[Spellyans] SWF review results.

A. J. Trim ajtrim at msn.com
Sat Apr 5 01:30:59 IST 2014


In the case of:-

Issue: (27) Diacritics
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: NO diacritics EXCEPT in pronunciation
guides, dictionaries and teaching materials if the author so wishes. We are
seeking a meeting with the Dictionary Board to ensure that such diacritics
as are chosen are properly defined and used consistently.
Scale of recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent):

It is remarkable that there was only one respondent.
What is the point of reporting these "Scale of recognition" figures?
We do not know whether these were responding on behalf of themselves only or 
whether these were responding collectively for a much greater collection of 
people of like mind. Decisions made using these figures may not be 
representative of all the people who had opinions. If, on the other hand, 
these figures were ignored in the decision-making process, there is no point 
in reporting the figures as they obfuscate any fairness that might have been 
applied.

U:
The form <arlodh> is not Cornish. The form <arlùth> wrongly suggests that 
the second syllable takes the stress. Writing <arlòdh> in dictionaries would 
have the same bad effect. I suggest <arlvth>.
The rules for the graph u should be that û indicates [uː], v indicates [ʊ] 
or [ə], and that u indicates /y/~/i/, length determined by the usual rules.
This would cause no <camvnderstondyngs>, and would be <pvr dradycyonal>. 
Also <pvbonan> "everyone", <lvck> "luck", <bvff> "an inflatable buoy", 
<vnctya> "to anoint". One can type these with ease on any writing device, 
and there are no problems with data transmission.


Regards,

Andrew J. Trim



-----Original Message----- 
From: Michael Everson
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2014 11:41 AM
To: Spellyans discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] SWF review results.

On 2 Apr 2014, at 10:44, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:

Here are some comments I made on the Lytherennans Kernowek Facebook page 
regarding the “things recommended not to change”. It includes some changes.

A Issues examined but where no change is recommended:

Issue: (2) <i> graph used inappropriately in prefixes and suffixes.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change – retain the status quo.
Scale of recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent)

Of course they don’t give any examples. I don’t know what this is about.

Issue: (4) Distribution of <i> and <y> is unclear and incoherent
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change – keep the distribution as 
is.
Scale of recognition: 7.1% (4 respondents)

This is fantastic. The distribution is unclear and incoherent — meaning you 
really can’t predict when you are supposed to use ‹i› and when ‹y› — and 7% 
of respondents criticized it. But the resolution? Leave it unclear and 
incoherent.

Issue: (6+56) Use of <oo>, giving rise to unfortunate or ‘risible’ 
spellings.
Proposal for resolution:: This was acknowledged to be a subjective issue.
Recommendation: Retain <oo>. It is an umbrella graph for two pronunciations 
[o:] and [u:]. In addition too many words
would be affected and its retention is in the interests of minimal change.
Scale of recognition: 3.6% (2 respondents)

It is good that this was rejected. Doubtless it was an attempt to restore 
the unnecessary Kemmynism ‹oe›. And risible spellings? If a child laughs at 
“boos” or “poos”, well, then, it’s likely the child will REMEMBER those 
words. :-)

Issue: (7+19) Introduce minimal use of <z>.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change – the distribution of 
voiced [z] is not the same for different periods and revived pronunciation 
systems. This issue might be reconsidered one day.
Scale of recognition: 8.9% (5 respondents)

Again, I’m not sure what specific problem this was supposed to solve because 
the documentation was never released to the public. I asked many times and 
was never given an actual reason for the refusal.

Issue: (9) Vocalic alternation - lack of a systematic and understandable 
rule.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change, to leave as at Treyarnon; 
but we do recognise the need for further research on this issue.
Scale of recognition: 8.9% (5 respondents)

Yes, well, I guess we’ve done this research. I’m not sure if there is a 
systematic rule for the alternation. It’s just part of the language.

Issue: (12) Respelling of SWF/L <e’wedh>, <endella> and <e’mann> with 
initial <a>.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change in order to keep 
correspondence between SWF/M <y> and SWF/L <e>.
Scale of recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent)

Good that these were rejected. I do think that the overuse of ‹e› especially 
in unstressed syllables helps to ghettoize RLC unnecessarily.

