[Spellyans] Spelling and linguistics - Yes

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed Jun 16 15:36:19 BST 2010

It was a shame that the SWF decisions meant that KS had to adapt and  
move away from KS1.  I actually preferred KS1 - in fact, I loved it  
every bit as much as you do, Dan.  The best and mot inclusive  
orthography ever designed for Cornish, in my opinion.  I predicted it  
would turn out to be only a whisker away from Jenner - and it WAS!  It  
was brilliant.  And, yes - it wasn't far away from Tavas a Ragadazow,  


On 16 Efn 2010, at 15:26, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> Dear all,
>    I share the sentiments, especially with Jan and Mina. It was  
> always my impression that RLC is so much easier to learn. Just to  
> grasp the basics and achieve relative functionality soon. The set of  
> auxiliary verbs, phrases and idioms allows you to say a great deal  
> in very little time, whereas it takes for ages to achieve the same  
> kind of functionality in the literary RMC register, with all its  
> complicated verbal inflections, that were even rarer in MC proper  
> than portrayed in most UC and KK textbooks. Albert Bock, who teaches  
> Breton at the university of Vienna also says that Breton confronts  
> the students with many formal rules before they can achieve relative  
> functionality and Breton verbal inflections are much more regular  
> than the RMC paradigms with their multiple vowel alternations.
>    RMC is so difficult, that the learner has to resort to a  
> pidginised “my-a-wra”-Kernowek to be able to say the most basic  
> things, where RLC offers an elegant idiom, which is equally easy.  
> The present tense with bos + ow + verbal noun is also chronically  
> underused, preferring the present-future as a translation for the  
> English simple present which just doesn’t always gel.
>    I wrote to Ray Edwards years ago to ask him if he would support  
> my re-writing his otherwise very well structured KDL course to  
> accommodate UCR and RLC users, but he declined.
>    What Chris and Craig point at is absolutely correct. The big  
> downer for people wanting to use RLC was the inconsistency of the  
> spelling and the many changes of the spelling system. I, too, liked  
> the spelling in Tavas a Ragadazow very much, which was actually very  
> close to what the UdnFormScrefys-group came up with when they  
> presented KS1 – after recent re-viewing – a fine orthography, one  
> that I would have enjoyed writing. This orthography was designed to  
> deal with a colloquial and literary register and I still believe it  
> did an excellent job, fantastically presented in the specification  
> Michael wrote with Neil at his side.
> Dan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Craig Weatherhill
> Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 3:41 PM
> “When UCR first appeared, I saw it as the first realistic bridge  
> between RMC and RLC.  I had persevered with RLC but the problem was  
> that Dick would not make his mind up about a settled orthography.  
> He'd say: "Right, this is it", then 6 months later change his mind,  
> and he's still doing it.  It was doing my head in, and learners just  
> couldn't hack it.  Just look at the bewildering difference between  
> Tavas a Ragadazow (which I thought was a lovely orthography) and  
> "Practical Modern Cornish" (to my mind, a terrible orthography) -  
> only 3 years between them.
> I really do think that, if RLC had settled an orthography in the  
> early 90s, it would be way ahead of where it is now.
> Craig”
> ==============
> Chris Parkinson wrote:
> “Maybe because of the past spelling problems with RLC, Mina. I think  
> the structure  and idiom of RLC/spoken Cornish should be fairly  
> close to what Lhuyd and his contemporaries used and described. But  
> the spelling needs to be what everyone can use now so learners can  
> move on easily to read earlier Cornish texts and the whole body of  
> 20th century literature.
> Chris”
> On 16 Efn 2010, at 13:06, Kernuack at aol.com wrote:
> > Jan is totally right. I made this same point when I sent in my
> > submission to the Commission way back. RLC supporters would have
> > worked well with UCR - we always maintained this. the stumbling
> > block was always KK. My pupils have always attained a good degree of
> > spoken fluency after relatively few lessons. Why would nobody
> > listen? Mina
> > From: janicelobb at tiscali.co.uk <janicelobb at tiscali.co.uk>
> > To: spellyans at kernowek.net
> > This is what we in the Cussel have been saying until we are blue in
> > the face. RLC should be taught first as the colloquial/
> > conversational form of Cornish, with simplified grammar and spelling
> > (authentic, naturally), progressing to the more literary forms of  
> UC/
> > UCR when the children (and adults) have become proficient in that.
> > I'm sure there would be far fewer drop-outs.
> > Jan
> > ----Original Message----
> > From: brynbow at btinternet.com
> > Date: 16/06/2010 9:09
> > Thanks for the comments, Ewan. Literary Welsh indeed makes more use
> > of inflected verbs, but not, I think, to be particularly Latinate.
> > All the Celtic languages were quite highly inflected, just as was
> > Latin.  And they have become simplified in speech. (How did they get
> > so highly inflected in the first place?!)  Your description of the
> > difficulties of learning the UC of Nance makes the point. Nance's UC
> > produced few really fluent speakers. That is why Dick Gendall turned
> > to Late Cornish which Jenner also considered a legitimate part of
> > the heritage. As I said before, KK only tried to improve UC's
> > orthography to make it easier to get the pronunciation right. In
> > this he was unsuccessful because few follow all of his guidelines.
> > What really concerns me is the problem of what register should be
> > used in primary schools because it seems that this hasn't been
> > discussed. Maybe the Partnership's two new education officers are
> > thinking about it. Literary Welsh is not used in Welsh primary
> > schools. It was realised in the 50's and 60's that this didn't work
> > and steps were successfully taken to improve the situation.
> > Successful learners, and of course L1 speakers gradually come to
> > more literary versions of the language as they read more widely. So,
> > to come back to 'Spellyans',  if  an officially acceptable
> > orthography is not worked out for all aspects of RLC then as Craig
> > suggested, the SWF favoured by mainly KK followers, and the formal
> > language that goes with it, will take precedence in 2013. How many
> > fluent Cornish infants will come out of that? Or am I overstating
> > the case and being too negative? What do other people on this list
> > think? Michael, what do you think?
> > Chris
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Craig Weatherhill

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