[Spellyans] SWF Review

Christian Semmens christian.semmens at gmail.com
Sun Oct 6 23:51:15 BST 2013

Hi Janice,

You say "supposed to be used for education, i.e. in schools, and for
official documents" implying that this is a trivial thing. It is absolutely
the reverse. It means it is the form that everyone is intended to use and
be seen to be using. It will not be just be Cornish for officialdom, but
Official Cornish, ie the form that all will be expected to use. An
extremely important distinction. If this thing does not offer full parity
and is accepted by AT and the Cussel, and not rejected utterly, then we
will have consigned traditional Cornish to the scrap heap. After the
present generation have gone, then all that will remain is KK spelling
forms. And that will be in 20 to 40 years.

If the review presents us with no parity for ALL learning and for council
usage then it is useless for us, worse it is the end of traditional
spelling outside of hobby groups. As Craig points our all signs will be KK
style, all documents, all education. Once every learner starts with KK
style what is the point in using trad spelling?

At least at the moment councils have a free choice of spelling system. If
we accept the primacy of KK spelling we will be accepting oblivion. If the
compromise disadvantages us totally then there is absolutely no point in
accepting it, and only an unequivocal rejection of the SWF, the breaking of
the compromise, will save traditional spelling. Without AT and the Cussel
behind it the SWF becomes simply a schism in KK which, at the moment is
precisely what it is. KK (mostly) without the hokey phonology. We have the
weird situation that the SWF process will have killed KK, but then
reanimated its corpse to walk abroad once more, whilst traditional
orthographies are locked away as hobbyist sidelines.

KS provides us somewhere to go unifying RMC and RLC in place of the SWF. Of
course everyone can use what they want after this, but we are looking at
the long game here. Unified/UCR will never be used by two thirds of the
revival. Its usage will dwindle in the medium to long term after the
present generation pop off. Of course we won't see that happen, as we will
be doing the popping off. But if we want to see the future of Cornish
rooted and growing from its past, we have to think long term. The SWF seems
likely to be broken KK and if we allow it to go unchallenged, broken KK is
the future of Cornish orthography.

IMHO with no radical change to the SWF in favour of trad graphs, AT and the
Cussel should reject the SWF and throw their lot behind KS whilst still
allowing themselves to use whatever they wish. That way the unified future
of Traditional Cornish is KS with historical forms in no worse a position
than they currently are in. OK, the war starts again, but this time we have
solid orthography and a good argument. We cannot accept being eclipsed, and
it would be foolish to underestimate the power of "Official" forms of
Cornish in the eyes of first time learners.


On 6 October 2013 14:07, Janice Lobb <janicelobb at gmail.com> wrote:

> Am I missing something? The Main Form of SWF is supposed to be used for
> education, i.e. in schools, and for official documents. Since most of what
> the rest of us produce is not intended for either I don't see that there is
> an insurmountable problem. We are not all aiming at the same market.
> Schools are not going to reach a standard to be able to read the books
> already published for adults. Funding, hopefully, is not intended to
> exclusively fund school materials. Isn't there a greater difference between
> Middle Cornish and Late Cornish than there is between main form and
> traditional spelling? Hopefully learners will aim to reach the stage when
> they can read anything. Not everyone is aiming to pass exams.
> Jan
> On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 5:27 AM, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com>wrote:
>> On 4 Oct 2013, at 07:42, Christian Semmens <christian.semmens at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > I suspect that if the Cussel and Agan Tavas "recognise" the SWF, and by
>> that I mean if they do not explicitly reject using it, then that will
>> effectively be the end of traditional graphs in mainstream Cornish in the
>> long term. Any acceptance of the SWF will automatically require the primacy
>> of KK spelling.
>> Then it will not be fit for purpose.
>> > I do not have faith in academic acceptance or lack thereof being the
>> determining factor of the future form. De facto usage will do that and that
>> is based upon the availability of learning materials and teachers.
>> Look at what has been published over the past five years. The SWF has no
>> footprint.
>> > The depreciation of the traditional forms will ensure that trad graphs
>> are not part of that funded effort. The deck will be stacked against us.
>> >
>> > To be honest, I think that is worse than the old war, at least then the
>> playing field was level.
>> You really think that government funding is what will save Cornish?
>> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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