The Basque experience in language recovery

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Fulub-le-Breton
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The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by Fulub-le-Breton » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:07 pm

The Basque Experience: http://www.scribd.com/doc/69860481/The- ... Experience

Interesting reading for all in the Cornish language movement.

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factotum
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by factotum » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:33 pm

You can download this paper directly from the link below, without farting around with Facebook :

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 9w&cad=rja

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Anselm
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by Anselm » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:51 am

Didheurek fest. Da yq kavoes an kedhlow yn skians war-barth.
Anselm

'Against a promontory my ship' Rump L. Stiltz-Kinn

'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
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Cornish Pirates

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factotum
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by factotum » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:04 pm

I'm only about half-way through. You can skip the first 20-odd pp which is all blether. Then it gets interesting. Nothing really I've not see before, but still interesting to see the Basque slant on it all. However, be warned, they take as a basic assumption the survival of a nucleus of (possibly illiterate) native speakers with transmission remaining at least in (possibly isolated) homes. So they won't really be addressing the key question for Cornish, which is now to re-establish intergenerational transmission once it has completely broken down. I'd say at the moment that the home AND the peer-group/community are probably BOTH essential. When I first came to Cornwall, over 20 years ago, I was encouraged to learn, and indeed see first hand, that kids would learn Cornish in the home if spoken to in that language consistently by at even one parent. However, just like the little lad mentioned on Fry's program, who was taught Klingon, they won't themselves use the language actively once they grow up and start to have a social life beyond the family. We see this all the time simply with accents. If say a Scots family moves to Cornwall, the kids will have Cornish accents although the parents may well not change theirs. Teaching a language as a school subject will not restore it, and can even be worse than useless, creating confused and often negative attitudes, you only need to look at Ireland. Immersion schooling can work (NZ, Wales, IoM, French Canada ...) but again there have to be reasons for using the language in the wider world, otherwise the kids leave it behind at the school gate and certainly won't raise their own kids in it. The frustrating thing is that if intergenerational transmission could somehow be restored, then the language would be self-perpetuating as are all natural languages. It's all an enormous chicken-and-egg problem, and I honestly don't know how it can be solved, or even if anyone seriously wants to solve it for Cornish.

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Anselm
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by Anselm » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:23 pm

Re usi y'gan mysk ... res knias kil war hemma.
Anselm

'Against a promontory my ship' Rump L. Stiltz-Kinn

'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
CEO
Cornish Pirates

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Marhak
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by Marhak » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:48 pm

Poor old Keith - for him, the glass is always half-empty.

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Anselm
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by Anselm » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:07 pm

Marhak wrote:Poor old Keith - for him, the glass is always half-empty.
Martesen gwir, martesen gow - mes dhe'n lyha yma genen gwyder. Hag yma onan genev vy, ha'th tro jy yw ev. Pinta Kernewek, mar plek ... kyns a'n jydh ...
Anselm

'Against a promontory my ship' Rump L. Stiltz-Kinn

'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
CEO
Cornish Pirates

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factotum
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by factotum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:35 am

It comes with age, Margheg, as you I should think can appreciate. The nucleus of not-really-all-that-old people who were the mainstay of the language 25 years ago, are still mostly "in post", and getting older day by day, and I don't see much of a younger generation coming up to take over*. People mostly learn the language seriously in middle age and as they get better at it they get older. The parent-child cycle within which a natural language is constantly renewed is barely touched by the Revival. Most learners have already moved beyond that loop, and continue to shoot off on a tangent for the rest of their lives. The demographics of the Revived Cornish are close to those of a dying language, not one being reborn. The most we seem capable of is sustaining that situation indefinitely. Many language communities lose intergenerational transmission without realising it for some time --- there seem to be plenty of speakers around. Then someone points out that they're all 40+. Cornish is very similar. Both the language and the wider cultural movement --- guess the average age of a Cornish Bard. How I wonder does it compare with the average age of a Welsh Bard/Ovate/Druid? And they can all speak their language, our mostly can't --- is that not shameful?
The result is that there is little in the Cornish language world that relates to or caters for anyone much under about 35. And we're probably all far too old to have any credibility with the generations we need to inspire.

