[Spellyans] "Alice's Ventures in Wunderland" (Alice in Cornu-English) published by Evertype

Janice Lobb janicelobb at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 20:29:31 IST 2015


This looks totally brilliant! Can't wait to get it.
Jan

On Sat, Apr 18, 2015 at 7:51 PM, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com>
wrote:

> Evertype would like to announce the publication of an edition of Alan M.
> Kent's translation of “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” into
> Cornu-English, “Alice’s Ventures in Wunderland”. The book uses John
> Tenniel's classic illustrations. A page with links to Amazon.com and
> Amazon.co.uk is available at
> http://www.evertype.com/books/alice-en-con.html . Bookstores can order
> copies at a discount from the publisher.
>
> Introduction:
>
> Cornu-English is that form of English spoken by the majority of native
> residents in Cornwall. It has also spread overseas to be spoken in areas of
> the world where Cornish migrants lived and worked—in such diverse locations
> as Australia, the United States of America, New Zealand, Mexico and South
> Africa. It may be said to be one of three major linguistic groups operating
> within Cornwall, a Celtic territory in the west of the island of the
> Britain. The three are Cornish, English and Cornu-English.
>
> Historically, the first of these groups was the Cornish language, which
> emerged initially as the south-western dialect of the British Brythonic
> language, but which by the year 500 had emerged into a separate language.
> Cornish continued to be spoken for many centuries, and in its past five
> centuries of operation has been spoken alongside Cornu-English. The precise
> moment of transition is difficult for socio-linguists to pin down, but may
> be seen as a general process of incursion from east to west, and from ports
> and harbours into the interior. Therefore Cornish survived longest in the
> far west and on the southern peninsula known as The Lizard.
>
> The movement of English into Cornwall may be associated with three
> distinctive phases. The first phase was perhaps the period from the tenth
> century onwards, when the first Anglo-Saxon speakers settled in East
> Cornwall. Another invasion came in the form of the Norman Conquest, but
> since many of the invaders of Cornwall were, in fact, Breton speakers
> (making this, in fact, a ‘Breton return’), during this phase, Cornish
> persisted. Norman French became the language of law and administration and
> English temporarily declined. In the Middle Ages however, English began to
> be used more commonly for administrative purposes, and then by the Tudor
> period, a more full-scale accommodation of Cornwall into England began to
> take hold, which led to more extreme language shifts. This trend continued
> into the modern period, and while Cornish was regarded as antiquated and
> ill-fitting the industrial age, English was both the language of its more
> powerful neighbour and the language of trade and empire. In the twentieth
> century, an English-based mass media has dominated, with Cornu-English
> largely ignored.
>
> Cornu-English has its origins in these earlier periods of language
> transition, when a considerable amount of the population of Cornwall were
> bilingual and so integrated both Cornish and English into their daily
> speech. Although opinion varies; there is a good deal of Cornish-language
> vocabulary and forms which have entered Cornu-English. We should not be
> surprised by this. Indeed, connections and overlaps continue to be found;
> especially when further Cornish-language manuscripts continued to be
> discovered (for example, the text of Bewnans Ke [The Life of St Kea] was
> found in 2000). The corpus of Cornu-English has therefore absorbed both
> Cornish and English concepts as it has evolved.
>
> It is not surprising therefore, that given the key industries of mining,
> fishing and farming that many core concepts from these areas can be found
> in the vocabulary of Cornu-English. Likewise, it is clear to any reader of
> an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland presented in Cornu-English to observe
> that many of these concepts will not be considered in the translation,
> simply because Carroll’s text does not deal with these industries. For a
> taste of these, the interested reader should look at W. G. Orhard’s A
> Glossary of Mining Terms (1991), Robert Morton Nance’s A Glossary of
> Cornish Sea Words (1963) and Ken Phillips’ Westcountry Words and Ways
> (1976). The list of Cornu-English vocabulary and phrases collected by the
> Federation of Old Cornwall Societies, and held on their website is also an
> extremely valuable resource.
>
> Cornu-English, even when spoken or written fluently by native speakers is
> often referred to simply as ‘Dialect’ or ‘Cornish Dialect’ presumably
> because they understand that it is dialect of English. These phrases also
> capture the idea that it is distinct from English—which is also, of course,
> spoken in Cornwall. There are often class connotations associated with
> Cornu-English, English and Cornish. Cornu-English is generally supposed to
> be spoken by working-class groups, while English is largely spoken by those
> who have neglected their native tongue and try to fit an imposed and
> standardized language. Cornish was originally a language spoken
> predominantly by the working classes, but has come to assume a position
> where it is learnt as a second language, usually by those in the middle
> classes. Some speakers are able to comfortably move between all three
> groups—adjusting language choice to their immediate community. Such
> speakers are able to flip between Cornu-English, English, and Cornish
> within a single sentence.
>
> By the mainstream media in Britain, Cornu-English is often unfortunately
> lumped in with other English dialects from the south-west of Britain. These
> can be as wide-ranging as Bristolian, Somerset or Plymouthian. Often they
> are pre­sented comically by broadcasters as a kind of “Mummerset”: a
> language group located outside of the south-east, and identified as
> “yokels”. Cornu-English is, however, distinc­tively different, and it is a
> brave individual who places Cornu-English alongside these other forms. For
> one thing Cornu-English has this sub-strata of Cornish within it, which
