Spellyans

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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Evertype
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Re: Spellyans

Post by Evertype » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:46 pm

Morvil wrote:Factotum a scrifas:
However examples exist, if only in compounds such as gwinlann 'vinyard'.

I cannot find an attestation for gwinlan. Can you point me towards it?
I find three examples of vyne yard in Tregear.

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Re: Spellyans

Post by Evertype » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:50 pm

Morvil wrote:Factotum a scrifas:
Nevertheless, the Welsh who speak their language every day by the tens of thousands, still find it useful to distinguish 'i' from 'y' in writing, even in finals. The need is greater in Cornish were reliance on the written word is so much more important.
I agree in principle, that <i> and <y> should be distinguished in Revived Cornish. My distribution would differ from yours. While you would distinguish by etymology, I would distinguish by textual analysis. I would spell <i> wherever both Middle Cornish and Late Cornish forms show /i/, but write the alternating couple MC based <y> ~ LC based <e> where MC and LC differ, as well as MC <y> (for original /ɪ/) in monosyllables and <e> in polysyllables where we can see VA (Vocalic Alternation).
And this is essentially what both the SWF and KS do, though the alternation is marked ÿ~ë in the latter to distinguish ë from words in e which do not have alternating forms, and to distinguish ÿ from words with short y [ɪ].

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Re: Spellyans

Post by Evertype » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:14 pm

Morvil wrote:Actually, phonological processes such as a-, or i-affection (Umlaut) are certain types of vowel harmony. Given, they have not eventually been grammaticalised in the way that it is found in Uralic languages, but they are a form of vowel harmony nonetheless.
If you want to say so.. but the processes are very different even before grammaticalization. Umlaut is realized by the effect of a suffix vowel on the root of the word; vowel harmony (as in Uralic) is imposed upon the suffixes on the strength of the vowel of the root.

I don't suppose Keith was thinking of this subtle distinction; I think he just doesn't know what he's talking about.

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Re: Spellyans

Post by pietercharles » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:21 am

Morvil wrote:
Thank PieterCharles for your sarcasm. If you don't like this discussion, simply change to another thread, but let those who want to discuss these matters do so, friendly, amicably and constructively. You're like the person complaining about the TV programme, but who is unable to find the 'off'-switch. If you don't like it, don't watch it. But please don't try to censure our debate by implying that the Cornish Revival is not important to us or that we were 'working against it'. Thank you.
You've hit the nail on the head by suggesting that I don't like what you call 'this discussion'. It is however, no use me changing to another thread because you'll all just continue holding such 'discussions' here on C24, in public, and putting people off ever going near the Cornish language.
I'm not complaining about the television programme because I think I have no option but to watch it. I'm complaining about the damaging effect it is having on the people who are watching it without realising what it really is.

I am surprised at your assessment that 'these matters' are being discussed 'friendly, amicably and constructively'. It is difficult not to conclude that linguists use those words in a way that ordinary people would not recognise.

Conundrums such as whether " /ɪ/ > /e/ > /iː/ (or /ɪ/ > /iː/) " may well be relevant to the Cornish language. But they're not particularly relevant to the Revival, which will continue regardless of whether linguists can ever agree the truth or otherwise of the suppositions. In fact, it will continue despite whether linguists can ever agree, and most people are beginning to realise that it would certainly continue far more steadily if linguists stopped trying to agree. Or at least stopped arguing (in that friendly, amicable and constructive way specific to linguists) in public.

The Revival is about getting as many people as possible to learn Cornish, and to feel confident and relaxed about doing so. What you call 'discussing' these matters on C24 works against that goal. It works against the Revival.

If you think that is merely my idiosyncratic opinion I suggest you canvas opinion in Cornwall - ask teachers here; ask
students here; in particular, ask MAGA. Ask whether they think that 'these discussions' on C24 are supporting the Revival. Ask whether they think 'these discussions' are causing enormous damage to the Revival. Ask whether they think 'these discussions' encourage people to take up learning the language. Ask whether they can name people that have read C24 and decided not to touch the language with a barge pole.
See what answers you get.

@Tennven
I agree - the discussions are very interesting and I don't think anyone would have a problem with them if they were being held in an appropriate place where linguists could parade their own theories, tear their opponents theories to pieces, and snarl at, sneer at, and humiliate each other without giving the general public the entirely false impression that such activities and behaviour were somehow what the Revival was all about.

C24 is very public. The uninitiated come here, take one look at what is being discussed and how it is being discussed and conclude that the Revival is a bear pit of unpleasant petty squabbling, disagreement, argument and as many violently conflicting theories as there are linguists to express them.
Worse still, since the impression given here is that Revival is about nothing more than that, they think that these apparently esoteric and incomprehensible matters must all have some relevance to learning the langauge when they haven't.
They get an entirely false impression of the Revival, and one which has convinced many people that learning the language is simply not for them.