*To give one example, Graham Sandercock, stout fellow dell yw, started An Gannas an afaik is still editor decades later. This is a great track record for the only (I think) all Cornish language periodical, yet is it good for one person to hold the reins until he finally drops? Shouldn't new people have come in with new ideas, spin-offs to new media etc., years ago? Or at the very least started up alternative ventures with their own quite different flavours and outlooks. It's so much easier now after all. Matty Clarke seems to be the only one to have really tried, along with people outside of Cornwall such as Albert and Ben. But where is the Eythen of today, prickles, outrage and all?

The aim of this and similar posts is to try to wind someone up sufficiently that they actually do something. All the other Celtic languages are getting a new lease of life, there's a real sea-change happening, even Irish stuck for decades, seems to be going forward now, and for Irish to become 'cool' (whatever the current term is) is a near miracle. And we are stuck in the geriatric mire!

Prove me wrong! GO ON! No one would be happier to be proved wrong.

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Evertype
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by Evertype » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:27 am

factotum wrote:So they won't really be addressing the key question for Cornish, which is now to re-establish intergenerational transmission once it has completely broken down.
You do what Ray Chubb did. You have children and you speak nothing but Cornish to them. Until Cornish is transmitted intergenerationally by more than a handful of people, it will not be a community language, it will just be a hobby for people.
When I first came to Cornwall, over 20 years ago, I was encouraged to learn, and indeed see first hand, that kids would learn Cornish in the home if spoken to in that language consistently by at even one parent. However, just like the little lad mentioned on Fry's program, who was taught Klingon, they won't themselves use the language actively once they grow up and start to have a social life beyond the family.
The Chubb boys both speak Cornish with their father.
We see this all the time simply with accents. If say a Scots family moves to Cornwall, the kids will have Cornish accents although the parents may well not change theirs.
Accent is not the same thing as language. Kids pick up the phonology of the local language (English), yes, but if the language is not English they will pick up the phonology of the language.
Teaching a language as a school subject will not restore it, and can even be worse than useless, creating confused and often negative attitudes, you only need to look at Ireland.
That has to do with the method of teaching and examining. I agree that the holy grail is not "Cornish in the schools" except insofar as that may inspire some individual children to do more with the language.
Immersion schooling can work (NZ, Wales, IoM, French Canada ...) but again there have to be reasons for using the language in the wider world, otherwise the kids leave it behind at the school gate and certainly won't raise their own kids in it. The frustrating thing is that if intergenerational transmission could somehow be restored, then the language would be self-perpetuating as are all natural languages. It's all an enormous chicken-and-egg problem, and I honestly don't know how it can be solved, or even if anyone seriously wants to solve it for Cornish.
It takes a lot of strength for a family to do this, but it can be done. That's in the hands of people in Cornwall who use Cornish and want to raise children using it.

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Evertype
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by Evertype » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:33 am

factotum wrote:It comes with age, Margheg, as you I should think can appreciate.
You don't really think Margheg is a good way to represent [ˈmɑɹ(h)ək], do you?
Or at the very least started up alternative ventures with their own quite different flavours and outlooks. It's so much easier now after all. Matty Clarke seems to be the only one to have really tried, along with people outside of Cornwall such as Albert and Ben.
How very typical of you to ignore the most prolific publisher in the Cornish language today. :roll:
Prove me wrong! GO ON! No one would be happier to be proved wrong.
Pay attention. Oh, that's right. You have to hate everything Nicholas and I do because we showed that the phonology and orthography of Common Cornish were unsupportable. I forgot. :roll:

pietercharles
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by pietercharles » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:16 pm

Evertype a skrifas:
How very typical of you to ignore the most prolific publisher in the Cornish language today.
That's true, factotum.

And strange, too, given that had you pointed out that the most prolific publisher in the Cornish language today publishes almost exclusively in an orthography used by just one man, it would have supported your case somewhat!
Hag ena ev a skrifas:
You have to hate everything Nicholas and I do because we showed that the phonology and orthography of Common Cornish were unsupportable.
Hag ottena an pyth yw marthys dres eghenn.

Wosa blydhynyow yma hwath fowt dien a gonvedhes.

