Chaos on Spellyans

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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factotum
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Post by factotum » Sat May 22, 2010 11:46 pm

OK then Truru, why did you start this thread?

And thanks for pissing on my olive branch, I don't believe I've been impolite to you, and I certainly don't imagine that my views will have any effect on anyone -- they never have. But, yes, it does get to you after a while and soon we all begin to sound like Michael.

I can't see anything wrong with publishing in KK since it is still the most used form, the form of almost everything published for over 20 years, and it has an up to date two-way dictionary, several beginners courses using different approaches, and other support materials. KS doesn't even have a provisional spec. it's still a pipe dream. And the SWF is not being actively promoted or supported by the Partnership, so what purpose does it serve? It just adds to the confusion. What are you doing to support the SWF?

 

 

 

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Post by Evertype » Sun May 23, 2010 12:13 am

factotum said:

OK then Truru, why did you start this thread? He started it because the points discussed are relevant.

And thanks for pissing on my olive branch, I don't believe I've been impolite to you, and I certainly don't imagine that my views will have any effect on anyone -- they never have. But, yes, it does get to you after a while and soon we all begin to sound like Michael. Bah. Humbug.

I can't see anything wrong with publishing in KK since it is still the most used form, Really? How many words have you published since January 2009?

the form of almost everything published for over 20 years, Incorrect. You have a number of publications, during that period, but so do others, including the works of the late Myghal Palmer, which were not in KK, but in UC and UCR.

and it has an up to date two-way dictionary, Not a very good one, though. Did you notice that it's got no word for cucumber in it?
several beginners courses using different approaches, and other support materials. Not by any means the only courses on offer. Skeul an Tavas is available in SWF/T, SWF/K, and KS, for instance.
KS doesn't even have a provisional spec. it's still a pipe dream. Incorrect. There is a KS version of Skeul an Tavas available. It is a specification. There are also three novels and a number of smaller texts available in KS.
And the SWF is not being actively promoted or supported by the Partnership, so what purpose does it serve? It just adds to the confusion. What are you doing to support the SWF? What are you doing to support Cornish in any way, Keith?

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Post by truru » Sun May 23, 2010 4:29 pm

factotum said:

And the SWF is not being actively promoted or supported by the Partnership, so what purpose does it serve? It just adds to the confusion.

Ridiculous, the CLP use the SWF on their website, in their newsletters, in their translation service, in every leaflet or booklet they publish, when they promote the language in schools. It's used by Rod Lyon on the BBC website, by Kernewegva, Radyo an Gernewegva, on Wikipedia, in many classes, on streetsigns, on benches, on artwork, in pubs, at events, on the Convergence website, nearly all software translation is into the SWF, and there are a couple of other websites in the SWF.

Like I said you're off in your own little world where books = usage, wake up Keith, it's 2010, not 1990! It's clear that the language has evolved to a point where it's far bigger than you realise.


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factotum said:

KS doesn't even have a provisional spec. it's still a pipe dream. Incorrect. There is a KS version of Skeul an Tavas available. It is a specification. There are also three novels and a number of smaller texts available in KS.

Insufficient. It's not a complete specification. If you want people to truly support KS then you need to release a full technical specification. If we wanted to go off and do something of our own in KS, how can we if there isn't a complete technical specification? Do we have to go through either you or Nicholas every time we want to write a sentence in KS?

Why should we part with money to buy a second or third copy of Skeul an Tavas, or any of your other publications, for an end result that's only a rough idea of what KS is? Is it an unwillingness to write a specification for free? I thought you weren't in it for the money? Surely if there was a specification, people could start using KS themselves, instead of relying on whatever you publish, increasing its usage. As far as I can see there's no logical reason not to release one, and doing so would actually be an advantage for you.

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Post by Egloshal » Tue May 25, 2010 11:08 pm

Oh for f**k's sake!

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Post by Evertype » Thu May 27, 2010 9:33 am

Keith said:
I do find it completely inconsistent the way ME and NJAW for example :

*** Wish to eliminate diphthongised vowels (a carry over from modern English)You have said previously that this is a laudable goal.
but accept incorrect stress and vowel-length (equally carried over from English):No idea what you're on about with "incorrect stress". We recommend penultimate stress generally, with anomalous stress in the usual words which have been described as having anomalous stress in Jenner, Nance, Williams. Far as I know, such stress is recommended in KK as well.