> other dialects in south-western Britain do not have. For another,
> Cornu-English does not always follow the usual rules regarding
> pronunciation and delivery the way that imitators of the speech come to
> imagine. Some key indicators of this may be found in the following
> observations.
>
> Very often those who overhear Cornu-English think that they are listening
> to someone American, rather than someone from Cornwall. An indication of
> this comes in the way in which the English word butter is sounded. In
> Cornu-English the intervocalic t sound is softened so the word is
> pronounced as budder. There are numerous other examples but this is a good
> place to start. In fact, the similarity to American English may also have a
> historical connection. Obviously, many of the early miners and ranchers in
> the west of America, in particular, came from Cornwall. It was likely
> therefore, that elements of their home language would be incorporated into
> the emergent language of America.
>
> Cornu-English makes much of the auxiliary verb to do. In Cornu-English, a
> fundamental rule (almost without excep­tion) is that verbs are always
> prefaced by the word do, reduced to d’. In this sense, all verbs have to do
> before they are grammatically correct. This rule reminds me of a
> construction that I recently overheard in Cornwall which proves this point
> exactly. Here a man was checking on the condition of an elderly relative
> and said, “She d’do better than er did do, dun’t er?’ Here, even the word
> do is prefaced by d’. There are countless examples of this construction in
> the Alice that follows.
>
> Exaggeration in Cornu-English is also important. If something is “very” in
> English, then in Cornu-English it would be brave an. Brave an is a
> catch-all phrase in fact, which can usually be inserted before any
> construction to demonstrate its force. It could be used of say. the
> weather: brave an stormy last night or of someone’s general well-bring:
> brave an good then, wad’n a? Allied to this phrase is the word proper. This
> is almost universally known as being part of Cornu-English expression,
> thanks to the many products available now with this term in their name.
> Generally, it is used in the phrase Proper job! which means when something
> is well done or appropriate. But ‘Proper’ can also be used to reinforce
> something: Proper pleased with ut, I was.
>
> Another important construction in Cornu-English is the removal of initial
> h. In the example of andsome Arry with the auburn air we see a fine example
> this. In this translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this best
> seen in the naming of classic characters such as the Mad Atter and the
> March Are.
>
> One of the leading scholars of Cornu-English in the twentieth century was
> the Roche-born K. C. Phillipps (1929-95). Phillipps was among the first
> observers of Cornu-English to conclude that it has a very clear grammatical
> structure (to which, I trust, I have been faithful in this translation)
> here, as well as a forceful and humorous phrase­ology which makes
> comparison and metaphor amusing and striking. While I have been able to
> display some of this in the translation, this was not always possible, due
> to the content of Carroll’s text. I hope, however, a few glimmers of this
> do shine through. Among the core features that Phillipps identifies are:
> reversals, archaisms, the retention of thou and ye, double plurals, the
> irregular use of the definite article, use of the definite article with
> proper names, the omission of prepositions, the extra -y suffix on the
> infinitive of verbs, the use of they as a demonstrative adjective, and the
> frequent use of the word up as an adverb. Many of these are used in the
> present book.
>
> Within Cornu-English, it is necessary to point out that although the broad
> vocabulary and grammar remain the same there are some variations in accent.
> These can be graded from east to west, and from north to south. In general,
> the accent in the west of Cornwall (in West Penwith, in particular) has
> remained quite distinctive, with some observers believing this is because
> of the later persistence of Cornish there. This edition of Alice’s
> Adventures in Wonder­land is translated with a nod towards the
> Cornu-English accent of mid Cornwall; in particular that found in the
> working-class china-clay mining villages to the north of St Austell. This
> accent and locale remain interesting because for many years there were
> perceived as not being as picturesque as others parts of Cornwall, and so
> received less immigration and loss of Cornu-English speakers.
>
> There is a long literary continuum of writing within Cornu-English. Not
> long after 1549 (when the Act of Uniformity was enacted in Cornwall—making
> church services in Cornish and Latin illegal), writers began to simulate
> the sound and pronunciation of Cornu-English on the page. Among the first
> of these were Andrew Boorde (c. 1500–c. 1560) and his famous poem “Ich Cham
> a Cornysche Man” (c. 1547). Numerous other writers—among them, Henry Quick,
> John Tabois Tregellas, William Robert Hicks, William Bentinick Forfar Mark
> Guy Pearse, William Bottrell, Robert Hunt, Thomas Quiller Couch and Robert
> Morton Nance—kept this tradition of writing going. Although there was
> perhaps a lull in the middle of the twentieth century—when Cornu-English
> seemed to resonate with the voice of a defeated and Anglicized Cornwall—the
> response to Cornu-English has now shifted markedly. Of late, writing in
> Cornu-English has returned again with a renewed vigour—a genre in which
> Cornish people have re-used and re-worked Cornish-English to viscerally
> reassert their identity in an increasingly devolved Britain. K. C.
> Phillipps helped to lead this charge, assisted by writers such as Jack
> Clemo, Charles Causley, D. M. Thomas, Nick Darke, Simon Parker and myself.
> This Alice’s Ventures in Wunderland in Cornu-English therefore is timely.
> Hopefully it will demonstrate the power and beauty of Cornu-English for
> successive generations.
>
> Alan M. Kent
> Lanbrebois / Probus
> St Piran’s Day 2015
>
> =====
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
>
>
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