"Kensa Lyver Redya" dyllys in Kernowek

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Sun May 03, 2009 8:45 pm

You can "try to show" how we have been "less than honest", Keith, but as we have in fact been honest, your attempts to do so lack credibility and interest.

As far as the remainder of your posting is concerned, all I can say is that yes, once again, you have misjudged my interpretation of events, my motivations, and my views. You have also wilfully ignored my previous posts which responded, rejecting your interpretations of the words "compromise" and "support". Giving up UC and UCR for something better is "compromise". The SWF goes a long way to being better than either. It does, however, fail to meet some simple requirements:

• The spelling system must be based on attested traditional orthographic forms.

• In the orthography the relationship between spelling and sounds must be unambiguous.

And no, Keith, I do not see us giving up on those requirements. They are perfectly reasonable requirements, and it is perfectly feasible to devise an orthography that meets these requirements. They are minimum requirements for an acceptable orthography for Cornish. (Go right ahead. Try to explain why we should accept a spelling system which is not based on traditional orthographic forms. And try to explain why we should accept an orthography in which the relationship between spelling and sounds is ambiguous.)

And it was not only feasible to devise an orthography that meets those requirements, but it has been easily possible to do so. By making amendments to the SWF, putting right what is wrong with it. This is not "destabilization". It is positive input.

The CLP can go right ahead and use the SWF unchanged until 2013 as they have agreed. We could go right ahead and keep using UCR if we wanted. The CLP agrees that we can do that. Instead, we are using KS, an improved form of the SWF which meets the simple requirements which have been our brief since October 2006.

There is nothing sinister or mysterious about it.

Morvran
Posts: 2192
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:48 am

Post by Morvran » Sun May 03, 2009 11:32 pm

If my comments do indeed "so lack credibility and interest", why do you find it necessary to reply to them so fully?


• The spelling system must be based on attested traditional orthographic forms.

• In the orthography the relationship between spelling and sounds must be unambiguous.



You keep presenting these 'requirments' as though they had been widely agreed within the language movement, or else they were some generally held linguistic facts. They are neither. Simply something you've dreamed up for propaganda purposes, something that looks plausible on cursory examination, something designed to wrong-foot the opposition. They may have been agreed, more or less, by your own faction. However the Spellyans discussions show much controversy over how they might work in practise.

Your first principle is simply untrue. There is no 'must' involved at all. People may wish to write Cornish with 'traditional' (i.e. English) spelling, or they may choose something more suited to the nature of Cornish. At the time the mss were written with English spelling, Breton was being written with French spelling. No one writes Breton like that now, the language has grown up and can stand on its own feet. In the case of Cornish things understandably took a little longer, but that's the only difference.

As a self acclaimed expert on the world's writing systems you will know very well that many languages have or have had several entirely different written forms, while others have changed abruptly to an entirely different system (e.g. Turkish). Would you have faced Ataturk and told him he 'must' not abandon 'traditional' Turkish spelling? 'Must not' because the Great Michael Everson says so?

In any case you abandon 'traditional' spelling whenever it suits you. You distinguish dh from th and j from g, presumably claiming Lhuyd as a precident. Why then do you have a problem with our equally Lhuidian (if you wish to see it as such) k's? Why do you have a problem with us distinguishing oe from o but not with u from eu? Both can equally be justified from the texts and from etymology.

Your second 'requirement' seems obvious but hides a major technical problem, the treatment of neutralisation. A strictly phonetic rendering of each wordform would in a language like Cornish with movable stress, mean that the spelling of many words would jump around as syllables were added or removed in the course of inflexion or derivation. Far better therefore in most cases (there is no absolute rule here, several needs have to be balanced) to reflect the fullest form of each vowel, that is essentially the structure of the word at the more abstract phonemic level. This has long been appreciated by KK users over 20 years, and is also the modern orthodoxy in this field of linguistics.

