[Spellyans] Collated SWF Review Issues 2.) & 3.)

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Sun Apr 21 12:56:03 BST 2013

Your comment in 3) reminded me of what Peter Pool wrote in "The Second Death of Cornish":

"(KK) has an alien and somewhat sinister appearance, as if the language had somehow been taken over by robots and reduced to the status of a code."

"Kammbronn, a form resembling nothing found in history, and of alien and un-Cornish appearance.  What the supporters of KK have thus done to one Cornish place-name, they seek to do to the whole language".


On 2013 Ebr 21, at 12:39, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> I have elaborated a little on issues 2.) and 3.)...
> 2.) ‹i› graph used inappropriately in prefixes and suffixes; 
> This point requires examples and explanation where and why the ‹i› graph is ‘used inappropriately’ and what inappropriate use of ‹i› constitutes. In such this point is closely related to the question of the rules of distribution of the ‹y› v. ‹i› graphs. Please elaborate!
> I’ll have to guess at what is meant by this criticism and single out a few instances where this may apply:
> Prefixed in: affecting mainly the prefixes ‹de-› and ‹di-› which in traditional Cornish appear to have merged, or at least not consistently distinguished in writing. 
> Suffixed in: the paradigm of ‹orth› (‹orthiv, orthis›, cf. UC ‹orthyf, orthys›, RLC ‹ortham, orthez›); 
> Maybe even cases where the root contains either ‹y› or ‹i› in KK and SWF as in: ‹melyn› ‘yellow’ and ‹melin› ‘mill’.
> One should first define what ‘inappropriate use’ really means and where it applies and how this relates within the overall spelling system to the distribution of the vowel graphs ‹i› ~ ‹y› ~ ‹e›. 
> In post-tonic closed syllables both KK and SWF rules clearly state that ‹i› and ‹y› are pronounced exactly the same. Yet in voice-overs of teaching materials, people obviously less than familiar with the KK and SWF rules pronounce words like ‹orthiv› and ‹orthis› as **[ˈɔɹθiːv] and **[ˈɔɹθiːs], even with word final stress **[ɔɹˈθiːv] and **[ɔɹˈθiːs], instead of the recommended [ˈɔrθɪv] and [ˈɔrθɪz] with the unstressed vowel having the quality of ‹i› in English ‹bit›. 
> I would think that this would consist inappropriate use of the i-graph, if such mispronunciation ensues. 
> The same goes for words like ‹melyn› and ‹melin› which, according to KK-rules are to be pronounced exactly the same, and not as some speaker try to distinguish [ˈmɛlɪn] from **[ˈmɛliːn]. 
> But this problem ought to be looked at in the wider context of the distribution of the graphs ‹i› ~ ‹y› ~ ‹e› throughout the spelling system. 
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> 3.) aesthetics; 
> Again, it is not clear by listing this one word what is meant by ‘aesthetics’ and which kind of aesthetic considerations come into play in the question of reviewing the SWF and standardising written Cornish. Please elaborate! 
> The word “aesthetics” has often been used in the context of the pro & con discussion relating to traditional graphs v. KK-graphs (i.e. TG ‹c› before ‹a o u› and consonants, ‹k› before ‹e y i›, ‹qw› or ‹qu› before /w/ and ‹wh› for [ʍ], as well as word-final ‹y›; v. KK graphs ‹k› before ‹a o u› and consonants, ‹k› before ‹e y i›, ‹kw› before /w/ and ‹hw› for [ʍ], as well as word-final ‹i›;
> To many Cornish speakers the KK-graphs 'feel' constructed and very technical, 'as if a robot had taken over the language'...
> The so-called traditional graphs tie in nicely with traditional Cornish literature since the Middle Ages, Cornish literature of the 20th century and beyond as well as place names. They form an emotional bond. They look real and can be defended as real Cornish whereas the KK-graphs look constructed and have little and sometimes no precedence in traditional Cornish. Some Cornish people are attempting and have, for a few hundred speakers, succeeded in reviving the traditional language of Cornwall. Why should it not be spelt in the traditional manner? Surely a simple matter of how to spell (un)mutated /k/ can’t be such a huge issue, to give up the ties to the traditional written language of Cornwall.
> Dan
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