“Skeul an Tavas” -- Corslyver rag Skeul an Yethow dyllys gans Agan Tavas ha gans Evertype

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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Post by Evertype » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:42 pm

Texts exist in a variety of orthographies. That's all the language subtags are designed to deal with: enabling users who need to mark language text as being in one orthography or another. No other judgements apply.
As far as the rest of your discussion, clearly you don't understand much about the process and how it unfolded. Of course, you kept well clear of it on purpose. 
Due to time constraints and an assumption that KK was some how a "basis" for a revived Cornish orthography, unstressed vowels in the SWF are meant to follow Ken George's reconstructions. There was no serious discussion of this; no review of individual etyma; not even a presentation of the proposal to the Linguistic Advisors. It was just fiat. Personally I consider it quite unacceptable. George's preference for onan and ugens and taves over onen and ugans and tavas is not gospel; it's just what he churned out with his "orthographic profiles" and his vintage 1983 algorithms. In any case, it turned out that taves was in the SWF. The merits of this were disputed by organizations like Agan Tavas, and so it was accepted to allow both spellings in the SWF. 
I disagree completely with your assumptions about the pronunciation of vowels in final unstressed syllables. Nowadays it seems likely that one ought to recognize schwa [ə], i-coloured schwa [ᵻ], and u-coloured schwa [ᵿ], but e and a in final unstressed syllables are plain old ordinary [ə]. Your "merger of unstressed /ɛ/ into /a/" is a fiction. The phoneme /e/ is [eː] when long, [ɛ] when short, and [ə] when unstressed. Far simpler—and justified by the texts—than the model you prefer.
In KS we distinguish -ak [ək] and -ek [ək] in final unstressed position on the basis of the vowel that appears in derivatives: -ak > -og-, -ek > -eg-. We write tiak, tiogow, and Kernowek, Kernoweger. This is an elementary normalization, long overdue.

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factotum
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Post by factotum » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:46 am

Thank you for your detailed reply.
Your last example is really rather curious. You appear to object to KK 's morphophonemic approach, but to distinguish the final vowel of tiek > tiak on the basis of it's alternation with o in tiogyon > tiogyan, is harking back to a distinction which vanished in the simplex long before any of our Middle Cornish texts were written. You appear to have outdone Dr. George by a mile. If morphophonemic spelling is acceptable in this case, what is your objection to e.g. the lowen 'happy' ~ lowenn 'louse' distinction, the first having derivatives in -n- (e.g. lowena 'joy'), the latter in -nn- (e.g. lowennessa 'to seek for lice'). Your use of e vs a here is clever, but only available if your base is later than the merger of unstressed /E, a, O/. KK and the SWF Main Form take an earlier reference point.
The distinction between final unstressed /E, a, O/ and indeed some other vowels, is perfectly clear and orderly in the earlier texts, and is supported by rhymes and rhyme contrasts. (PA023 /-O# ~ -E#/; PA003 [-az ~ -Ez] notwithstanding the later spelling!) The "reduced to schwa" hypothesis does not withstand examination of the texts. Not even the Late Cornish texts. Lhuyd had a symbol specifically for schwa, but does not use it for these unstressed finals, which he spells with 'a', or with 'e' usually before 'r'. Now contrast that with his treatment of Late Cornish pretonic vowels, such as the first vowel in Kernewek > Kernowak > K@rnuak which btw native writers spell every whichway, or his kymeraz (with dotted y ) for the LC reflex of kemmeras [JCH 03]. Why should he plainly mark the pretonic as schwa, but not the final? The obvious answer is surely because the finals were audibly not schwa. Can you offer a better explanation? And talking about multi-coloured schwas is just fudging the issue, either they were identified with separate phonemes by Cornish speakers, or they were not, whatever their detailed phonetic realisation.
I presume AT spells its name as it does because it uses UC(R) and now SWF/t. I can see no justification for using the tavas spelling in the Main Form version of your book, to do so removes any consistency from the Main Form and so further chips away at its credibility. No doubt it is acceptable as one more side-form varient.
The words for 'one' and 'own' in Cornish are very usual in having several varient forms, (h)onan ~ (h)onon in earlier texts, (h)onyn > (h)onen later, clearly several different forms of these words have become conflated and remodeled on one another. They should be treated as synonyms, but (h)onan is preferred for the SWF, but still not used by Cornwall Council on its letterheads etc. (so much for 'official purposes'!)
The word for 'twenty' should appear as ugens in earlier texts, as ugans in 'Tudor Cornish' and egance etc. in Late sources. Do you have any evidence that this word developed irregularly? I cannot see any objection to ugens. Naturally if you can come up with good evidence that this or other words have been misinterpreted, then they will be changed, in KK if not in the rigid by seemingly quite illogical SWF!


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Post by pietercharles » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:34 am

First of all, hats off to Ray Chubb.  Full marks.  If any non-KK person was going to produce a good beginners' SWF course book it had to be Ray.  Who else would or could have done it?
Meanwhile, factotum said  "Nor can I see any point [in the use of the word 'tavas'], other than to increase confusion all round".
But it would have been even more confusing to beginners if the book had been called "Skeul an TavEs" yet was published by Agan TavAs.
That's the key to this puzzle.  I thought some of the official Emendations were strange and queried 'taves/tavas' along with others.  I was told that Agan Tavas had insisted that 'tavas' be allowed because it was used in their name.  Clearly it's odd to single out one word for special treatment like this, but it makes a lot of sense if you're Agan Tavas.
The resulting taves/tavas 'confusion' was a concession to the traditionalists in a spirit of compromise.
After all, there was no way Agan Tavas was going to change its name. Just as Kernowek Standard, or Standard Cornish as the book cover declares, is going to change its name just to avoid confusion.  Rightly so - it got there first with its misnomer. 
The CLP in its newsletter felt obliged to point out that Standard Cornish is not the SWF after it received a number of confused and angry comments from people who were adamant that they had been misled by recent Evertype publications.
I can't see a note in the newsletter doing any good.  The SWF will have to change its name.  Compromise is the key concept.  Some have suggested it be renamed the CWF - the Compromised Written Form.
And just to reiterate - well done Ray Chubb.

