[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Thu Jul 24 17:40:25 BST 2014

My feeling is that we have two facets of this question:

1) Academic study of Cornish is essential, and has its rightful place within the sphere of academia.  It informs and instructs and that will always be needed.

2) We are fine-tuning a language which was resuscitated 100 years ago, and is in increasingly extensive use, especially since it gained protected status in 2002.  "Speak Cornish Week", currently hosted by MAGA, has been living proof of that this week, with video offerings on Facebook from 3-year olds to old duffers like me.   This is a language for the present and future.  It may be replete with mistakes and misconceptions but, there again, so are modern spoken and written English.  The case of English is probably greatly more dire than the Cornish situation, with grammar, spelling and even meaning being all over the place.  Many of these words being listed as "incorrect" are long-established in the revival and that is unlikely to change now.  Those words have become accepted, and we must accept that they are in common use, and are likely to remain in place.


On 2014 Gor 24, at 16:28, Ray Chubb wrote:

> Jon you ignore those who were brought up speaking Cornish as a first language.
> They have not learnt Cornish as an academic exercise, the just speak Cornish. I was talking to a Welsh speaker in Wales a couple of years ago and said that Welsh seems to have simplified the grammar compared to Cornish. His reply was, 'I wouldn't know anything about that I just speak it'.
> We are in the same position with Cornish. If I started using 'cosyn' all the time instead of 'kenytherow' I would get some odd looks from my sons. In fact on some occasions when they were younger, if I tried to introduce the odd 'improvement', the response would be something like;  'Pyth? ... Aa! Nicholas Williams'. So don't try to say that a first language speaker would hardly notice a change.
> Therefore if you try to change things too quickly you will leave behind the first language speakers. Some may say that there are so few, does it matter?
> People who say this need to listen to first language speakers; their Cornish is spoken in an entirely different way to nearly all second language speakers so, yes, it does matter.
> On 24 Gor 2014, at 13:44, Jon Mills wrote:
>> Certain expressions and usages may have erroneously become adopted by today's Cornish speakers. However I do not believe that we cannot correct this. Since every Cornish speaker today learns Cornish as a second language, one only has to correct the pedagogical materials to rectify the situation.
>> Jon
> Ray Chubb
> Portreth
> Kernow
> Agan Tavas web site:  www.agantavas.com
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