[Spellyans] UC/UCR

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Fri Nov 16 00:54:09 GMT 2012

On 14 Nov 2012, at 14:12, Hedley Climo <Eddie_Climo at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

>> UC writes ‹map›
> WRONG! Please get your facts right and stop misquoting what UC allegedly writes. What UC actually offers is 'map/mab' (Nance 1938, 1952, 1955). The choice is left to individuals as to whether to write or pronounce 'map' or 'mab. This is in fact a fundamental option in UC, along with quite a lot of optional Late Cornish forms.

The dictionaries contain these variants. The teaching materials and the bulk of materials published in the first 60 years of UC didn't. 

> Nance's 1938 Pronunciation guide says this:
>> b as final commonly hardens to p, as in heb to hep, mab to map, ryb to ryp, but may remain b before following initial vowels, though M. Cor. MSS make no such discrimination. Final b is actually commoner in all but Ordinalia spelling.

I don't believe Nance is right here. Final -p in the Ordinalia was probably voiced. There's no evidence that -b "hardens to -p"; there's evidence only that -p is sometimes written. When Nance says -p "may remain b" before following initial vowels" he is likening Cornish to Breton, where voicing in sandhi over word-boundaries is common. But as the MC MSS do not show this distinction there is little reason to believe that this occurred in Cornish. 

Keith Bailey believes that Cornish and Breton both handled voicing in sandhi the same way. 

>> which people say as [mæp], though the recommended pronunciation is now [mæːb]. It writes ‹scul› which is [skyːl]~[skiːl], though the word is [skøːl]~[skeːl] (UCR ‹scuel›, KS/SWF ‹skeul›). I can't think of those things as anything but unfortunate choices, whether by error or by design.
> As the quote above proves,

I don't know that it "proves" anything. The bulk of teaching materials used -p. 

> the choice to disregard <heb, mab, ryb...>  has been that of individual teachers or speakers,

In fairness, most people don't make such "choices"; they teach or learn what they are taught. 

> rather than part of the design of UC. UC correctly points out that the M.Corn. MSS attest both forms, and allows Kernewegoryon to choose which they prefer to use.

Variation in spelling those segments isn't, actually, helpful in the modern age where we are looking for a normalized orthography.

>> Fathers and mothers want their children to learn from them and to do better. Isn't it right for us to believe that what Jenner and Nance and Smyth would have wanted for us to do is to make Cornish orthography better?
> This fallacy is sometimes dubbed the 'Argument of Absent Authority'; Jenner, Nance, Smith [sic] et al are no longer here to dispute any crackpot notions that are put forward in their names...nor yet to endorse any valid ones either.

They aren't here. My belief is my belief nevertheless. Do we know enough about these people to be able to imagine what they might have thought about a given proposition? Sure: there are no limits 

> They might well have wanted Cornish Orthography to be improved, but that is far from saying they'd have endorsed KS (as you've asserted on this forum in the past, Michael).

I believe that they would have approved of the aim of KS, which was to take the SWF (which everybody is supposed to admire as being "consensual" and "compromise") and fix what was wrong with it in a coherent fashion worthy of the language. 

> KS = SWF2? Vanishingly unlikely.

One does not suppose otherwise. One does wonder whether it will be taken into account or whether heads will be buried in the sand. 

> KS = UC3? Piffle!

I disagree. We work within this tradition, vis à vis our brief. 

> KS = Jenner Mark II? Ditto!

I don't know where you get these terms from. Interestingly there are many points of convergence between Jenner and KS. KS was not designed based on Jenner, however. Similarities between the two are probably due to CW as much as anything else. 

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

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