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factotum
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by factotum » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:14 am

A PC ker. Heb mar yth oste lies moy kestevyz (connected?) orth an byz a gernewegoryon y'n dydhyow-ma dell ov vy. Ha my lemmyn "den yn-mes" pur apert yw dhymm mar vyghan a Gerneweg yw dhe voz klewyz ha dhe voz gwelyz y'n bywnans kemmyn agan pow ni. H.y. 'mes a'n kowethasow arbennig a'n yeth. Mez, diworth an keth skile, y hallse boz taklow ow hwarvoz heb ow godhvoz. Ytho, mar pleg, gwra ewnhe ow thybyansow le mons i kamm. Gwell vie henna ez argye erbynn ME, my a gryz.

Micheal. 1. I was asking about actual usage of Cornish in Cornwall especially by the young and in innovative media. Publishing a load of books while possibly useful is tangential to my point. Actually I just looked at Skeul an Tavas or however you spell it. It looks like a rehash of Gendall's old UC "Kernewek Bew", innovative at the time (well, innovative for Cornish!) but now hopelessly outdated as language teaching methods go.
2. I know the Chub boys speak Cornish, but even assuming that they play some leading role in AT or whatever (do they), one (or two) swallows don't make a summer. Two speakers don't constitute a viable peer group.
3. I wasn't referring to pronunciation of other languages, simply by analogy (I know you're unable to process analogy) referring to the well attested fact that children/teens adopt the language of their peer group and wider community. If the home language is different that will no longer be actively cultivated or used, unless there is regular and meaningful contact with a larger society of speakers. (E.g. trips back to the home country, frequent contact with an extended family etc.)
4. Margheg. The final consonant is a phonemic /g/ although voicing is neutralised and dependant on context in this position. The fact that standard KK writes 'k' here was a sop to UCers at the time of the change-over. It is simply a hangover from mediaeval practice (also seen in MW and MB) and like our sister languages it's high time we got rid of it. The logic is exactly the same as writing final unstressed '-nn' etc. It is an inconsistency within the KK system and hence a weakness.
The mss generally write -rr- but I believe this represents a partly or completely devoiced _rr_ similar to Welsh _rh_. It should be noted that this sound arose (much more widely than in Cornish) in MW and is a noticeable feature of the modern language. Nevertheless the MW mss always write '-rr-'. I would argue that the same applies to MC, written '-rr-' in these cases means a voiceless _rr_ which in turn is the phonetic realisation of phonemic /-rx-/ (from an earlier /-rx-/ or /-rγ-/). Since KK (and KK++) spells phonemically, _-rgh-_ is appropriate here. See I have my reasons, I'm not just playing with the language for my own amusment, unlike some appear to be.

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factotum
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by factotum » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:19 am

Correction : for "arose in MW" please read "arose in early Welsh" (i.e. long before the MW period).

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factotum
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by factotum » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:32 am

ME "Until Cornish is transmitted intergenerationally by more than a handful of people, it will not be a community language, it will just be a hobby for people."
My point exactly, thank you for your support.
ME "The Chubb boys both speak Cornish with their father." (but presumably not with their peer group, girl friends, etc)
My point exactly, thank you for your support.
ME "That has to do with the method of teaching and examining. I agree that the holy grail is not "Cornish in the schools" except insofar as that may inspire some individual children to do more with the language."
Again I agree. The mess the Irish got themselves into should be a warning to us here. However the same factors could easily come together in Cornwall, that is political tokenism combined with underfunding and teachers not properly trained for the task.
ME "It takes a lot of strength for a family to do this, but it can be done. That's in the hands of people in Cornwall who use Cornish and want to raise children using it."
That is correct, and my point was that *even though this was done by a number of families 20-odd years ago* it failed to produce anything approaching a community of 'new' speakers. Clearly for this to ever happen some sort of resolute affirmative action will be needed.

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factotum
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Re: The Basque experience in language recovery

Post by factotum » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:08 am

The Irish are tested on their language, and the teachers "teach to the test", so the kids learn prefabricated answers but can't always produce them in response to the right question. Basically the whole business is a complete farce, at least they're beginning to understand that now. Tragic or comic??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXrjouPxuAo

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