An example for the sake of clarity. If the word musur 'measure' were to be written as pronounced we'd have to write "musyr", but when we added anything, say the suffix -yaz as in musuryaz 'surveyor' we'd have to spell it "mysuryaz" because the stress has now moved on to the second u which now shows its rounding, while the first, now unstressed, is pronounced unrounded. If we're dealing with more than one surveyor, musuryzi 'surveyors', then the mechanical phonetic spelling would have to be "mysyryzi". It should be clear that although sometimes pronounced as y some of the vowels in this and other words are 'really' (i.e. at the phonemic level) u, whereas others are not (they are 'really' y pronounced as such in every case). On the whole it's simpler to spell the full form in all cases, the weaker realisation when unstressed is easy to learn, since it simply reflects the natural tendency to pronounce sounds less fully when unstressed. Indeed a native speaker would probably conceptualise words in their full underlying form. There is nothing strange or unnatural about this. The phonetic spelling which is often seen in the texts simply shows that the scribes were using a foreign system that only reflected Cornish at its most superficial level.

In your final paragraph you make it clear that you will not be using the SWF, not even the SWF/T that was specially created to placate your party. In which case I must ask again, Why did you campaign long and late to have KK replaced by a 'compromise' SWF? If not simply to damage the standing of the Kesva? Why?

How is an SWF you won't use any more use to you than KK which you wouldn't use? And why should anyone else want to use the SWF now that it has plainly failed in it's aim of being a common form for all factions. What was the point of our advocates bargining with yours on the AHG if once the bargin was struck, you failed to keep to it. Why indeed did you bargin at all?

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Mon May 04, 2009 12:14 am

You REALLY don't get it, do you, Keith?

Maybe I'll respond to this in the morning. Or Tuesday, as I have things to do tomorrow.

Waldorf
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:00 pm

Post by Waldorf » Mon May 04, 2009 12:21 am

"You really don't get it?" is not an enlightening answer. Why not treat each other with respect for a change?

Morvran
Posts: 2192
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:48 am

Post by Morvran » Mon May 04, 2009 12:24 am

To do so would lack credibility and interest 8-)

User avatar
Marhak
Posts: 11075
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:46 am

Post by Marhak » Mon May 04, 2009 12:49 am

Respect is something that can't be demanded: it can only be earned. I respect Tim's ability as a poet because he has earned it in that field. I do not respect his attempts to belittle those with whom he does not agree.

Nor do I have any respect for those who ferret away behind the scenes or a cloak of anonymity in order to undermine the work being done by others. In contrast, Michael deserves respect because what he works towards is fully out in the open for all to examine and scrutinise.

I can hardly profess to have any respect for Reeves. As I said earlier - respect has to be earned.

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Mon May 04, 2009 9:28 am


Waldorf said:
"You really don't get it?" is not an enlightening answer. Why not treat each other with respect for a change?

Waldorf, with all due respect, I have given Keith a great deal of respect over the years. Far more than he merits. I think it's sad. I do my best to discuss linguistic matters soberly and logically. And yet again and again Keith stoops to plain and raw insult. This gets tiresome. It's been going on since 2004.

Waldorf
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:00 pm

Post by Waldorf » Mon May 04, 2009 10:46 am


morvran said:
To do so would lack credibility and interest 8-)



*bangs his muppety head against the table*

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Mon May 04, 2009 10:47 am

Ah, g'wan, Waldorf. Even I think that one was funny. :)

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Mon May 04, 2009 12:11 pm


Keith said:
If my comments do indeed "so lack credibility and interest", why do you find it necessary to reply to them so fully?

I hope to turn you from the Dark Side, of course. :evil:


Keith said:
[quote=Michael]• The spelling system must be based on attested traditional orthographic forms.

• In the orthography the relationship between spelling and sounds must be unambiguous.


