[Kernowek]  Kernowek Standard: An orthography for the Cornish Language Home

Wolcum dhe Gernowek Standard!

Standard rag Screfa an Tavas Kernowek

Improving the Standard Written Form Amendya an Form Screfys Standard
(Yma an text awoles screfys in FSS-Tradycyonal)
The Cornish Language Partnership is to be congratulated on its remarkable achievement in preparing a Standard Written Form, which Cornwall County Council and other public bodies can now use for the purposes of formal education and public life. The task facing the members of the Ad-Hoc Group was arduous, and they accomplished it in five days of face-to-face meetings from November 2007 to March 2008. It is clear that difficult political decisions had to be made, when those eight people drafted the outlines of the Standard Written Form. Such political decisions assuredly affected the linguistic decisions made, but while the resulting orthography is, in our view, not perfect, it does go a long way toward inclusivity in the Revival, both from the point of view of the actual pronunciation of Revived Cornish and of its orthographic principles. Yma prays meur dendilys gans Kescowethyans an Taves Kernowek drefen i dhe gollenwel an ober marthys a dharbary Furv Scrifys Savonek a’n yeth, a yll bos devnydhys alemma rag gans Consel Kernow ha gans corfow erel rag dyscans furvek hag y’n bownans poblek dre vras. Pur gales o an devar settyes dhyrag an Bagas Ad-Hoc hag i a spedyas orth y wul a-ji dhe bymp dydh a vetyansow enep orth enep ynter mis Du 2007 ha mis Meurth 2008. Apert yw y feu res dhedha ervira maters tyckly pan wrug an eth den na garowlinya elvennow an Furv Scrifys Savonek. Certan yw an bolitegieth dhe wary part bras y’n erviransow yethydhek-na, ha kyn nag yw an spellyans usons i ow comendya, dh’agan tybyans ni, perfeyth yn pub poynt, yma ev ow mos pell dhe gudha ynno pub ehen a’n yeth Dasserhys, dhyworth savle a leveryans an Taves Dasvewys ha dhyworth savle pennrewlys an spellyans kefrys.
The “Outline of the Standard Written Form of Cornish” recognizes that adjustments will need be made to the Standard Written Form in order “to better serve the needs of the contemporary Cornish-speaking community”. While Cornwall County Council and other public bodies, now have an orthography they can use, the Standard Written Form has, in our view, shortcomings which make it less attractive to many for personal use. The range of “alternative traditional graphs provided for writers who would like to use more traditional spellings” is not yet extensive enough to permit truly authentic spelling. And more importantly, we in UdnFormScrefys perceive there to be linguistic inconsistencies and indeed errors in the specification. We believe that the general public requires an adapted version of the SWF in which these are rectified. Yma “Elvennow a’n Furv Savonek a Gernowek” owth aswon y fydh res gul amendyansow dhe’n Furv Savonek may “haller dhe well servya an othomow a Gernowegoryon a’n jydh hedhyw”. Pan eus dhe Gonsel Kernow ha dhe gorfow poblek erel lytherennans a yllons i gul devnydh anodho, yth hevel dhyn ni bos fowtys bras y’n Furv Scrifys Savonek hag ytho na vydh hi mar blegadow rag usyans personek. Nyns yw bras lowr whath “an niver a’n grafow hengovek provies rag scriforyon whensys dhe dhevnydhya spellyansow moy tradicyonal” dhe alowa tus dhe scrifa herwydh usadow gwir hengovek an taves. Ha moy es henna yma taclow y’n Furv Savonek nag yw kesson an eyl gans y gila hag yma cammdybyansow ynny ynwedh.
None of this constitutes an attack on the Ad-Hoc Group, on the authors of the “Outline of the Standard Written Form of Cornish”, or on the Cornish Language Partnership. Their achievement in reconciling many differences is to be applauded. Pan eson ni ow leverel hemma nyns eson ni owth omsettya orth an Bagas Ad-Hoc, nag orth awtours a “Elvennow an Furv Scrifys Savonek a’n Taves Kernowek”, nag orth Kescowethyans an Taves. I re spedyas dhe dhri warbarth lies dyffrans der aga ober hag ymons i dhe wormel yn fras.
The chairman of the Cornish Language Partnership stated in his forward to the SWF specification that there is “a need for stability, and therefore the Standard Written Form will not change for five years”. Public authorities may be considered to be reasonable in taking this view. Yn y raglavar dhe’n Avisyans a’n Furv Scrifys Savonek Caderyer Kescowethyans an Taves Kernowek a lever bos “res a faster ha rag henna ny vydh an Furv Scrifys Savonek chanjys bys penn pymp bledhen”. Fur yw an ervirans ma rag awtoritas poblek.
Outside of official contexts, Cornish users are of course free to write in any orthography they choose. In recognition of this and in anticipation of emendations to the Standard Written Form at a future stage of the Partnership process, we believe that discussion of corrections and improvements to the Standard Written Form should begin without delay. In the interim, we would like to offer the public an adapted version of the Standard Written Form for immediate use. We do not ourselves believe that recognized inconsistencies and errors should be taught, if they can be identified and put right. A-ves dhe gerhynnow sodhogel, yma cummyas dhe Gernowegoryon heb mar scrifa yn pynag lytherennans a wrello moyha plegya dhedha. Owth aswon henna hag ow mires yn rag dhe’n amendyansow a vydh gwres dhe’n Furv Scrifys Savonek y’n proces a’n Kescowethyans y’n termyn a dheu, ni a grys bos res dalleth dadhla heb let vyth adro dhe’n ewnansow hag adro dhe’n gwellheansow a dal bos gwres dhe’n spellyans. Y’n men-termyn da via genen ni profya dhe’n bobel versyon a’n Furv Scrifys Savonek a yll bos usys dystowgh. Ny grysyn ni bos da dysky taclow digesson ha taclow camm, mar kyller aga aswon ha’ga ewna.
In order to facilitate such a discussion, an e-mail discussion list has been created, called Spellyans. We believe that discussion of orthographic reform should be open to anyone who wishes to discuss it. We also believe that anonymity in such discussions is not appropriate. Rag esya dadhlans a’n par ma, dadhelva dre rivbost re beu formys, neb yw gelwys Spellyans. Ni a grys y coodh dadhel adro dhe dhasfurvya an lytherennans bos egor dhe dhen vyth a vynno kemeres rann ynny. Ni a grys ynwedh na vydh compes dhe dhen vyth bos kevrennek y’n dhadhelva heb ri y hanow y honen.
The list will be mildly moderated. (Moderation is not censorship. It is a means of ensuring that people stay on topic and remain civil.) Subscribers who apply for membership must use their real names. In addition, upon acceptance all subscribers will be asked to introduce themselves to the list with a few sentences describing their interest. The list is for those willing to work seriously towards discussing whatever shortcomings may be identified in the Standard Written Form, and suggesting generally acceptable solutions to them. Anyone who wishes to join is free to do so, providing that he or she does not indulge in “flaming” or personal attacks (including the use of “humorous” nicknames). Violators of this policy of civility will be unsubscribed from the list. One warning will be given. Y fydh an dhadhelva yn dann demprans scav (Temprans ha Censoryeth yw taclow dihaval. Mar pydh an dhadhel temprys, ni a yll bos certan y whra pubonan kewsel a daclow perthynek hag y fydh pubonan cortes yn y eryow.) Mar mynta cafos eseleth y’gan mesk ni, res vydh dhis usya dha hanow gwir. Moy es henna, mar pydh den degemerys avel esel, res vydh dhodho omacontya ha scrifa nebes lavarow adro dhodho y honan hag adro dhe’n taclow usy a les dhodho. Porpos an dhadhelva ma yw dhe omgusulya yn town adro dhe’n poyntys anperfeyth y’n Furv Scrifys Savonek, ha dhe gomendya yn pana vaner a yllons i bos amendys. Yma entrans i’n Dhadhelva frank dhe geniver onan a vo whensys dhe omjunya genen, mes res vydh dhodho sevel orth “flamya”, orth omsettyans personek (ny vydh les-henwyn didhanus alowys). Mar qwra den vyth defolya an rewl ma a gortecy, ev a vydh tewlys yn mes. Ny wra va cafos mes unn gwarnyans.
The editorial group will be discussing possible emendations for and improvements on the SWF on the Spellyans list only, not on any other forum. We look forward to a lively debate. An bagas a dhyloryon a wra omgusulya adro dhe amendyansow hag ewnansow a allo bos gwrys dhe’n FSS omma yn Spellyans yn unnek. Ny wrons i aga dadhla yn ken tyller vyth. Yth eson ni ow qwettyas dadhel vyw.
Subscribe to the Spellyans discussion list.

