>>> *Subject:* Re: [Spellyans] cledh etc****
>>>
>>> ** **
>>>
>>> Even though if we agree that the unrounding already took place in the
>>> 15th century, we cannot conclude that the SWF should therefore contain -e-
>>> instead -eu-, because Ken George aims to revive the language as spoken
>>> around 1500. What we are forgetting is that Ken George (and surely others)
>>> is convinced that the unrounding had not taken place yet around 1500, but
>>> rather later. ****
>>>
>>> The fact is that there is a part of the revival that would like to
>>> pronounce old  */ø/ as [e(ː)] and another part that prefers the older sound
>>> [ø(ː)], and the SWF has to accommodate both.****
>>>
>>> ** **
>>>
>>> Linus****
>>>
>>> ** **
>>>
>>> 2013/1/17 Christian Semmens <christian.semmens at gmail.com>****
>>>
>>> From the evidence relating to cledh, would it suggest that the front
>>> rounded vowel sound in Cornish was in retreat in the early 15th century.
>>> ****
>>>
>>>
>>> If that were so, would it not be fair to say that the SWF etymological
>>> spelling is helpful to *pronunciation* only if you wish to target a
>>> projected mediaeval pronunciation and as such more relevant to old Cornish
>>> than the period the revival professes to be interested in?****
>>>
>>> ** **
>>>
>>> On 17 January 2013 09:39, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:*
>>> ***
>>>
>>> On 17 Jan 2013, at 08:28, "Hewitt, Stephen" <s.hewitt at unesco.org> wrote:
>>>
>>> > Which I think is wonderful.
>>> >****
>>>
>>> > But in this group, further changes appear to be being discussed…
>>>
>>> Can you be more specific?****
>>>
>>>
>>> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
>>>
>>>
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>>>
>>> ** **
>>>
>>>
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>>
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