[Spellyans] SWF review

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Fri May 9 15:51:04 BST 2014

On 9 May 2014, at 05:03, Philip Newton <philip.newton at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 9 May 2014 10:31, Ray Chubb <ray at spyrys.org> wrote:
>> The only reason that the Review Board decided to 'dumb up' on this issue is because medial 'gh' is part of Kernewek Kemyn.
> Do you have a source for that?
> Because my assumption was that they did it as a measure to make SWF more similar to those things that are shared by UC and KK—a kind of reconciliation.

An orthography might try to be morphophonemic or it might try to be phonetic. The Review Board as a whole does not really seem to have understood the orthographic principles upon which the SWF itself was based, and the unsystematic heap of recommended changes, together with the heap of rejected suggestions, leads to a revised SWF which is palpably worse than the original SWF. Make no mistake. SWF2 will do a disservice to the Cornish language, and the gerrymandered Review Board of non-experts has led to a failure in terms of an adequate linguistic review.

> Since UC seems to be used by more people than UCR, so this change would make SWF more similar to what most people previously used.

/x/ is realized as [x] in absolute auslaut. Medially it is realized as [h]. This is reflected in traditional Cornish orthography. Writing an alternation -h- / -gh is the more accurate choice, particularly when we know that -gh- has led to pronunciation errors in people learning and using Cornish. 

The alternation flogh / flehes is really really easy to learn. Anyone can do it. It’s [floːx] / [ˈflɛhǝs]. It isn’t [ˈflɛxǝs]. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t have the linguistic facts behind him. 

Unified Cornish may have been widespread, but it has features which lead to pronunciation errors, like -gh-. It also (as Eddie has pointed out) regularly permits those features which lead to more accurate pronunciation, like -h-. The right thing to do is to choose the latter: even if they have not been used as frequently in the past, we now know that they are the better options for learners. This aligns UC with UCR and KS and SWF1. SWF2 seems to be leading back to KK. 

What a pity for the Revival. 

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

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