You keep presenting these 'requirments' as though they had been widely agreed within the language movement, or else they were some generally held linguistic facts. They are neither. Simply something you've dreamed up for propaganda purposes, something that looks plausible on cursory examination, something designed to wrong-foot the opposition.[/quote]No, Keith. These were not drawn up "for propaganda purposes". They were drawn up as a brief to help guide us in making decisions. We genuinely believe—no matter how much you dislike it—that Cornish should look like Cornish. By that we mean (as you well know) that we look from Glasney to Jordon, and we do not ignore place-names. What led to this brief was our search to bring the RMC and RLC dialect groups closer together. We did that because we (RMC) were talking with Neil Kennedy and others (RLC). Previous to that dialogue, we were certain that UCR was the only way forward. But UCR was not inclusive enough of RLC. And we respect RLC, even if you do not.


Keith said:
They may have been agreed, more or less, by your own faction. However the Spellyans discussions show much controversy over how they might work in practise.

Being an outsider you may find it difficult to understand the Spellyans discussions. But you are mixing up levels of abstraction. Discussion and even dispute on Spellyans has to do with the details. The two minimum requirements as given above are, in fact, our requirements. They have been explicitly stated in all of our drafts beginning in March 2007, and the 80 or so signatory supporters of KS1 have agreed these to be minimum requirements.

Our faction had minimum requirements. Minimum. We gave up quite a lot that we favoured. We favoured ue to eu. I don't see a reason for us to give up minimum requirements, though.


Keith said:
Your first principle is simply untrue.

Eh? It's not an assertion about the world which can be true or false. It's a statement of our requitement, and as such, is in fact our requirement.


Keith said:
There is no 'must' involved at all. People may wish to write Cornish with 'traditional' (i.e. English) spelling, or they may choose something more suited to the nature of Cornish.

Bosh. Traditional Cornish spelling is not English. Your statement is false to facts. It is a propagandistic lie. Traditional Cornish spelling is not English. You
want people to believe that it is English because that is how you propagandize your own preferred orthography ("See? This isn't English. Cornish good. English bad." )


Keith said:
At the time the mss were written with English spelling, Breton was being written with French spelling.

There is a difference between "shared orthographic conventions" and "spelling". You deliberately confuse these for your own propaganda. Cornish and English do share some orthographic conventions. They also differ in some orthographic conventions. The regular use of -y- to show vowel length, and the use of ȝ for [ð] in Cornish are examples. (We happen not to use those particular conventions in Revived Cornish, but they are nonetheless examples showing that Cornish orthographic conventions were in fact Cornish. Cornish writers were not just writing their language thinking of English spelling. They had their own orthography.


Keith said:
No one writes Breton like that now, the language has grown up and can stand on its own feet. In the case of Cornish things understandably took a little longer, but that's the only difference.

No, Cornish died out and lost its feet entirely. We wish to revive Cornish. We don't know how to pronounce it perfectly. There are ambiguous things we can't be sure of being right about. But if, at least, we spell as the Cornish did, we know we are not making an error there.

And I'm very sorry if you think Kernowek Kebmyn orthography is beautiful, but the fact of the matter is that a whole lot of people find its aesthetic to be alien and unwelcome. On another thread you complained that we are not interested in reconciliation. Yet you offer us nothing but the same tired arguments about how muscular and modern KK is and how excellent it is that we have it, just like the Bretons have their orthography. You don't care that Bretons actually like their orthography, and that none of them feel an attachment to the older orthography which shared more features with French. And you don't care about Cornishmen and Cornishwomen who do feel an attachment to traditional orthography. You just want them to eff off and use Kebmyn.


Keith said:
As a self acclaimed expert on the world's writing systems

In fairness, Keith, others have acclaimed me an expert on the world's writing systems, so you can stop trying to paint my ego bigger than it is. Ta.


Keith said:
you will know very well that many languages have or have had several entirely different written forms, while others have changed abruptly to an entirely different system (e.g. Turkish).

Indeed.


Keith said:
Would you have faced Ataturk and told him he 'must' not abandon 'traditional' Turkish spelling? 'Must not' because the Great Michael Everson says so?