A history of Kernowek Standard

In September 2006, a diverse group of Cornish users, working under the name UdnFormScrefys, joined together to devise a new written form of the language. The proposed orthography fulfilled two requirements which the group identified as necessary for an orthograhy acceptable to the greatest number of people from all groups of users.
  • The spelling system must be based on attested traditional orthographic forms.
  • In the orthography the relationship between spelling and sounds must be unambiguous.

This represented the first time that a form of Revived Cornish had been put forward by a group of scholars, speakers, and experts, rather than by a single person. The group was composed of people representing all four current orthographies (Unified Cornish, Revived Late Cornish, Common Cornish, and Unified Cornish Revised). It included several professional Celtic and linguistic scholars, as well as experienced non-professional Cornish speakers and researchers. This collective expertise helped to minimize the flaws which had weakened some of the previous orthographies. The submitted document bore the names of 21 signatories and 50 supporters. On 26 March 2007, the draft’s Revision 11 was made available to the Cornish Language Partnership’s Linguistic Working Group and to the general public for scrutiny and discussion. On 22 June 2007, Revision 15 was forwarded as a proposal to the Cornish Language Commission as part of the Cornish Language Partnership’s Strategy for the Cornish Language. On 14 November 2007, Revision 16 was posted here in preparation for the first Ad-Hoc Group meeting after the Tremough meeting.

The devisers believed that the proposed orthography, while based on the traditional spelling of the Cornish texts, rendered the pronunciation immediately apparent once a few simple rules had been learnt. We, the members of UdnFormScrefys hoped that our proposal would give an accurate picture of what we had agreed upon and what we proposed. We did not intend it to be a fait accompli, and believed the proposal to be robust and inclusive, expecting that it would be modified after the intense public scrutiny and discussion which followed its publication. We believed that the proposal represented a major step forward in the search for an acceptable standard written form. As it happens, the principles of the draft proposal profoundly influenced the development of the Standard Written Form. We believe this indicates how sound were the principles underlying Kernowek Standard.

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