Alys in Pow an Anethow in Kernowek - Alices Adventures in Wonderland in Cornish

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:30 am

Re: Lanyon - Peter Pool and even Gover had it right as well. However, I take your suggestion that they might have got the name confused with Lantyan (which does have the "cold valley" meaning) - but shouldn't they have checked? The two examples I gave, though, were just two out of several completely erroneous instances in a booklet that is just 12 pages long. CLB love to kick others for what they see as failings, yet produce something like this which the public take to be correct because the CLB has written it.

I could never claim that what I have written on place-names is error-free but I have tried, through intensive research and cross-checking, to keep errors down to the barest minimum I can achieve. One that occurs in my last two publications involves the name Mawla where I give a form Mola, date 960. That is wrong. How the hell 960 got in there I'm at a loss to say, but the first Mola form doesn't occur until 1609 (and the earliest mention of the name itself is 1302). Revisions do (and should) occur when a newly discovered form throws new light on a name.

With regard to where the language is today, we knew that the three-way split couldn't go on. Someone was going to have to move and the consensus view was shown by the initial public fora to be in favour of a compromise proposal.

In order to address this, two compromise proposals were put together: KD, produced by Albert and Ben, approached the problem from the KK perspective, and KS, put together by a sizeable team did so from the traditionalist point of view. Neither were intended to be new orthographies to compete with the others, but proposals to submit to the Commission to show how compromise could be reached. As it turned out, the two weren't a million miles from each other and - if the Commission had decided differently, KS and KD could have cooperated further (the compilers of each had already been talking together). Instead, the Commissioners recommended a slightly different approach.

The SWF that now exists is, funnily enough, compatible with both KS and KD. It allows two main branches: the K-form and the traditional form which are identical other than a handful of variant graphs. Both allow for further variants to accommodate Late Cornish developments. It's not perfect, but it's not bad, either. It is a compromise debated and agreed by language users who were prepared to attempt that compromise.

A great many of us, on all sides of the debate, had to be prepared to shift from our preferences, and did so. Sometimes, we said: "Hey, that's an improvement" and sometimes: "Oh, my God, that's horrible". Nonetheless, we resolved to live with it and move on. Many of us have indeed moved from our preferred systems, some by a long way. Better still, the compromise has removed the language from the "ownership" of individuals or small cliques, and returned that ownership to the Cornish public.

Yes, KS exists in order to address the flaws and inconsistencies that remain in the SWF, for presentation at the review in 2013. However, using the variants allowed by the SWF as it stands, I can write a screed that is virtually identical to a KS without diacritics.

It is clear from the last MAGA meeting that this is now by far the majority view. There is, though, a small group who remain wholly intransigent and refuse to move an inch from their preferred system. Here they are on this forum: "Pieter" Charles, "Penny Squire", Keith Bailey and one or two others, still binding on about a perceived majority they no longer have. They don't seem to realise that their refusal to take part in a compromise that is for the good of the language, not individuals, has left them isolated. They remain hostile to those who do not share their own point of view but, in the end, they are going to have accept that the people have spoken; that the language belongs to all, not just those they perceive to be a "fluent speakers" clique. They have a choice - sink or swim. At present, they are choosing the former.

KK is not the future of the language. Nor are UC, RLC or UCR. Nonetheless, all (plus KS and KD) have contributed to the SWF which is that future whether individuals like it or not.









edited by: marhak, Feb 08, 2009 - 09:53 AM

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:28 pm

Text in SWF/M is not "virtually identical" to KK, because SWF and KK are based on DIFFERENT phonologies. The cosmetic preference of hw to wh does not make a text "virtually identical" to KK.

You can second-guess KS all you like. The CLP will use the SWF unchanged until 2013. We for our part intend to publish in a variant of the SWF, which corrects identified errors and inconsistencies, namely KS.

Personally I rather doubt that the CLP will be the largest producers of text in Cornish. That's not really in their remit.

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:33 pm

If you don't know what phonology is, please just say so.

Jenner, UC, UCR, RLC, KS, SWF/M, and SWF/T share a phonology. Vowel length is phonemic.

KK theorizes a phonology where consonant length is phonemic, and vowel length is conditioned by the consonant length.

KK's phonology was not accepted either by two decades of speakers, or by the AHG which devised the SWF.