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:32 pm

Pieter?  That WAS you?
I have to give you full credit for what you have said in your last post (My God!  We're agreeing again – it won't do!  It simply won't do!).  Yes, Agan Tavas has produced this course in an even handed way in order to serve everyone.  After all, we did agree to accept the SWF (Several Written Form) and also KS, so Ray and Michael have produced these books in all three.
As mentioned on another thread, it is doubtful whether the Kowethas, the Kesva or even the Cussel would have done so.  We have, and I echo your congrats to Ray.

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factotum
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Post by factotum » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:02 pm

The name "Agan Tavas" is the proper name of an organisation. As such they are entitled to spell it however they wish, and it should be honoured by others. The spelling system its embedded in is really beside the point. The confusion of "Skeul an Taves" (Main Form) being published by "Agan Tavas" is no more or less than "This month's quick saves" being offered by "Kwik Save", or the deliberate use of antique spellings (real or fake) in the names of visitor attractions, although one would expect to see the normal spelling used for the same words outside of the name.
If AT has truely embrased the SWF Main Form, then they should respell their name accordingly, at least in publications using that form. If not why are they publishing in a form they can't stand and wish to undermine? With the introduction of KK the Cowethas became the Kowethas, and Kesva an Tavas became K. an Taves. It all seemed rather painless. But if they feel too attached to the Nancian ethos to change, then fair enough, the confusion is all of their own makeing, but a name is a name is a name, and people spell their names in many eccentric ways.
Yes, well done Ray. But putting the same thing out in three versions is really shooting yourselves in the foot. It implies there is no consensus within your organisation, and demonstrates to the rest of the world what a time-wasting failure the Process has been.
And for a second time I ask, "what happened to the 'official' Language Ladder materials?"








truru
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Post by truru » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:52 pm


factotum said:
If AT has truely embrased the SWF Main Form, then they should respell their name accordingly, at least in publications using that form.

They haven't embraced the neoteric forms.

If not why are they publishing in a form they can't stand and wish to undermine?

So the book can be used in schools.
The greater benefit to the revival that schoolbooks will bring is more desirable than the smaller benefit to the traditionalists that point scoring against the neoteric forms will bring. But it appears that you just don't understand that.

Palores
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Post by Palores » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:09 am


factotum said:
The name “Agan Tavas” is the proper name of an organisation. As such they are entitled to spell it however they wish, and it should be honoured by others.



The name "Kernewek Kemmyn" is the proper name of an orthography. As such it should be honoured by all.

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:37 am

It's not a copyrighted "brand-name" that must be "honoured". It's two words in Cornish.
In KS we do not use "Kernewek" because this form does not occur. (I believe Nicholas Williams has shown that were reconstructivism to reign, the form ought to have been "Kernywek".) In any case, we write "Kernowek" regularly for this word. We also allow both "Kemmyn" and "Kebmyn" according to the preference of the writer, who may choose to pre-occlude, or not to pre-occlude.

Palores
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Post by Palores » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:08 pm

That is disingenuous. Deliberately to spell Kernewek Kemmyn (when this phrase refers to the orthography) in another way, is offensive.


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Post by pietercharles » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:17 pm

Offensive to many, of course, because they know exactly what spirit and attitude drives naming the orthography in that way.
Anyone not involved in the language will be none the wiser - the offensiveness is not apparent, so, in a sense at least, it's of no concern. 
Anyone involved in the language will not be in the least bit taken in by attempts to pretend there is no alternative, like "in KS 'We' do not use this" and "in KS 'We' also allow both this and that". 
Anyone involved in the language recognises this behaviour for what it is and where it is coming from.  
They judge accordingly, have done so and are doing so - which makes me think that, in a sense at least, it's of no concern.

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:13 pm

Let's get something straight.  Both taves and tavas have equal status on the SWF (all of it).  That was agreed at a recent Partnership meeting.  People can spell it either way, as they wish.  I prefer, and will use, tavas.  Taves is confusing and I've even heard people pronouce it 'taivs', as though it had just one syllable.  KK does not have exclusive rights on the spelling 'Kernewek', which is unattested and, in fact, was made up by Morton Nance.


When it comes to curmudgeonly comment re 'Skeul an Tavas', I just knew – well before the event – that any such comment would have to come from Keith – whose entire constructive input to the Cornish revival has been . . . er . . . nil.  Guess what?  I was right.

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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:56 pm


Palores said:
That is disingenuous. Deliberately to spell Kernewek Kemmyn (when this phrase refers to the orthography) in another way, is offensive.


Do tell. Whom do I offend? Whom do I offend by preferring the form Kernowek, which is based on an attested orthographic form, to Kernewek, which is not? 
Whom do I offend by preferring pre-occlusion? In KS (and in the SWF) two spellings are offered. The graphs mm and nn are offered for those who prefer not to pre-occlude, and the graphs bm and dn are offered for those who do prefer to pre-occlude. I prefer to pre-occlude, and so I prefer to write the pre-occluding graphs in words like that.
I'm exercising a choice given in orthographies which are inclusive of the dialect spectrum of Revived Cornish.

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:58 pm

Yes, Pieter - when people involved in the langauge revival, in whatever way, see statements such as:  "In KS we do not use this" or "In KS we allow for this and that". they will indeed recognise it for what it is.  Honesty, straight and unadulterated - which the revival hasn't seen too much of in recent decades.

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