With regard to vowel length, this just goes to show that you never read (or tried to understand) the KS1 draft, or the SWF spec either. Because the core rules for vowel length in both the SWF and KS are simple and predictable. In stressed monosyllables, vowels are long before voiced consonants and vowels are short before voiceless consonants. In addition to being used in Jordan's orthography, this happens to exploit English phonology in order to improve learner vowel length, since the vowels in bag, wabe, and

*** Wish to encourage preocclusion but not gemination (when the first is really just a special and slightly exaggerated example of the second);People who wish to pre-occlude manage to do so, and have managed to do so for years. Nobody geminates even after a generation of recommending it -- even Ken George says [ˈkɛmɪn] 100% of the time, never [ˈkɛmːɪn]. We don't encourage gemination because it's not part of the Revived language. If you really want to pronounce [ˈkɛmːɪn] you can, because the orthography allows both kemmyn and kebmyn. But we recommend [ˈkɛmɪn] and [ˈkɛᵇmɪn] for the pronunciations, because we are realists.

*** Insist that established pronunciations (or at least some of them) be retained, even when they can be shown to be historically wrong,Such as?
but wage a campaign against well established usages like "yn hwir"People can do what they want. There's no reason to use *"yn whir" since (a) it's not attested in the texts and (b) exactly the same thing is attested in the texts, regularly, as in gwir. Go ahead and use it if you must. But the authentic way of saying exactly the same thing is in the texts. Imitate a mistake made by early revivalists, or imitate the native speakers. It's up to you. In our publications, we prefer to imitate the native speakers in this matter.
and various individual words like "eneb". It's most likely enep, of course, since in unstressed final syllables consonants devoice in Cornish. But you like to write Cornish as though it were Breton, I understand that. People can do what they want. There's no reason to use *"enep" since (a) it is attested once in the texts with the meaning 'page' and (b) the word attested in the texts for 'a person's face, regularly, as fas (fâss in KS orthography, showing a long vowel before a voiceless [s]). Go ahead and use enep if you must. But the authentic way of saying exactly the same thing is in the texts. Imitate a mistake made by early revivalists, or imitate the native speakers. It's up to you. In our publications, we prefer to imitate the native speakers in this matter. We use the word enep for 'a flat surface', as do other Revivalists.

If as you suggest a large part of the Revival wishes to retain 'traditional' spelling (e.g. Anglicised spelling), 'qu', 'wh' and so on, why do you think these forms were given second-class status by the Partnership?I am told (by someone who was there) that this was the price exacted by the Kesva and Cowethas representatives in exchange for Vocalic Alternation. In other words, in order to accept a genuine part of the language which Ken George and you deny existed (because it is not found in Breton even though it is found in Welsh), "your side" thought that it could denigrate traditional orthographic forms by making them "side forms" next to KK's "main forms".

Btw. the literature I've been reading on orthography design is mostly from the last 10 or 15 years. Recurring themes are :

*** Creating a new orthography or revising an established one is not to be undertaken lightly, but as one linguist put it (sorry I can't give a ref. now, but it did rather stick in my mind), "with fear and trepidation";We didn't undertake it lightly. But we took on a brief to support both dialects of Revived Cornish (as actually spoken), and devised, collectively, an orthography which was superior to the orthography we had previously preferred (UC and UCR, and of course we know that not everyone has yet given up UC and UCR for the new orthography, but then neither has everyone done so for KK).

*** Spelling reform ALWAYS becomes political;Self-evident.

*** Proposed new orthographies, including various alternatives, need to be tested with a sample of users before being accepted. I.e. things that look nice in theory may not turn out to be useful in practice;KS1 was vetted by more than 80 people, who understood its principles and were able to see texts written in it. Although the SWF has flaws in it, they were easily remedied, and the KS which we are currently using is useful in practice—if it weren't, we wouldn't have been able to originate so much text in it.

*** Most of the time a reader is not reading for pronunciation information, but simply needs to easily recognise known words (and morphemes).Yippee. Setting us up for another attempt to show us all how super KK is, eh?
This is facilitated by a "constant word image". However pronunciation needs to be extracted in the case of unfamiliar words (and especially in a little-spoken language like Cornish). The best compromise between these two requirements is generally a largely phonemic spelling;That's your opinion. It is not a withering condemnation of the SWF or of KS or a rousing vindication of KK.

*** Diacritics and 'funny signs' are to be avoided as far as possible, especially where the main written language is English;I'm not impressed and doubt that this came from your reading of the literature. Oh, it's probably better to avoid characters outside of the Latin 1 character set. But we live in Europe, Keith, and Breton, Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, and Welsh all manage with diacritics (some with more than others). Perhaps you're satisfied with an orthography like KK and the SWF which can't distinguish short and long /o/ and /u/ and /y/ effectively. I'm not.