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Re: Spellyans

Post by factotum » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:17 am

Dan : I found your contribution helpful, and will reply at a more sensible time of day :-)

Pieter : OK, I plead guilty, possibly. But I think you should understand my motivation. Just as you have from time to time felt if necessary to counter the misinformation (to put it politely) that Craig and others keep churning out, regardless of evidence proving otherwise --- in exactly the same way, I feel it necessary from time to time to counter the misinformation and plain illogic that Everson in particular churns out parrot-like from time to time, in the face of fact and logic. In both cases they're simply making it up. But the more they repeat it unchallenged the more it will become "the truth". That is how politics and propaganda works.

I would like to see a straightforward, stable, and hopefully reasonably authentic form of Cornish, that teachers could teach, learners learn, academics respect, and that would bridge both the historic texts and the revived language. We were close to that with KK, but the Process allowed small illogical minorities a platform for their ideas, and now we have more brands of Cornish than ever before to the lasting confusion of anyone new approaching the language. The SWF is a step backwards from KK towards UC, and I cannot support the Kesva's (partial) support for it, or indeed their continued involvement with the Process once it became apparent that it was being steered from on high, and wasn't even following the 'agreed' procedure.

Unfortunately, once the Kesva was compromised, the Revival was left without a rudder, guided by political horse-trading rather than logical choices. Not my doing. I warned of the danger (privately) more than once.

As an aside, I often wonder where all these people come from who want to learn Cornish. I've met many learners over the years through my connections with the language organisations, but of the people I meet in 'normal' everyday life, I can't really think of any who've shown more than the most fleeting interest in the language. Maybe your experience is different, clearly they must come from somewhere. But why should anyone learn Cornish other than out of scholarly interest? There is really nowhere that you can expect to hear it and nowhere you can use it. So most folk, being pragmatic, will not have any interest.

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Re: Spellyans

Post by Morvil » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:33 am

Factotum a scrifas:
Dan : I found your contribution helpful, and will reply at a more sensible time of day :-)
Thank you.

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Re: Spellyans

Post by pietercharles » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:33 am

Your motivation may be admirable, Factotum, but perhaps you could consider arguing your case on Spellyans, which is mostly out of the public eye, is specifically there for people who have an urge to argue about spelling till the cows come home, and can be seen quite clearly for what it is - a linguists' paradise which has everything to do with the Cornish language but little, if anything, to do with the Revival.

There are only two restrictions on joining Spellyans, and both of them are illusory.
The first is that you have to use your real name. But anybody that takes an interest in these things (and there are few) know exactly who A.J. Trim and Jed Matthews are, for example, so it is blatantly obvious that all you really have to do is choose a name that looks real.
The second is that you have to remain civil, unless you are talking about KK or any of its users. But recent events have shown that actually you can launch a scathing attack on anybody you like, throw a tantrum, sneer, humiliate and generally act like a spoilt brat as long as you dress it up in a formal register and don't use any intemperate language.
Perhaps if you gave it a try for a few weeks it might work, other theoreticians might follow you, and some ordinary folk that would like to discuss on C24 what the Revival is really all about and how much pleasure they get from it would feel they could come here and do just that. Without, that is, having any observation they make about how the Pennseythun helped their Cornish, say, being turned into a blazing row about whether vowels in ablaut tend to schwa, schwi or schwu.
It's worth a try, isn't it?

You're right that most people have only a fleeting interest in the language (until they get involved in it), which is why it is criminal to put anybody off taking those first steps. If you can accept that then I think you'll understand where I'm coming from.

As to why people learn Cornish - clearly our experiences are very different. I don't really know anybody that takes a mere 'scholarly interest' in it apart from some of the people on Spellyans. I just know tens of really ordinary people that speak Cornish, at whatever level, because, in the words of Jenner, they are Cornish.

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Re: Spellyans

Post by Marhak » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:47 am

Given the history of the revival, I wish we'd stuck with Jenner (I LIKE his orthography - always have). Some of the arguments on here get far too scientific for my liking. I just want a language I can use and which doesn't depart too far from what Cornish people wrote in the past, not a scientific marvel. There's always a danger regarding too much "correctness" - that you end up with a language that is robotic and lifeless because it's been cleansed of those little quirks and foibles which make a language live. By the way, Agan Tavas ran a really nice Penseythen in Porthia last weekend. Very enjoyable, and a nice turnout, too.

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Re: Spellyans

Post by carrek » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:14 pm

I, strangely, find myself agreeing with Pieter.

C24 is not just any old website, it is a website that is listed in guidebooks to Cornwall such as Lonely Planet. Therefore people are coming to this site to see discussion about Cornwall and what do they see?

Unfortunately because there are so many questions about the pronunciation of traditional Cornish and the orthographic correctness of revived Cornish, the academics see the language as an opportunity to flex their linguistic minds, like moths to a flame. Working out how an entire language was pronounced? How intriguing! The chance to create an entire language's orthography? What linguist wouldn't jump at the chance!

What results is kelgh-omruttya academik, linguists holed up together in cyberspace talking in English about phonemes and vowel harmony and grammaticalisation. I wonder how many of them are actually learning the language in order to speak it. Who was it that said ''academic disputes are so bitter because so little is at stake"? I'm sure they see the discussions here as very important, but perhaps they could have them somewhere less public? Spellyans? A private forum on C24 perhaps?