Issue: (16) Traditional graphs.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change, The Guiding Principles for 
the SWF Review which were agreed by the Partnership stated that "issues that 
were closed in 2009 should not be reopened unless the solution found then is 
now causing problems." It was therefore clearly understood by the Board that 
they were not to re-consider those issues that were fundamental underpinning 
issues of the 2009 Treyarnon agreement. The use of Main Form Graphs and the 
status of Traditional Graphs were undoubtedly such fundamental issues, 
“closed in 2009", which were therefore outside of the remit of the Panel. 
However, the Board did, of course, discuss them and if they had been within 
the Board’s remit, it would nevertheless have been their recommendation to 
restate the position agreed at Treyarnon.
Scale of recognition: 3.6% (2 respondents)

But the “solution” of 2009 *DOES* cause problems, clearly. The solution is 
easy: Allow every person to choose which graphs he or she prefers.

Issue: (24) Reduction of unstressed vowels to schwa.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: There is no issue of spelling to be 
resolved here, but the SWF specification needs to be re-written as the 
wording is ambiguous and implies that all final unstressed vowels became 
schwa;
Scale of recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent)

This is worrying, but of course we are given no details.

Issue: (27) Diacritics
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: NO diacritics EXCEPT in pronunciation 
guides, dictionaries and teaching materials if the author so wishes. We are 
seeking a meeting with the Dictionary Board to ensure that such diacritics 
as are chosen are properly defined and used consistently.
Scale of recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent)

Once again, we are betrayed by those who hold a grudge against us. This is 
remarkable. It’s worth my repeating here what I said in my submission to the 
Review:

=====
The SWF does not permit the valid use of diacritical marks. This means that 
any judicious use of diacritical marks renders a word “not compliant” with 
the SWF. Prior to the publication of the SWF specification, the “agreements 
and rulings” document contained the following text: “Diacritical marks are 
not part of the SWF. (Publishers can add some if they think that they are 
necessary for pedagogical reasons.)” This was a slightly watered-down 
version of text which had been proposed for use as a footnote in the 
specification: “Diacritical marks are permitted to be used, optionally, to 
mark words with anomalous vowel length or quality.”

Since the SWF has ambiguous spellings, it is reasonable to permit such 
spellings to be distinguished by those who feel that it is important that an 
orthography offer as much support to learners as possible. Accordingly, a 
ban on diacritical marks makes no sense.

One advantage of the use of diacritical marks is that it leaves the 
underlying word-shape alone. The problem of inclusiveness between “Middle” 
and “Late” dialects of Revived Cornish is easily seen in the large class of 
words with an alternation bÿs~bës [biːz]~[beːz]. There are many stressed 
monosyllables with [iː] which do not have an alternation (like mis [miːz]) 
and there are also words with a short vowel (like bys [bɪz]), marking this 
class enables readers of “Middle” dialects to accurately identify words 
written in the “Late” dialect and vice-versa. (Another means of inclusively 
and accurately marking this class would have been to use an umbrella graph, 
such as beis.)

Where UC and UCR were ambiguous as to whether u meant /y/~/i/ or /u/, in the 
SWF the ambiguity has been shifted, so it is often not certain whether o 
means /o/ or /u/. Words like arlùth should not be written *arlodh or 
*arloth, and here the grave accent can indicate that the vowel is a reduced 
/u/ vowel, not a reduced /y/~/i/ vowel. For this class of words, the new 
spellings in o introduced into the SWF should be rescinded and the rules for 
the graph u should be that û indicates [uː], ù indicates [ʊ], and that u 
indicates /y/~/i/, length determined by the usual rules. This differs from 
UC and UCR, which wrote u for /u/ and ü for /y/~/i/, but in order to reduce 
the number of potential diacritics in a given text, it is better to mark /u/ 
because this is a much smaller class of words than those with /y/~/i/. (It 
is also easier because no allowance has to be made for distinguishing short 
ü [ʏ]~[ɪ] from long ü [yː]~[iː].)