There is no rationale for continuing with KK.

Pokorny
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Post by Pokorny » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:32 pm

The SWF actually makes no statement about the phonemic status of vowel or consonant quantity in traditional Cornish. It is just an orthography, and not a reconstructed phonology.

As for my personal opinion, vowel length hardly looks phonemic in inherited words in Middle Cornish. As for unassimilated loans, the question is whether one prefers to postulate a number foreign consonantal phonemes (lenis equivalents of /p t k m/, fortis equivalents of /b d g/)- or analyse vowel quantity in them as phonemic. I tend towards the latter, but the SWF certainly does not prescribe any viewpoint.

In the phonology of the spoken revived language however, matters seem very different indeed. We have already discussed some aspects in this forum, e.g. the tendency on the part of speakers to link the quality and quantity of vowels, resulting in the idea of intrinsically short and intrinsically long [i(: )].



edited by: Pokorny, Feb 08, 2009 - 11:05 PM

pietercharles
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Post by pietercharles » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:05 pm


marhak said:
"Pieter" Charles, "Penny Squire", Keith Bailey and one or two others, still binding on about a perceived majority they no longer have.


This is a lie.

I have never mentioned a majority, perceived or otherwise, so I certainly could not have been binding on about it.


marhak said:
They don't seem to realise that their refusal to take part in a compromise...


This is a lie.

I have never refused to take part in a compromise.


marhak said:
They remain hostile to those who do not share their own point of view


This is a lie.

I work for the langauge with a number of people who do not share my point of view and I'm not in the least bit hostile to them.

I am however hostile to some people that post here.

Not because they don't share my point of view but because they are incredibly rude bullies, hostile to me, hostile to other Cornish speakers, and, above all, because they tell lies.


marhak said:
they are going to have accept that the people have spoken; that the language belongs to all, not just those they perceive to be a "fluent speakers" clique.


This is a misrepresentation, suggesting I hold a position that I do not.

More or less a lie.

I have never mentioned fluent speakers, and never suggested that that the language belongs to a "fluent speakers" clique. Moreover, I certainly don't believe that it does.

Let nobody be fooled by this.
Any apparent statement of fact from marhak needs to be taken with a pinch of salt big enough to de-ice Britain's roads.

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:55 am


Pokorny said:
The SWF actually makes no statement about the phonemic status of vowel or consonant quantity in traditional Cornish.

Who said it did? It's an orthography for Revived Cornish.

One of its faults, though, is that it does not offer a coherent description of phonology. (Doubtless for political reasons.)

Pokorny
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Post by Pokorny » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:31 am

A compromise orthography could not have been based on one single model of reconstruction or it would not have been inclusive of the existing, mutually contradictory variants.

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:41 am

Who is talking about reconstruction? The brief was not about reconstruction. It was about RMC and RLC, two dialects of RC which in fact have two closely-related phonologies (both recommended and in practice).

Of course one of the unsatisfactory things about the SWF specification is the way it gives phonetic values to RMC which are not the phonetic values which are recommended (at least in UC and UCR) or indeed which are actually realized.

Pennysquire
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Post by Pennysquire » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:10 am


Evertype said:
Who is talking about reconstruction? The brief was not about reconstruction.

Ah, it was about demolition. I thought so.


Evertype said:
It was about RMC and RLC, two dialects of RC which in fact have two closely-related phonologies (both recommended and in practice).

Your Majesty means twenty-two, of course.


Evertype said:
Of course one of the unsatisfactory things about the SWF specification is the way it gives phonetic values to RMC which are not the phonetic values which are recommended (at least in UC and UCR) or indeed which are actually realized.



Ah, so you do think that the SWF should reflect present day mispronunciation.

I thought so.

What a curious viewpoint!

- Penny





edited by: pennysquire, Feb 09, 2009 - 01:14 AM

Pokorny
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Post by Pokorny » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:29 am

For many people involved, the compromise was not so much between RMC and RLC but between existing reconstructions and orthographies. Which is where problems with diachrony come into the deal. Besides, the validity of the existing reconstructions has always been a central argument in the Spelling Wars.

