[Spellyans] KK ha'n SWF - pronunciation

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Sat Aug 9 18:47:14 BST 2008

Unfortunately, he doesn't.  He condemns Late Cornish and all its sources 
as "corrupt" (and KK isn't?).  However, he was attempting to reconstruct 
the pronunciation of Cornish c. 1500 then declares his finding to be 
"correct".  How does he know?  How do we know?  It can't be tested 
without the use of a TARDIS (for those of you in the States, that's Dr 
Who's time machine: Time And Relative Dimensions In Space).

Lhuyd offers the only detailed guide to the pronunciation of Cornish 
that we have and has been very well dissected by Dick Gendall in his The 
Pronunciation of Cornish.  For me, it is foolish to ignore Lhuyd.


Harry Fraiser wrote:
> I haven't read this book, I'm afraid. Must do so, of course. Are you
> saying he doesn't endorse Lhuyd's recommended pronunciation?
> Harry
> On 8/9/08, nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> wrote:
>> There can be no disagreement. We are not talking about minor
>> differences here and there.
>> We are talking about the entire sound system of Cornish.
>> Why do you think I am so opposed to KK? Because it based on
>> misassumptions.
>> Ken George invented KK because he believed that Nance had got the
>> entire phonemic system of Cornish wrong.
>> Nance had been wrong not only over minor points like eu and *tj and
>> *dj, but in his entire system.
>> Unified had only two lengths: long and short, so that tasow and mammow
>> had the same stressed vowel. In KK
>> tasow had a half-long vowel and mammow a short one. To say tazzow was
>> wrong; it should be ta·zow.
>> Moreover Unified had single consonants only, whereas according to
>> George it also had long consonants.
>> Thus in the Georgean system mm in omma 'here' was long but in oma 'I
>> am' it was short (and I am not talking
>> about the length of the stressed vowel).
>> I am sure you will have seen George's book the Pronunciation and
>> Spelling of Revived Cornish in which he
>> sets all hypothetical phonology out in detail.
>> I and other Celticists and linguists disagree totally with George, but
>> that is not the point.
>> The fact is that in spite of the phonology he espouses, George speaks
>> Unified. He makes a few adjustments to
>> a number of sounds and he has long since abandoned tj and dj, but his
>> spoken Cornish lacks a threefold length
>> and lacks long consonants. What George speaks is closer to UCR than
>> anything.
>> KK is, in my view, mistaken.
>> It is in everybody's view inauthentic.
>> George himself does not speak it.
>> What is the point of it?
>> Nicholas
>> On 9 Aug 2008, at 13:42, Penny Squire wrote:
>>> I think that we will have to agree to differ on this, Nicholas.
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