Nicholas Williams says that Cornish "isn't really a living language yet". I worry that they will never see the language as living until they claim to have fixed it and that their fix is what we all use. But since it is all interpretation not science, I do not think that day will ever come. Perhaps we can only call the language "living" when they say so. I pray for the day that we can say "we've discovered something new about traditional Cornish, but the revived language is now so strong that trying to get everyone to change how they speak would be a futile effort".

Meanwhile, 6 days after I first asked, I still don't know whether or not the i in flehik is schwa for LC speakers, and if not, what stops us mispronouncing KS flehyk.

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Re: Spellyans

Post by Marhak » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:01 pm

It might have been noticed that I've lately been striving to be non-personal or aggressive re. language debates. Thanks for dragging me back into the mire, Keith. Much appreciated (not).

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Re: Spellyans

Post by Evertype » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:57 pm

carrek wrote:Nicholas Williams says that Cornish "isn't really a living language yet". I worry that they will never see the language as living until they claim to have fixed it and that their fix is what we all use.
KS accurately represents the phonology of both dialects of the Revived language. It reflects the best linguistic consensus (unless you like the KK fantasy phonology that nobody uses). A variety of publications are available in it, and more are planned. What you choose to use is up to you.
Meanwhile, 6 days after I first asked, I still don't know whether or not the i in flehik is schwa for LC speakers, and if not, what stops us mispronouncing KS flehyk.
I said that would transcribe flehyk as [ˈflɛhᵻk], pl flehygow [flɛˈhɪɡoʊ]. I also said that the quality of the schwa in the final syllable isn't really important. You can say [ˈflɛhək] if you want. We find the same thing in English: "spoken" is pronounced [ˈspoʊkᵻn] and [ˈspoʊkən] and [ˈspoʊkɪn] and [ˈspoʊkn̩] and even [ˈspəʊʔŋ] by speakers from different places.

I would not recommend writing flehek or flehak because the final syllable becomes [ɪ] under stress in the plural, and I would not write flehik because in the plural the final syllable isn't long as in flehîgow [flɛˈhiːɡoʊ].

In case it wasn't clear, one of the things we object to about the SWF is that it imported Ken's etymological vowels even when there was no value in doing so. Flehyk and flehik would be pronounced the same. Why does he write -ik? Because he based his spelling on unattested, reconstructed British *-îkâ. What advantage does this give to a learner? None whatsoever. Learners don't know their reconstructed British, to start with.

That's why we tried to be rational when we redistributed i and y in KS. (1) Generally, we write i- at the beginnings of words and -y at the ends of words. (2) We use i for [iː] and y for [ɪ] in stressed monosyllables and their derivatives where both are [ɪ]. And in other polysyllables we use î for [iː] and y for [ɪ]. Thus flehyk gets a -y- because it becomes flehygow not flehîgow. If it did beceome the latter, we would write flehik. All nice and regular.

This scheme is easy to learn and easy to implement. I know of no other scheme which is either.

carrek
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Re: Spellyans

Post by carrek » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:23 pm

But is it [ə] in LC generally?

'y' is used as an umbrella graph in termyn, lebmyn, benyn, etc: [ᵻ] for MC and [ə] for LC. But how do us LC speakers know not to do the same for flehyk if it is only ever [ᵻ]?

Morvil
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Re: Spellyans

Post by Morvil » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:22 pm

Carrek a scrifas:
But is it [ə] in LC generally?

'y' is used as an umbrella graph in termyn, lebmyn, benyn, etc: [ᵻ] for MC and [ə] for LC. But how do us LC speakers know not to do the same for flehyk if it is only ever [ᵻ]?
Hi! Speakers of Revived Late Cornish (RLC) pronounce the diminutive suffix as [ɪk] or [ɪg]. The SWF spelling flehik is fine and serves its purpose. Only a singular new formation flehesik based on the plural flehesigow occurs in the RLC materials I have, and it is based on an attestation from Lhuyd and Pryce who most likely read it in the texts OM <flehysyggow> and PC <flehesyggow>. The diminutive for "little son" meppik occurs widely though, because it is found in JCH and it's pronounced [ˈmɛpɪg] or [ˈmɛpɪk].

carrek
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Re: Spellyans

Post by carrek » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:51 pm

Gromercy dhis Morvil.
Evertype wrote:What advantage does this give to a learner?
RLC learners know not to say [ˈflɛhək].

It seems this is one area where, for RLC speakers, KS is not "unambiguous". Is there an easy fix?

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Re: Spellyans

Post by Evertype » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:09 pm

carrek wrote:But is it [ə] in LC generally?
Is what [ə] in LC generally?
'y' is used as an umbrella graph in termyn, lebmyn, benyn, etc: [ᵻ] for MC and [ə] for LC. But how do us LC speakers know not to do the same for flehyk if it is only ever [ᵻ]?
Both [ᵻ] and [ə] are flavours of schwa. The first is schwi, the second schwa. What is the problem? I may say spoken as [ˈspoʊk̵ᵻn] and you may say it as [ˈspoʊk̵ən].

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