Of course everything would have been much easier if people had agreed to base the SWF on the phonology of RC. They didn't - in part for reasons of ideology, but also because so far there is no authoritative linguistic description of spoken present day Cornish which could have been used as a base. A valid objection.

In fact at one point during AHG deliberations, Trond suggested that the SWF be officially based on known common features in the pronunciation of Revived Cornish as used by a majority of fluent speakers today. His proposal did not find agreement with the AHG. It met with strong resistance from several delegates who stated that the SWF should under all circumstances be inclusive of what has been called an "aspirational phonology" of pre-PS Middle Cornish, i.e. a pronunciation they would like to use but so far rarely manage to achieve. Should Trond have forced them to retract their objection? I don't think so.



edited by: Pokorny, Feb 09, 2009 - 04:39 AM

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:20 am


pennysquire said:
[quote=Evertype]Of course one of the unsatisfactory things about the SWF specification is the way it gives phonetic values to RMC which are not the phonetic values which are recommended (at least in UC and UCR) or indeed which are actually realized.


Ah, so you do think that the SWF should reflect present day mispronunciation. [/quote]
No. I think that the SWF specification should not have said that the distinction in RMC between long and short /e/ is [ɛː] and [ɛ]. We do not use those realizations and we do not recommend them. We use and recommend [eː] and [ɛ]. And we do not believe that this is a "mispronunciation".

Pennysquire
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Post by Pennysquire » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:51 pm


Pokorny said:
For many people involved, the compromise was not so much between RMC and RLC but between existing reconstructions and orthographies. Which is where problems with diachrony come into the deal. Besides, the validity of the existing reconstructions has always been a central argument in the Spelling Wars.

Of course everything would have been much easier if people had agreed to base the SWF on the phonology of RC. They didn't - in part for reasons of ideology, but also because so far there is no authoritative linguistic description of spoken present day Cornish which could have been used as a base. A valid objection.


An extremely valid objection. I put it to you that the variation in pronunciation one hears even within the tiny group of LC speakers is diverse; the variation within the much larger MC group is even more so (I do not accept for one moment the Everson/Weatherhill ploy that 'everyone has UC pronunciation'). If we accept that the situation is so (if anyone disagrees they are welcome to go out and listen to lots of Cornish speakers as I have and Everson and Weatherhill clearly have not) then any description would provide a range of sounds so wide that one orthography could not hope to represent all variations and relate sound to symbol accurately.


Pokorny said:
In fact at one point during AHG deliberations, Trond suggested that the SWF be officially based on known common features in the pronunciation of Revived Cornish as used by a majority of fluent speakers today. His proposal did not find agreement with the AHG.

Quite. This and the fact that he had collaborated with Everson in the past raised suspicions among many of us that he was pushing Williams' and Everson's agenda.

Pokorny said:
It met with strong resistance from several delegates who stated that the SWF should under all circumstances be inclusive of what has been called an "aspirational phonology" of pre-PS Middle Cornish, i.e. a pronunciation they would like to use but so far rarely manage to achieve. Should Trond have forced them to retract their objection? I don't think so.

At least he got something right. One of the most objectionable features of the Partnership schemozzle was that a non-Cornish speaker who did not even have expertise in one of the other Celtic languages was told by the Partnership that he wad the power of arbitration and veto. On the other hand an expert in Breton had been designated as a consultant but never was consulted - and he regards the SWF as being very unsatisfactory. This is one, among many, albatrosses around the neck of the Partnership and it will return - repeatedly, and not alone.
[quote+pennysquire]
Evertype said:
Of course one of the unsatisfactory things about the SWF specification is the way it gives phonetic values to RMC which are not the phonetic values which are recommended (at least in UC and UCR) or indeed which are actually realized.



pennysquire said:
Ah, so you do think that the SWF should reflect present day mispronunciation.


No. I think that the SWF specification should not have said that the distinction in RMC between long and short /e/ is [ɛː] and [ɛ]. We do not use those realizations and we do not recommend them. We use and recommend [eː] and [ɛ]. And we do not believe that this is a "mispronunciation". [/quote]

Admit it, Evertype: you have repeatedly said that the SWF should not represent an aspirational phonology and you have repeatedly criticised Kernewek Kemmyn as being 'aspirational'. You appear to subscribe to the theory of language development by incremental error and wish to institutionalise it.

- Penny

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