[Spellyans] Holyer an Gof 2010

nicholas williams 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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