[Spellyans] SWF review results.

Jon Mills j.mills at email.com
Wed Mar 26 13:41:40 GMT 2014

That this issue and presumably other issues were "not understood by a majority of the Review Board" is of particular concern. It is surely a reasonable expectation that those appointed to the Review Board were done so on the understanding that they have sufficient expertise for the task in hand.
Ol an gwella,
----- Original Message -----
From: Daniel Prohaska
Sent: 03/26/14 01:07 PM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] SWF review results.

I find that the inability to reach a solution for distinguishing short /ɔ/ (e.g. ‹bronn ~ brodn› 'breast, hill'; ‹toll› 'hole') from short /ʊ/ (e.g. ‹bronn ~ brodn› 'rushes'; ‹toll› 'deceit, fraud') to be the biggest phonological shortcoming of the SWF. I've said this since day one of the SWF and had hoped that this problem would be tackled in the Review. It hasn't. This goes against one of the fundamental principles of the SWF, to ensure that there should be a minimum amount of change for the maximum section of the Cornish users. Since all Cornish spelling systems have a way of distinguishing the two (Jenner ‹o› : ‹u›; UC/R ‹o› : ‹u›; KK ‹o› : ‹oe›; KS ‹o› : ‹ù›) this is an important change for ALL Cornish users. according to reports the issue at had was not understood by a majority of the Review Board, and thus this unfortunate ambiguity remains unchanged in the SWF. Very unfortunate indeed.


On Mar 26, 2014, at 1:01 PM, Clive Baker wrote:
Well said Christian...I ,as the recently elected chairman of Agan Tavas, agree with you entirely...
Clive Baker

On Mar 26, 2014 10:42 AM, "Christian Semmens" < christian.semmens at gmail.com > wrote:
I not sure a hands off policy will work. Really I think Jon has hit the nail on the head. It is time to rock the boat. A simple rejection of the SWF in its proposed form, by Agan Tavas, would suffice to put the cat amongst the pigeons. You wouldn't have to say never, just to say that the SWF is an unacceptable orthography because of x, y and z. The SWF only has relevance if it is a consensus orthography. Unfortunately without parity for traditional graphs and the move towards consolidation of the KK aspects, it fails to be of any utility for those of us who would wish to use a traditional orthography.

If it is allowed to continue without immediate and explicit challenge than the only outcome in the medium term (the next twenty years) is Jon's option 1. Traditional orthographies will be a splintered hobbyist way of spelling Cornish and the mainstream will use the KK form. We will have failed utterly. Waiting for people to see the light will not work. What is academically acceptable is irrelevant in this scenario. It is the 'boots on the ground' that count

If, as I suspect, very few others here *want* to use it in its current form, then that needs to be flagged up. I simply won't use it and I know there are at lest a few more people here that feel that way too. We need a larger group to represent our position and to fight for a traditional orthography. Otherwise we are easily dismissed individually as malcontents. Perhaps you could poll your members and see what their feelings are? That would be interesting.

It may be that they are in favour of capitulation, in which case I won't stress over it any more and will visit the grave of traditional Cornish every time I come home whilst trying not to look at the hideous caricature of Cornish daubed on the road signs.


On 25 March 2014 14:37, Ray Chubb < ray at spyrys.org > wrote:The official Agan Tavas position as adopted at the AGM is that, apart from changes that Late Cornish users find desirable and the issue of diacritical marks, the SWF should be left as it is.

This decision is on the basis that the changes proposed are very few and tend to make the SWF less authentic than it already is.

It was suggested at our committee meeting today that another 5 years should elapse before changes are made. Hopefully in 5 years time people will be able to look at it in a rational and scholarly way and leave behind any baggage that they are carrying from the past.

On 24 Mer 2014, at 21:53, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
I managed to get these today. Many items are "no change", so I've singled out those in which a change was decided upon. The below is given in SWF/M for convenience, but the status of Traditional graphs remain unaltered.

1. Introduce <ll> and <rr> in roots. Do not revert to single letter in unstressed non-final syllables where that changes the root.
2. Introduce <ll> for <dell>, <-ell> for the suffix which implies 'tool' or 'device', e.g., dewynnell, draylell, gwariell, hornell, karrigell, musurell, pibell, rostell, skitell, skubell, skwychell, tempredhell, torgentrell, yeynell.

SHORT <o> and <u>
1. Change to <o> in <arlodh>, in line with <toll>, <tomm>, <boka>, <bronn>, <koska>

<GH> and <H>
1. <gh> everywhere except word-initially.

1. Join particle with verb as in <thera>, without a gap.

1. Retain <o> (present participle), but drop the apostrophe.

1. To be respelt <nowydh> (M), or <nowedh>.

1. Remove hyphens from numbers, particles and some other words, e.g. <ebost>.
2. Add hyphens in loose compounds of the form 'noun + verbal noun', e.g. <jynn-skrifa>, <skath-wolya>, etc.
3. <poslev/poslevow> to replace <poos-lev/poos-levow>.
4. <erbynn> to replace <er-bynn>.
(but personal use to remain optional).

1. To be written as <pp>, <tt> if they contain a short vowel.
2. Accept both permissible plural endings, e.g. <hattys/hattow>

1. Accept <dhyworth> and <dyworth> as alternatives, and <dhort> and <dort> in RLC variants.

1. Remove RLC variants <toal>, <kloav>, <gwoav>, <gwloan>, spelling them only with -a-.
2. Add <boas>, <doas>, <moas> in RLC variants to the remaining <broas>.

<OO> for KK <OE>
1. <goolan> to become <golan>. Otherwise, no change.

<kk> AND <ck>
1. <ck> to be used in all borrowings; <kk> in all other cases, including those in doubt.
2. <okkupya> to be respelt <okupya>.

1. Retain before nouns like <'manyn>.
2. Do not use elsewhere where the beginning of a word has been shed, e.g. <skydnya> from <dyskynna>.
3. Do not use internally, e.g. <metern> from <myghtern> and <mos> from <mowes>.
4. Do not use after <kal> (KK <kalgh>).
5. May be used where -th, -dh is dropped, e.g. pro', for', warbar'. To be left to the discretion of individual writers.

1. Add SWF/L <enkladhva>, SWF/M <ynkladhva> (presently SWF <ynkleudhva>).
2. Allow <teudhi and <tedha> as alternative spellings.
3. Add to SWF/L <bidhi> (currently <beudhi> only); and <briji> (currently <breuji> in SWF/L).
No change to <breusi>, <Meurth>, <feusik>.

1. Write <gwr-> in RMC and RLC, inclusing <gwra>, <gwruthyl>.

1. Retain <tth>, introduce corresponding <ggh>, <cch>, <ssh>.

1. <wortiwedh/wostiwedh> and <wostalleth/wortalleth> to be single words, without apostrophes.

1 RC variant <me>, <ve>, no longer required.


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Dr. Jon Mills, 
University of Kent
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