[Spellyans] Holyer an Gof 2010
njawilliams at gmail.com
Mon Aug 23 18:16:42 BST 2010
Ray is completely right about the dissolution of Glasney.
BM, Tregear and the manuscript of BK all date from the 16th century.
CW was transcribed in 1612 but is probably a copy of an early 16th
century work. The Tudor period is the best period of the language on
which to base the revival. Much of our literature was written at that
time and it is also the period closest to the present that still used
traditional orthography. All subsequent texts by native writers appear
in ad hoc orthographies, more or less based on English spelling. It is
for that reason that attempting to base the revived language
on the Bosons, Rowe, Gwavas, Jenkins , etc., has always seemed self-
defeating, because it means ignoring the best of the literature, and
using inferior Cornish as one's basic texts. It has also meant
rewriting words and phrases from Tregear and CW in the spelling used
by Nicholas Boson. Even at its worst, however, RLC does resemble
KK marks a wholly new departure in the revival, in which it was
assumed that Cornish was little more than a dialect of Breton, and
could be spelt accordingly. Of course Cornish is not a dialect of
Breton in any sense. Indeed there are ways in which Cornish is closer
to Welsh than to Breton (e.g. the maintenance of dh and th, and the
absence in both Cornish and Welsh of nasal vowels). Moreover Cornish
is unlike both Welsh and Breton in that it assibilates /d/ to /z/ or /
dZ/ and exhibits pre-occlusion. Furthermore there can be no
justification for using modern a priori graphs when resuscitating a
language which itself was written in a traditional orthography.
KK is without any justification from the phonetic or orthographic
point of view. Unfortunately those who came to Cornish through KK are
acclimatised to its inauthentic graphs and believe that <hw>, <ko, ka,
ku, kr, kl, kw> and "etymological" spellings like <taves>, <melin>,
<niver>, <piw>, etc. are justified and indeed desirable. As a result
the SWF/M is disfigured by them as well. To say nothing of the
mistaken phonology of KK, which leads to words like prÿv "worm" and
bÿs "world", for example, being wrongly pronounced with short /i/ as
"privv" and "bizz". These mispronunciations persist in the SWF.
The damage which KK has done to the revival will be eventually be
undone. One thing is certain, however: the SWF/M and T as they stand
will not be the last word in Cornish orthography.
On 23 Est 2010, at 15:51, Ray Chubb wrote:
> Surely the historical high point for Cornish was up to the end of
> the period when it was recognised and supported by the establishment
> of its day i.e. 1549 after which Glasney College was dissolved.
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