*** As far as possible spelling systems should be harmonised between related languages.Says who? The Romance languages' spelling systems are not harmonized. The Scandinavian languages' spelling systems are not harmonized. The spelling systems of Irish and Gaelic and Manx are not harmonized. The spelling systems of Welsh and Breton are not harmonized—and are quite different from one another too. Since Cornish had its own orthography, why not base a modern orthography on that? Oh, that's right. You don't like it. You want it to be more like Breton. You're happy to write *bywnans because Welsh does similarly, even though only bewnans and bownans are attested.

The more of this stuff I read, the more I wonder what on earth the Commission had in mind when they recommended a brand new orthography for Cornish, without considering the time and resources the development a such a sytem would require, and without any real independent data on uptake and efficiency of  the existing systems.There you go again on your "independent", which of course allows you to pretend that people like me and Nicholas aren't linguists. I think the Commissioners had ample information available to them. They had your lies about numeric superiority of course (90% when it was only 55%). But they had plenty of information about the problems inherent in the KK construal. And they saw two independent teams working on new orthographies (KD which was mostly KK with some Traditional graphs, and KS1 which was a phonetic orthography based on Traditional orthographic forms. So they thought it would be possible to get people to work together. It's a pity that the Management Group was so politicized in agreeing who would work on it, and it's a pity that so few people with real linguistic knowledge were there working on the brief. But the SWF is better than it might have been, and what's wrong with it easily corrected. So we're better off than we were previously.

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Post by Evertype » Thu May 27, 2010 10:25 am

Truru said:
Evertype said:
factotum said: KS doesn't even have a provisional spec. it's still a pipe dream. Incorrect. There is a KS version of Skeul an Tavas available. It is a specification. There are also three novels and a number of smaller texts available in KS.
Insufficient. It's not a complete specification. Eh? I was responding to Keith. The description of the orthography in the KS version of Skeul an Tavas serves, without a doubt, as "a provisional spec". And (though you have not seen it, as you say, it is not as incomplete as you might think.

If you want people to truly support KS then you need to release a full technical specification. Imagine for a moment that I'm not paid do write Cornish grammars, or even to publish Cornish books of any kind. That I do this in my spare time when not trying to keep a roof over my head by doing other work. That the market for Cornish is pretty damn small and that it takes a good while for any book even to pay for itself.

If we wanted to go off and do something of our own in KS, how can we if there isn't a complete technical specification? Do we have to go through either you or Nicholas every time we want to write a sentence in KS? Well, we put Skeul an Tavas out in order to fill that need since it takes longer to write a comprehensive book than it does a basic introduction.

Why should we part with money to buy a second or third copy of Skeul an Tavas, or any of your other publications, for an end result that's only a rough idea of what KS is? Well, it's your money. It's really up to you. The book costs £8.95, hardly a fortune, and I make, what, the price of a pint or two off of it. It is more of a specification than you will get if you just read Alys in Pow an Anethow or Kensa Lyver Redya.

Is it an unwillingness to write a specification for free? Nobody's paying me to write a specification. But I'm not willing to put out something that isn't ready.

I thought you weren't in it for the money? Erm. Can't think of too many Cornish books that are runaway best-sellers making me my fortune, Truru.

Surely if there was a specification, people could start using KS themselves, instead of relying on whatever you publish, increasing its usage.What makes you think that Skeul an Tavas isn't a specification robust enough to help someone who wanted to start using KS themselves to do so? There is a section at the end about spelling. Oughtn't that help someone to spell?

As far as I can see there's no logical reason not to release one, and doing so would actually be an advantage for you.Yes, but you might remember a couple of things. First, books don't write themselves. Neither do glossaries. As it happens we are preparing a large teaching grammar and a short dictionary and another fairly large volume of prose. We're using concordance software to try to check our spellings, shaking out some edge cases in anomalous long vowels in polysyllables. Thrilling work? Maybe not. Exacting work. You'd like us to be careful, wouldn't you?

In the meantime, I don't know whether you can justify buying Skeul an Tavas or not. That's really up to you.

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Post by truru » Thu May 27, 2010 12:07 pm

Whatever. But until you release a full KS specification, KS will continue to be an orthography used by two people.

Marhak and Eddie have already asked for a KS specification, and they're more likely to have bought KS SaT, Eddie especially. So they can't have considered it sufficient.

You can either stay in your ivory tower safe in the knowledge that everyone else is wrong, or you can be open and transparent about the inner workings of KS and make it an orthography that is truly accessible to all. It's really up to you.

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Post by Eddie-C » Thu May 27, 2010 1:51 pm

Truru whek,

Res aswon gras dhys nyns yu dhym poynt a whylas gorra dha eryow dha honen yn ow ganow. Prena 'Skeul an Tavas (KS)' ny wruk vy whath, ha my ow tysky KU ha KUA. Whansek en-vy cafos descryvyans brassa a GS es an onen in SanT bytegens.