His name was Atatürk and when he introduced his spelling reform the situation was in every way different from that which we find for Revived Cornish. In 1928 the population of Turkey was over 14 million. Even allowing for some millions of speakers of languages other than Turkish, that is an enormous number of native speakers of a language. Only about 10% of the population were literate in the Arabic script, and it is the difficulties of the Arabic script which helped keep literacy down. Switching to the Latin script was a great idea for Turkey. (It's a pity about the I/ı İ/i dichotomy which causes some interoperability problems in casing with modern computers, but Atatürk could hardly have anticipated that.)


Keith said:
In any case you abandon 'traditional' spelling whenever it suits you.

Oh, here we go again with this canard.


Keith said:
You distinguish dh from th and j from g, presumably claiming Lhuyd as a precident.

So does every Revivalist and no one wants to do otherwise, so you can't prove us wickedly inconsistent here.


Keith said:
Why then do you have a problem with our equally Lhuidian (if you wish to see it as such) k's?

Since you ask, I would say that this is because it isn't necessary to adopt that feature of Lhuyd's orthographic system. You see, if we didn't have dh or ȝ, we would be stuck with th and that would be ambiguous: bad for learners. If we didn't have j or dzh, we'd be stuck with g and that would be ambiguous: bad for learners. There is no ambiguity with using Traditional orthography for [k]: here Cornish shared a feature with English (and Latin and other languages), and cat~kitchen~queen is a completely familiar orthographic alternation which (1) does not confuse learners and (2) retains orthographic forms familiar from place-names throughout Cornwall.


Keith said:
Why do you have a problem with us distinguishing oe from o but not with u from eu? Both can equally be justified from the texts and from etymology.

Both the SWF and KS do show this distinction, with the graphs oo from o. We object to the graph oe. We note that Ken George himself suggests that oo might be a possible spelling for this, though he fears that people might pronounce it [uː]. Since it is pronounced [uː] in RLC, oo is in fact a better graph than oe.


Keith said:
Your second 'requirement' seems obvious but hides a major technical problem, the treatment of neutralisation.

We know about this.


Keith said:
A strictly phonetic rendering of each wordform would in a language like Cornish with movable stress, mean that the spelling of many words would jump around as syllables were added or removed in the course of inflexion or derivation.

It might. It doesn't always.


Keith said:
Far better therefore in most cases (there is no absolute rule here, several needs have to be balanced) to reflect the fullest form of each vowel, that is essentially the structure of the word at the more abstract phonemic level. This has long been appreciated by KK users over 20 years, and is also the modern orthodoxy in this field of linguistics.

This shows that you never studied the KS1 specification, where we talk about this specifically. See clause 1.4.15 Note 1. (And nota bene that KS1 differs from KS in that KS is based on the SWF.)


Keith said:
An example for the sake of clarity. If the word musur 'measure' were to be written as pronounced we'd have to write "musyr",

I'd dispute your choice of vowel.

Keith said:
but when we added anything, say the suffix -yaz as in musuryaz 'surveyor' we'd have to spell it "mysuryaz" because the stress has now moved on to the second u which now shows its rounding, while the first, now unstressed, is pronounced unrounded. If we're dealing with more than one surveyor, musuryzi 'surveyors', then the mechanical phonetic spelling would have to be "mysyryzi". It should be clear that although sometimes pronounced as y some of the vowels in this and other words are 'really' (i.e. at the phonemic level) u, whereas others are not (they are 'really' y pronounced as such in every case).

We know this, and it's taken into account in KS.


Keith said:
On the whole it's simpler to spell the full form in all cases, the weaker realisation when unstressed is easy to learn, since it simply reflects the natural tendency to pronounce sounds less fully when unstressed. Indeed a native speaker would probably conceptualise words in their full underlying form. There is nothing strange or unnatural about this. The phonetic spelling which is often seen in the texts simply shows that the scribes were using a foreign system that only reflected Cornish at its most superficial level.

Broadly speaking we actually agree here. Though one of the problems with KK is that in addition to retaining the underlying vowel in a simplex when the vowel re-appears in a derivative, is that it compounds the situation by adding a very great many "etymological" vowels where they are—in our opinion—unwarranted.

