[Spellyans] UC/UCR

Christian Semmens christian.semmens at gmail.com
Fri Nov 16 13:18:36 GMT 2012

With sufficient will and good choices a new Cornish will arise, what that
Cornish will look and sound like probably depends upon what happens with
the SWF. The discussions as to how best to teach Cornish will be the same
regardless of orthography and phonology. Most learners will accept what
they are told by their teachers at least for the majority of their early

We are here now to determine the look and the sounds used.

Most here are supporters of a traditional orthography. And it this that is
now seriously threatened.

I think the largest threat we have to face in the short term is that the
outcome of the next part of the SWF process, which is likely to be as Eddie
has projected, and that is, virtually nothing.

A scenario:

The SWF process will not change anything substantive and the trad form will
remain depreciated, the excuse being that to do otherwise would "cause
confusion for learners".

Etymological spellings will stay, the excuse being that they have already
have 5 years of accepted use in the SWF (by who?) and at least half the
revival are used to them through KK. A dictionary has been produced with
them, and that would mean wholesale review of that work.

That means spelling in the SWF going forward will default to the KK
versions as dictated by Trond. The same for i/y distribution although we
may get the odd concession, I cannot see it being changed to the KS
version, if only because it is the KS version.

We might get a concession to use diacritics if we want to. I suspect this
will be allowed because they think diacritics are massively unpopular and
will be yet another nail in the trad graph coffin.

The KK block scent victory, seeing the traditional groups as weak,
fractious, unreliable allies, overly concerned with prior forms, irrelevant
to the SWF process, unwilling or unable to move forward together. Their
phonology was lost, but then they had completely failed to implement it
anyway and a phonology is invisible on the page. Their novel graphs survive.

After the conclusion of the next stage the SWF will also attain the
'official' tag it needs for other learners unconcerned with revival
history, aesthetics or linguistics, to adopt it, being presented as a
result of consensus, when in actual fact it will be the result of the
suppression of the traditional graphs through continued overt

The result?

Few will use SWF-T in any meaningful way as it is poor compared with other
existing alternatives.

UC people will go home and continue to use UC 'til they die off, although
there may be a brief rally around UCR, judging by sentiments raised earlier.

Late people, will use whatever they like, probably a mix initially, but
then perhaps moving to K through the weight of other usage driving them
that way.

KS will continue to be published whilst Nicholas and Michael have the
stomach for the fight, but I can't see it being anything other than the
best orthography the bulk of Cornish revivalists never used.

New learners will use KK spellings, sorry I mean SWF, but if it looks like
a duck...

That will lead to eventual deprecation of the SWF-T, I guess in 10-15 years
or less.

Traditional graphs will continue as fringe, hobbyist forms. But the
position of these groups will be much weaker compared to today because of
the SWF "Consensus", the groups being seen as malcontents. The only fixed
(ossified?) traditional form being UC, because it is what it always was and
will never change. Like a Model-T Ford. The Mark 1 Cornish orthography, and
as such accorded a special place in the Traditional Cornish Museum.

And that is how I see the current disunity and squabbling leading to the
death of the traditional forms of Cornish. The only place where you will
see traditional Cornish spelling in 50 years is in academic study, which by
its very nature will require them to use traditional forms, and old books.

"Look at the funny writing, Daddy."
"Yes son, that is the way Cornish used to be written."

Or am I wrong? I hope so.

On 16 November 2012 01:04, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:

> On 14 Nov 2012, at 14:17, Christian Semmens <christian.semmens at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > UCR was an attempt to do that and it didn't get very far, although I
> prefer its aesthetic to any of the other orthographies before or since. A
> purely subjective opinion.
> Take a random paragraph from the UCR New Testament and the KS New
> Testament. To me, they both look like decent Cornish that respects the
> texts. I don't see much of a difference in "aesthetic".
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
> _______________________________________________
> Spellyans mailing list
> Spellyans at kernowek.net
> http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net
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