[Spellyans] AHG

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Mon Apr 13 10:13:29 BST 2009

On 13 Apr 2009, at 09:18, Ray Chubb wrote:

> I think perhaps, Dan, you are being over generous to the KK  
> representatives on the AHG.  They were in effect dragged kicking and  
> screaming to the AHG meetings and they had no intention from the  
> outset of building on KD as the commission had recommended.

Or in allowing Agan Tavas to choose whom they wanted to sit on the  
committee. Or even in allowing us to make a brief presentation about KS.

> The aim was to make as few changes as they could get away with to  
> KK. This means that they were nothing but Ken George's hench men and  
> women because Ken had said all along that maybe a few small changes  
> to KK would satisfy the rest of us.

The most obvious problems with the SWF are easily dealt with. The more  
insidious problem with the SWF is the way it uses George's  
reconstructed vowels in unstressed syllables. This produces different  
spellings for perfect rhymes, and it is an extremely foolish thing to  
have been "agreed". And I say "agreed" because I doubt very much that  
a real understanding of the ramifications of "etymological spellings"  
was understood by everyone at the table.

> I shall never forgive them for they way they have cheated our  
> children out of their language heritage.
> Problems have already arising in trying to teach SWF.  Children  
> aren't stupid, they know full well that, although they are being  
> taught 'chi', all around them it is spelt 'chy' and this leads them  
> to question what they are being taught.  Clive will back me up on  
> this one.  This sort of thing only serves to undermine the SWF.

I can easily believe that this and similar problems will arise. On  
this point, we practically begged the arbitrator and his assistants to  
permit us Traditional orthographic forms for -y in unstressed  
monosyllables. In fact we presented them with a list of problems and a  
list of solutions to those problems which would have, had they been  
accepted, made us full partners in the SWF and its staunch defenders.  
The decision was taken to ignore our list of problems and solutions,  
despite the fact that they were all motivated by sound linguistics in  
line with the very simple bottom line we stuck to: Traditional  
orthographic forms and a clear relation between sound and spelling.  
The SWF/T asks us to use non-Traditional forms. Naturally our answer  
is No, thank you. The SWF/T muddles the problem of RMC and RLC dialect  
in terms of pre-occlusion and the bÿs/bës alternation. Naturally our  
answer is No, thank you.

In all events, our publications in KS seem to be doing rather well.  
The only bad reviews we have had have been from the likes of Bailey  
and Reeves, who are evidently very unhappy that we are succeeding in  
producing good, well-produced materials in something other than KK. A  
few people have expressed some regret that the materials are not in  
SWF, but I don't believe that has prevented anyone from buying and  
reading them.

And we have many more in the pipeline!

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

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