[Spellyans] "Late Cornish"
s.hewitt at unesco.org
Thu Nov 14 19:13:05 GMT 2013
All I have to say to this, as a linguist, is that in no language that I know of with significant morphophonological and/or dialectal evolution is an orthography which is supposed to cater to various versions based on a later rather than an earlier version. This is the principal fault of KS. Much better to have, say, Tudor Cornish, as a main form, and give separate oral production rules for /œ > e/ and / y > i/ and pre-occlusion, without indicating them systematically in the orthography. This is precisely what Faroese has done extremely successfully.
From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Chris Parkinson
Sent: 14 November 2013 18:36
To: 'Standard Cornish discussion list'
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] "Late Cornish"
If revivalists paid even more attention to what is in the texts, they might realise that the distinction made between Middle and Late Cornish is not largely invented. It is the difference between spoken and written Cornish. There are indeed very few features in the seventeenth and eighteenth century texts that are not already present in earlier centuries. That is because people were of course speaking as well as writing Cornish throughout. The difference in orthography came about not only because of the loss of Glasney. It came about because after the loss of the living scribal tradition, when the first revivalists were trying to record the language they heard, they basically used the English spelling system. And a proportion of what they heard still being spoken had the normal characteristics of spoken language. Nicholas lists many examples to show that Middle and Late Cornish are not different languages. Of course they aren’t different languages. They are varieties of the same language. And some of the examples he gives of ‘Late’ Cornish in the text have just those spoken characteristics I have listed elsewhere on this list. E.g. Davon> danon, forth>for, godh>gor (loss of fricatives) and the omission of the particle ‘ow’. Nicholas believes there was no need to spell Middle and Late varieties of Cornish two separate ways. The proponents of RLC fully understand the significance of the spoken language and have no wish to divide the revival. We want to teach people to speak Cornish fluently and to this end need to have an orthography that has the flexibility to enable us to do this. SWF(L) is attempting to give us this. Unfortunately the proponents of KS see no need to do this, and they show no sign of trying to understand and respect what we are trying to do. I consider this to be great pity.
From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Nicholas Williams
Sent: 14 November 2013 12:24
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] "Late Cornish"
If revivalists paid more attention to what is in the texts, they might realise that the distinction made between Middle and Late Cornish is largely invented.
There are very few features in the seventeenth and eighteenth century texts, that are not already present in the sixteenth and earlier centuries.
The difference in orthography came about because of the loss of Glasney, not because the language had changed.
The proponents of RLC do not seem to have fully understand this and, in my view, unnecessarily divided the revival.
SA is a Middle Cornish text but it shows features often associated with the 18th century:
The scribe writes, for example:
ha e weth dir faith da ny 'and also through our good faith' i.e. without agan, agen
rag ne geran cregy nanyle regardia gerryow Dew 'for we do not either believe or regard the words of God' where ne geran ny cregy shows nag for nyns, eran for eson and cregy for ow cregy.
blonogath da a thew, disquethis theny, vgy setha in gwlas neff, vgy intyr dowla tvs an beis in tirmyn an sacrifice, the Canevar den gwyrrian a vo desyrius e gowis: Christ ew devethis, not dir subtelnath, bus openly the kenever a whelha ha vo o sevall rebta 'the good will of God shown to us, who sits in the kingdom of heaven, who is in the hands of the men of the world at the time of sacrifice; for every righteous man who may wish to receive him Christ has come not by subtlety, but openly to everybody who sees and is standing by him'. Note vgy setha for vgy ow setha, dowla for dewla, canevar den not pub den, pubonen, kenever for pubonen and bus for 'but'.
SA exhibits loss of i-affection in the pres-fut. me a laver the gee 'I tell you' SA 62
SA also exhibits pecar for kepar;
gosowes for goslowes: Gosoweth pan drvge S. Ambros ow leverall SA 62a
and gwiel for gul.
Pre-occlusion is first attested in BM and Borde (both 16th century).
levar for lyver 'book' is first attested in PA (fifteenth century) and teller 'place' also in PA, where it is the normal form.
genama 'with me' occurs in PA
danon for danvon occurs in PA: Thy gour hy a zanonas 'She sent to her husband' PA 123a (usually 'emended' to danvonas).
dowthek 'twelve' with ow for ew is first attested in PA and clowes 'to hear' in BM.
for for forth 'way' is attested in the Ordinalia
forms like gansans 'with them' and thethans, thothans first occur in TH (ca 1555)
the suffixed object pronoun is first recorded in PA: arluth prag y hysta vy 'Lord, why hast thou forsaken me?'
yrth 'snow' is found in TH
the present stem gor- 'to know' (e.g. gorama 'I know') is first attested in TH: ny woryn pyscotter 'we don't know how soon'.
There is no need to continue.
It is clear from the texts, that Middle Cornish and Late Cornish are not different languages. There was, I believe, no reason to spell them in two separate ways.
On 14 Nov 2013, at 10:26, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
I'm happy to say that, from the point of view of historicity, much more sense is being applied to that subject than would have the case 5 or 6 years ago, and my presence on the Panel, armed with my own researches, is proving to be worthwhile.
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