Diacritical marks should permitted to be used, optionally, to mark words 
with anomalous vowel length or quality. If diacritical marks are not 
permitted, it automatically knocks any one who does use them out of 
compliance with the SWF spec. This has already been seen to have been used 
in a prejudicial way against publications in Kernowek Standard. Now KS may 
have derogated in other ways here and there from the SWF for various 
reasons, but for instance marking bÿs~bës words should not be considered to 
be a violation of the specification. On 2008-02-28, in an e-mail discussion 
between Albert Bock, Benjamin Bruch, Michael Everson, Trond Trosterud, and 
Nicholas Williams, the following text was agreed. It was subsequently not 
included in the SWF specification (despite it having been agreed) and no 
explanation was ever given for its removal. We request its reinstatement:

“Diacritical marks are not a part of the mandated SWF orthography. However, 
publishers are permitted to be use them, optionally, to mark words with 
anomalous vowel length or quality.”

We also recommend that if diacritical marks are to be permitted, then the 
system for using them should be that recommended and implemented in Kernowek 
Standard. Amongst other things, An Beybel Sans is now a fact of Cornish 
public life, and users of all Cornish orthographies are likely to encounter 
it. If the bÿs~bës words are to be marked, they should be marked with the 
diaeresis, not written * bŷs~bês or something else, since the former 
spelling has been established in a large number of publications.
=====

So instead of just permitting people to use them, the Review Board has made 
a statement (an unenforceable statement): “ NO diacritics EXCEPT in 
pronunciation guides, dictionaries and teaching materials if the author so 
wishes. We are seeking a meeting with the Dictionary Board to ensure that 
such diacritics as are chosen are properly defined and used consistently.”

I wonder whether they will really screw up the Revival by choosing to use 
diacritical marks in a DIFFERENT way from the way they are used in KS.

Issue: (28) No phonemic distinction is made between /iw/ and /Iw/; <iw> 
should be replaced by <yw>
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: leave it as it stands; this is 
important for those who make the distinction in Kemmyn pronunciation.
Scale of recognition: 3.6% (2 respondents)

Except that nobody makes this distinction in Kemmyn pronunciation.

Issue: (30) Inconsistent treatment of pre-occlusion: <jynn> & <gonn> etc.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change – in items of which there 
are no attested RLC spellings, regular development of /N/ > /dn/ is assumed. 
<gonn> is not used in RLC, where [g]oram is used instead.
Scale of recognition: 5.4% (3 respondents)

A total failure of understanding of the problem of lack of inclusivity for 
RLC users.

Issue: (31) M <ew> vs. L <ow>: pronunciation difference.
Proposal for resolution:: This change happens within Middle Cornish (MC), 
not just Late Cornish. <ow> is universal, <ew> is earlier MC only.
Recommended: retain <ew> as the M form and <ow> for both M and L.
Scale of recognition: 3.6% (2 respondents)

We mark three classes of words: ‹ew›, ‹ow›, and ‹êw›~‹ôw›. The Review Board 
doesn’t even talk about classes of words.

Issue: (32) Initial ye-/e- alternation in words like yehes~ehes not handled 
in a unified way. Learners unable to tell
whether a RMC word in <ye-> has a RLC variant in <e->.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change – retain the status quo.
Scale of recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent)

Of course the status quo would be solved by permitting this class of words 
to be written ‹yê-›~‹ê-›

Issue: (44) <junya> - confusion over the vowel and pronunciation.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: retain <junya> and teach 
pronunciation. Allow spelling <jùnya> in pronunciation guides etc. (see 
below).
Scale of recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent)

Here we have the first glimmer of hope: Permit the use of ‹ù› as in KS.

Issue: (46) Issue with the use of <eu>; for the small group of words always 
spelt with <o> in the manuscripts. Applies to seulabrys>/< seuladhedh>.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: no change; remain with the present 
spellings for both SWF/M and SWF/L. More research is needed.
Scale of recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent)

There is no warrant for ‹eu› in this class of words.

Issue: (53) Final <i> / <ei> variants.
Proposal for resolution:: Recommended: Remain as is. It would be beneficial 
to resolve this into one grapheme, but difficult to see how. Scale of 
recognition: 1.8% (1 respondent)

We write ‹-y› and permit ‹-ei› where necessary. This small class of 
high-frequency words is not problematic.

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


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