But I think, Keith, that it is important here that apart from the question of which simplex/derivative pairs are affected, we do in fact agree here on this. :-O


Keith said:
In your final paragraph you make it clear that you will not be using the SWF, not even the SWF/T that was specially created to placate your party.

Erm, you mean the SWF/T which was cynically hamstrung to force upon us wordforms which are not actually Traditional? :roll:

What we have done is to take the SWF/T and to correct its flaws so that it can be used. I don't believe that we should use something sub-standard just because it was cobbled together in too short a time in a dysfunctionally political fashion in order to meet a funding deadline. And we don't have to. Only the CLP does. We are free to correct its flaws and use a corrected form, just as free as we are to continue using UCR. We think it's better to use the SWF/T, but can't do that in good conscience without fixing its flaws. So we have, and so we are making a range of attractive books available that implement those corrections.

I hope that people will enjoy the books and find them useful.

What will happen in 2013? I don't know. Perhaps we will be invited to the table so that we can have genuine input into the revision process. Perhaps political concerns will try to keep us out again. I believe that your own motivations in making your complaint here are rooted in your desire to see the SWF fail. We do not wish to see it fail. We wish to see it flourish. But it can't do well if it remains inconsistent. And since we have already identified its problems, we believe that we have a duty to implement changes which correct those problems.


Keith said:
In which case I must ask again, Why did you campaign long and late to have KK replaced by a 'compromise' SWF?

It is no secret that we consider Kernowek Kebmyn to be an unsuitable orthography for Revived Cornish. We realized by November 2006 that a Fifth Form could solve many problems. A process was introduced which led to an orthography which the CLP will use for 5 years. This orthography is more suitable for use than Kernowek Kebmyn, in our view.

I wonder what would have happened if each faction's linguists had formed the AHG. That's what I proposed to the Commissioners. In the end, the SWF was not designed by linguists, but by users with various types of linguistic expertise. It is no surprise that there are problems with the SWF.


Keith said:
If not simply to damage the standing of the Kesva? Why?

No, Keith. The Kesva has damaged its standing on its own.


Keith said:
How is an SWF you won't use any more use to you than KK which you wouldn't use?

We are using it, with some amendments we consider necessary to make it functional and consistent.


Keith said:
And why should anyone else want to use the SWF now that it has plainly failed in it's aim of being a common form for all factions.

It's the form agreed to be used by the CLP in education and public life. I find it easy enough to read, unlike Kernowek Kebmyn.


Keith said:
What was the point of our advocates barg[a]ining with yours on the AHG if once the barg[a]in was struck, you failed to keep to it. Why indeed did you barg[a]in at all?

One had some small hope that there was good will on your side. There wasn't, not so much. Had there been more time, I think that many of the shortcomings in the SWF could have been avoided. But there simply wasn't.

pietercharles
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:51 am

Post by pietercharles » Mon May 04, 2009 1:02 pm


Evertype said:
I wonder what would have happened if each faction's linguists had formed the AHG.



Everyone knows the answer to that question, apart from each faction's linguists who don't seem to have much of a grip on reality.

The answer is, those linguists would have still been arguing today.

Just as they are, indeed, still arguing today. The evidence is irrefutable.

Most people (no, I don't have any supporting statistics) believe that is exactly why things were engineered such that each faction's linguists did not form the AHG.

And they also believe that as far as the SWF is concerned this was probably the most helpful 'strategy' that came out of the Partnership.

User avatar
Marhak
Posts: 11075
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:46 am

Post by Marhak » Mon May 04, 2009 4:48 pm

Keith seems to have lost all grip upon reality. It wasn't just "us" that campaigned long and hard for a compromise SWF. The call for a compromise came from right across the board - including several KK users.

User avatar
Marhak
Posts: 11075
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:46 am

Post by Marhak » Mon May 04, 2009 5:18 pm

You only had to be at Tremough 07 and see just how many grass roots KK users applauded the Commission's decision. But then, you weren't there, were you? Nor was Keith (he boycotted it). Strange how you two have so much to say about events at which you were not present. Just like 1987.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests