[Spellyans] diacritics

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Feb 2 14:51:02 GMT 2011

On 2 Feb 2011, at 13:54, Jed Matthews wrote:

> KS may be Cornish, but Cornish is not KS.

I didn't say it was. I did say (s did others) that KS represents the dialects of Revived Cornish better than any other orthography. 

> Cornish has many "correct" ways of spelling, because it has many orthographies. English, French and Spanish all have one orthography. It's either right or wrong.

Sure. And UC has its orthography, and if you follow it, you are writing UC. Same with UCR and the SWF. 

> You can make the case (which I believe you are doing) that spelling KS without diacritics is spelling KS wrong. There is nothing wrong with that argument.


> If KS became the standard orthography for Cornish, it would then (and only then) be fair to say that spelling Cornish without diacritics was wrong. But how likely is it that KS will become the SWF? In 2013? Ever?

I don't know. I know that there are errors and ambiguities and just plain stupidities in the SWF which need to be addressed for it to be considered genuinely suitable from a linguistic point of view. If the problems are not addressed, then the SWF is and will remain just another unsuitable inaccurate orthography. Whether the authorities in Cornwall use it is irrelevant: if it's bad, it's bad. 

In 2013 some of the ideas in KS will certainly have some effect. I have some ideas as to which are more likely and which are less likely to do so. Of course I have no idea whether people like Nicholas and I will be "permitted" to participate meaningully in the review. We are together the editors of the only existing SWF grammar book, however (Ray Chubb's Skeul an Tavas/T and Skeul an Tavas/K). We certainly know what's wrong with the SWF and can articulate it. 

I've never said that "KS will become the SWF". I do say that it's better than the SWF, and demonstrably so. I also say that 2018 is a mere five years away from 2013, and that I do not hold "2013" as "the" date when all will be fixed immutably. 

> This discussion should not be based on the assumption that KS will one day become the SWF.

Well, please don't put words in *my* mouth about it. I have made no such assumptions. The only assumption I make is that the shortcomings of the SWF must and will one day be addressed adequately.

> We need to focus on proposing improvements to the SWF that are likely to find wide favour among Cornish speakers of all persuasions. If it's obvious that a certain proposal will not find such wide favour, no matter how strong the linguistic arguments, we should not be spending time pushing the matter. It can only serve to marginalise KS.

I for my part have not been second-guessing either the general public nor trying to crystal-ball what will happen in a review whose frame of reference has not been established. 

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

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