[Spellyans] dictionnaire de l'Académie française

Christian Semmens christian.semmens at gmail.com
Sun Jan 30 20:16:57 GMT 2011

2011/1/30 nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>

> Rather than give one's opinion about how Cornish should or should not be
> written, interested parties should first, I believe, learn to speak Cornish
> and indeed to speak it well. The spelling can come later.
This is without doubt one of the most important aspects of the revival that
all the main orthographies have so far (until the arrival of KS) failed to
address effectively. What has happened in some areas is that that the
errors/fantasies of phonology promulgated by some orthographies, or simply
mispronunciations made possible by the ambiguity of others has led us to the
place where some now actually claim that these deviations from Cornish
pronunciation are now actually a part of Cornish, acceptable because Cornish
is now a living language.

I do not accept that and actually consider it to be a conceit of those
"fluent and effective" speakers who we see elsewhere. A sort of "If I say it
like that then it is right".

As to the diaresis, I would personally prefer to see a short y marked with a
grave accent or a long y marked with a circumflex (ŷ) although I have just
encountered the font problem Michael has already identified with the short
y, hence me not reproducing it.

For my part, I think that diacritics should be mandatory in print. The
advantage to having them there, aiding pronunciation, is invaluable. OK, you
can't force people to write them in their own jottings. Many many people
exhibit bad spelling and poor grammar, but that doesn't make their writings
correct. The layout of English keyboards also makes diacritic use very
difficult, forcing you to memorise arcane keystrokes. This is fixable by
creating a proper Cornish keyboard map. Just another job to do, and not a
particularly arduous one at that.

I also do not advocate the sidelining of RLC spelling, I simply do not
believe that it *requires* marking out. I think it should simply be written
and we accept that there are alternative pronunciations and hence word forms
for the same word. That is certainly where we are currently with bÿs/bës.
The written word would be phonetically correct and the context of the
sentence would help to give the correct meaning.

 At this point my relative inexperience may be starting to show, but would
it not be possible to remove the diaresis and replace it with a circumflex?
The length of the vowel being identified correctly and the function of the
diacritic maintained?

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