[Spellyans] SWF review results.

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Mon Apr 7 14:28:02 BST 2014

On 7 Apr 2014, at 12:27, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:

> I will have to disagree.   Textual Cornish is painfully limited.  Every scrap of Cornish written while the language remained a community tongue has to be considered and evaluated, and includes place-name records.  They simply can't be tossed aside as worthless, and ignored.

Dammit, Craig! 
I did not say that they should be tossed aside. 
I did not say the were worthless. 
I did not say that they should be ignored. 

I said that texts written by English speakers who knew no Cornish and were using their own conventions was not a part of the scribal tradition **which is the foundation of our orthography**. So yes, I object when you say “‹oe› is just fine”. That graph tells us something about how Cornish was written down. This is not the same as saying “‹oe› is part of the scribal tradition upon which our spelling is based. 

> The Middle Cornish period, before visiting cartographers and travelling recorders like John Leland (1515), has place-name records which were, in all likelihood, written by Cornish scribes.  In my opinion, that makes them valuable textual evidence.

I have never said that they were not valuable textual evidence. 

> We cannot afford to pick, choose and discard at will.

I said that the orthography they used was not a part of the scribal tradition that informs our orthography. 

> We have no guarantee that all the scribes at Glasney were Cornish - there were many English churchmen here during that period.  We just assume that they were. 

Whether they were Cornish or English is not the same thing as whether they knew Cornish. And it is not the same thing as saying that the spellings of Englishmen who knew no Cornish are part of the scribal tradition. 

> For me, the motto of the Old Cornwall Societies must apply:  "Cuntellewgh an brewyon eus gesys na vo kellys travyth".  "Gather the fragments so that nothing be lost".  ALL the fragments.

And I have never disputed this. I was talking about how one chooses graphs for a robust orthography. The graph ‹oe› is not a part of the scribal tradition. It may be a part of Cornish history, but that is not the same thing. 

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

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