[Spellyans] dictionnaire de l'Académie française

Jed Matthews ebost.truru at googlemail.com
Sun Jan 30 21:38:30 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.

Jed Matthews a.k.a. Truru/Carrek

2011/1/30 Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org>

> I doubt MAGA's intentions, to be honest.  They've totally sidelined trad.
> graphs thus far and I think they're guiding the SWF towards the return of KK
> in 2013.  I'd like to be proven wrong on that and, just maybe, Tuesday's
> meeting between Agan Tavas and MAGA might put things back on track.  I don't
> hold out hopes, though.  MAGA's accusation, that AT was not constructively
> contributing to the SWF was a disgrace.  We've published much SWF material
> as the rest of 'em put together!  If it goes badly, and we have to walk out,
> then I will be walking further.  Right away from the language altogether.
>  I've become sick and tired of battlefields.
> Craig
> On 30 Gen 2011, at 20:23, Eddie Climo wrote:
>   Truru whek,
>> What you say makes a lot of sense to me.
>> Like it or lump it, for all its many flaws the SWF is here, and probably
>> here to stay.
>> The worst outcome of 2013 that I can see would be the Trad forms of the
>> SWF being discarded or further sidelined, and the non-Trad KKised form
>> taking over.
>> The outcome might become more likely to happen if:
>> — the version of KS on offer is not acceptable to enough of the
>> Cornish-speaking community.
>>        That's why this thread is happening, in the hope of resolving this
>> problem.
>> — no-one is teaching SWF-T
>>        There are some teachers in Cornwall using it.
>> — nobody is publishing in SWF-T
>>        Agan Tavas and Evertype have done so. GanO are part-way through
>> publishing a series of readers in SWF-T, as well as some other titles.
>> Eddie Foirbeis Climo
>> Gwask an Orlewen
>> - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -
>> Dres ethom akennow byner re bo lyeshes
>> Accenti non multiplicandi praeter necessitatem
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> --
> Craig Weatherhill
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