 

Kemer dhe'th honen, my a'th pys, dha hunrosow fals.

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Post by truru » Thu May 27, 2010 4:10 pm

Eddie-C said:

Res aswon gras dhys nyns yu dhym poynt a whylas gorra dha eryow dha honen yn ow ganow. Prena 'Skeul an Tavas (KS)' ny wruk vy whath, ha my ow tysky KU ha KUA.

Drog ew gena'ma. Th ere've predery dr'era va dhe che.

Whansek en-vy cafos descryvyans brassa a GS es an onen in SanT bytegens.

Th ero've whilas hedna ywedh.

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Post by Eddie-C » Thu May 27, 2010 4:41 pm

Da lowr, ow sos.

 

Actually, although I didn't buy one, I was given a copy of the 'Skeul an Tavas' (KS) book by a dear friend (!), but I've deliberately not tried studying from it, lest I confuse myself more than I sometimes am already. As it is, I have enough difficulty keeping UC and UCR distinct, without adding to the problem. Why, on one or two words I've even found (like scattered specks of mould on an otherwise healthy looking loaf) traces of KK (even if it was only a kontaminating -nn- in the middle of 'dynergh'!)

 

So, the risks of confusion are only too real for a 'bear of little brain' such as I!

 


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Post by Evertype » Thu May 27, 2010 5:32 pm

truru said:
Whatever.I thought we were trying to get beyond snottiness, dear Truru. I gave you a straight answer. Is there really a reason to dismiss it thus? (I find "whatever" to be really rather insulting, in general.)
But until you release a full KS specification, KS will continue to be an orthography used by two people.I'm aware of a few others. I understand your point, of course. As I said, three items are under development at present, and will be ready when they are ready.

You can either stay in your ivory tower safeActually, I live in County Mayo.
in the knowledge that everyone else is wrong,Eh?
or you can be open and transparent about the inner workings of KS Transparent? Inner workings? It's spelling. It's a fairly phonetic spelling, too. (So if you learn the values of the graphs you can make a pretty good job of writing.) And the errors and inconsistencies in the SWF to which it responds have been discussed really quite openly and transparently. Much of that discussion was a while back. Since then work has concentrated on endeavours to implement those things and to check for "leaks".

and make it an orthography that is truly accessible to all. It's really up to you.Would you really have me publish something that hadn't been properly edited? Don't you think I'd be in for even more grief if I published something with errors or inconsistencies in it?

Not that perfection is possible, but if something isn't ready, it isn't ready. Bear in mind, please, that I took time to put a lot of work into publishing some texts in the orthography (which everyone seems to agree are easy enough to read) and also into my new edition of Jenner (which was a very educational experience indeed).

I would like to point out that it is not just two people, either. Some people on Spellyans have been very good to review some of this material. They too, have lives, and commitments. So, for instance, if our glossary isn't out yet, it may be because the review of it is incomplete.

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Post by Evertype » Thu May 27, 2010 5:36 pm

If you'd like to write to me privately, Truru, I'll be happy to make arrangements to send you a copy of the Evertype edition of Skeul an Tavas.

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Post by truru » Thu May 27, 2010 7:04 pm

Evertype said:

truru said:
Whatever.I thought we were trying to get beyond snottiness, dear Truru. I gave you a straight answer. Is there really a reason to dismiss it thus? (I find "whatever" to be really rather insulting, in general.)


I learnt it from the Michael Everson school of debate. You hypocrite.

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Post by Marhak » Thu May 27, 2010 9:50 pm

Michael – Truru – gentlemen!  Isn't this going a bit far when you're pretty well on the same side of the debate?

It's necessary in this climate to keep some cards close to the chest, but I now know about the items in production.  All I can say, Truru, is that a little patience will be needed and then all will be explained and available.  It's explained to my own satisfaction now.  Believe me, it'll be worth waiting for.

If you have 'Jowal Lethesow', you'll find it easy on the eye (even with diacritics), easy to read, and even easier to recite (because of the diacritics).  I'm still hoping that its sequels, 'Seat of Storms' and 'The Tinners' Way' will be translated, too.  It would be great to have the whole trilogy available in both languages and it'll be another first, both in the history of the revival, and for the books themselves: the first one, when it was published in 1991 as 'The Lyonesse Stone' was the first (and I think still the only) novel ever to be promoted by a film trailer!  I still have a copy on VHS (I must get that transferred onto DVD).

It's great to make history – I just wish I'd make money, too.  It ain't for the want of trying!

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