[Spellyans] dictionnaire de l'Académie française

Truru Truru ebost.truru at googlemail.com
Sun Jan 30 18:42:44 GMT 2011

May I wade in?

I can't speak for all Cornish speakers, I can only speak for my own
experiences. The fact that this discussion is even being had would suggest
that there is no consensus on the issue of diacritics.

Whenever I see 'bys' used in a context where it clearly means 'until', I say
[bɪz], and whenever I see 'bys' used in a context where it clearly means
'world', I say [biːz]. I can't give examples of other bys/bes type words
because I haven't looked into it very much. But I'm sure there would be
other times where (for me) context would suffice.

The point has been made that some KK users pronounce bys and pryv
incorrectly. I do not believe this is a problem directly caused by the
orthography (although it is true it does not help) but by poor teaching. A
learner only has to be told once that until is [bɪz] and world is [biːz]. It
is not true that this can only work with oral teaching, I have not been to a
single class and have learnt Cornish solely through books and yet I know the
difference *because the books I've read taught it*.

Also, the point's been made that in languages like French and Spanish
spelling words without the diacritics would be spelling them wrong. This is
indeed correct, but I don't believe this argument is relevant to Cornish.
Cornish doesn't have one orthography, like those languages, it has many, and
so I think it would be impossible to claim that spelling a word without
diacritics is wrong when there are so many other orthographies that don't
use diacritics. It could be the case that in 100 years time, the idea of
spelling Cornish without diacritics is as strange as spelling French without
them. However we are not at that point now. Today there are generations of
Cornish speakers who are used to spelling without diacritics and it might be
rather idealistic to expect them all to suddenly start using them after a
directive from above says they should.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, all this discussion is (if you forgive the
bluntness) kind of pointless anyway. The SWF in 2013 will be a political
compromise, there's no denying it. We can ignore that fact for as long we
like but it will be a fact nonetheless. We need to be focusing on how to
make the SWF better in a way that could be acceptable to a majority of
Cornish users. If it's obvious that KS's current range of diacritics will
not find favour with that majority then we should not be stubbornly
continuing the matter. I've got the impression (correct me if I'm wrong)
that a very limited use of diacritics, for things like anomalous vowel
length, might find a majority favour. As for y/e, I don't like the umlaut
and don't think it fits in well with the overall 'look' of Cornish. I also
don't see it gaining widespread favour. I have always preferred <ei> anyway
and would like to see this at least mentioned in 2013 to see if opinion has
shifted. If not, then I don't see the y/e distinction going away and we
shouldn't spend time trying to fix things that can't be fixed in a manner
acceptable to a majority.

This discussion is part of a larger choice that needs to be made. Either you
can focus on proposing fixes to the SWF, which means finding solutions that
will be acceptable to a majority of users, or you can ditch the SWF, tread
your own path, and go back to KS1. If the SWF is ditched, would this send us
all back to the pre-SWF days? Would traditional forms end up being cut off
from the arena that matters most - schools? Would KS end up being sidelined?
Or would there be a surge of support for KS1, meaning that it might stand a
chance at becoming a future SWF? Who knows. The options need to be weighed
up. The current KS it seems, in my opinion, is too far from the SWF to be
accepted by a majority, but not close enough to your ideal of a KS1-type
orthography. What shouldn't happen, not at all, is that the traditionalist
lobby becomes fractured.


2011/1/30 Eddie Climo <eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk>

>   On 2011 Gen 30, at 17:14, nicholas williams wrote:
>  Whatever orthography one uses one's first concern should perhaps be that
> the Cornish is accurate.
> Certainly we always ensure as far as possible that our published Cornish is
> correct.
> Eddie himself is not without fault here. Let me cite some examples at
> random from *Whedhlow Dama Goodh* FSS/T-C:
> Oh, dear, are we now to descend to playground jibes? Am I to emulate your
> behaviour and scour your published works to hunt for errors to fling in your
> face, Nicholas? Am I to unearth and repeat some of the incorrect assertions
> you made to me in private as you proofread my 'Kensa Lyver Redya'?
> No, I think not; such conduct is not attractive.
> It is gratifying that we have an emerging consensus on this thread about
> the role diacritics should have in KS, one that diverges from your views.
> Nicholas and Michael are, of course, quite free to publish works in
> whatever orthography they choose, and to encumber them with as many
> diacritics as they please. In the same way, they're at liberty to lard their
> Cornish with as many macaronic Tregearisms as they fancy, no matter how
> 'Kernglish' the result might look.
> However, they are NOT free to do the same with the formal specification of
> KS that will be submitted to the CLP in due course. That must reflect the
> consensus of this group, at least it must do so if it is to have my name and
> my support behind it.
>  Let us hope that the final KS specification is indeed written in the
> light of this apparent consensus, and is not 'too much encumbered with *
> [mandatory] *diaritical signs'.
> Eddie Climo
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