[Spellyans] Introduction

John Sheridan john_s_sheridan at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 12 11:51:02 BST 2008

Hi all,

John Sheridan here.  Cousin Jack living in the New York City area.  Great-great-great-grandson of Richard Tredinnick who emigrated from Cornwall to the States in the 1830s; still have many Tredinnick cousins near Mineral Point, Wisconsin, which attracted Cornish settlement because of the lead mines there.  Began Cornish studies in 2000 using KDL and studying with Ben Bruch.  Passed first grade "gans bri"; did not continue formally with KDL because I found the 2nd year story so impossibly boring.  But continued to study (and eventually did work thru year 2 and read the story!)  Have a good working knowledge of grammar and read well.  Learning to speak in a vacuum is a different matter entirely and one I have not yet solved.  Founder of the seemingly (unfortunately) moribund Yahoo list Yn Kernewek (which by the way would be a great place to practice new spellings).  Musician; won first prize at the 2003 Gorseth for a Cornish church anthem I composed on a
 text from the Passion Play; traveled to the Gorseth to receive it.  Also have won an award this year for two arrangements for harp of Cornish folk tunes, which will be published this summer.

I completely understand that the only witness we have to the living Cornish language is a written one and thus I understand the strong desire for "authenticity".  As these original spellings must be standardized and as the written language developed over time, I also understand why so much debate has arisen around what will be considered authentic and what not. This debate has often been dishearteningly virulent, and I still am not sure that it won't destroy the revival.  

I am not a linguist. My presence on this list is more as a learner and lover of the language than anything else.  I am very moderate in my views and thus when I do speak up I generally am urging moderation and inclusivity.  Thus I have not been opposed to the SWF, as I value what I see to be its overarching principle, which is one of inclusivity.  However, I will be very interested to read, on this list, how the spelled language might be improved.

Yn lel,
-John Sheridan


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