Holyer an Gof, 2010

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Evertype
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Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Evertype » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:22 pm

I've posted this to the Spellyans list, but since it will doubtless turn up over here, I'm posting it unabridged here myself.

About a month ago, the Holyer an Gof 2010 winners have been announced: http://www.gorsethkernow.org.uk/english ... ards10.htm

THe prize was shared between two books:

Joint Winner – Cornish Language Board. An Gerlyver Meur. Dr. Ken George.
Joint Winner – Kowethas an Yeth. Kanow Flehes. (compilation).

So, the winning prize in the Cornish language section was shared jointly between yet another of Ken George's KK dictionaries (the one that says that wosa/woja should become wozha) and a re-edition of a short book of children's songs in the SWF/M. I haven't seen the latter, so I don't can't comment on it, but at http://www.learncornish.net/books-novels/kanow-flehes the book is described thus:
This book and DVD set includes 24 children’s songs in Cornish. The book uses the Standard Written Form and features illustrations by Rachel Axtell, and the DVD contains videos of the songs being sung by children from Marlborough Primary School in Falmouth. Kanow Flehes is suitable for use by schools as well as families who are teaching their children Cornish. An English translation of the songs is included on the DVD.
Hey, neat. Twenty-four children's songs.

I can't speak for other publishers who forward books in the Cornish language category, but I can say that Evertype forwarded eight books to the competition:

Cornish Language section
Alys in Pow an Anethow (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
Adro dhe’n Bÿs in Peswar Ugans Dëdh (Around the World in 80 Days)
Kensa Lyver Redya (A First Reading Book)
Jowal Lethesow: Whedhel a’n West a Gernow (The Lyonesse Stone: A Story of the West of Cornwall)

Adult fiction section
Nautilus

Non-fiction section
Lyver Pejadow rag Kenyver Jorna: Cornish Daily Prayer
A Concise Dictionary of Cornish Place-Names
Skeul an Tavas: A coursebook in Standard Cornish

In previous years, High Commendations and Commendations have been awarded for books in the Cornish Language Section.

For books published in 2009, no such awards have been made. No High Commendations. No Commendations. To anybody.

Certainly I never expected to win first prize. That would have been unthinkable. I'm an Irish publisher who has opposed Kernewek Kemmyn, after all. Indeed I would have predicted that politics would have handed first prize to Ken George. That he had to share the prize must be a political statement. I suspect the reasoning was "Well, we can't give a prize to the KK book on its own, since we're supposed to be supporting the SWF, and there aren't really any books published in the SWF except this reprint here...."

But I did expect some notice to be taken of the 125,000 words of Cornish which I published in 2009. So what was the rationale here? It was either "Well, we could give a commendation to this Irish publisher's books. They are rather nice-looking. The Cornish is even good." or it was "Oh, no, we'd better not commend this Irish publisher's books. He's not using either KK or the SWF. We mustn't have that."

What do you think?

It almost looks as though Gorseth Kernow wishes to suppress Evertype's books and discourage people from knowing that they are available. Certainly, in offering a joint first prize to the Kesva/Cowethas and no other prizes to any other publishers, Gorseth Kernow is making the statement that no books of merit, apart from yet another KK dictionary and a re-spelt pamphlet of children's songs, appeared in 2009.

I don't think they're right about that.

Michael Everson * evertype.com

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Marhak
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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Marhak » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:01 pm

Kanow Flehes isn't even original - it only appears to be a translation into SWF/M of a UC book, Canow Fleghes, brought out decades ago. I have a copy of the first edition right here. Strange that 125,000 words of Cornish published by Michael never got as much as a nod.

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Evertype
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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Evertype » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:00 pm

I doubt that there will be "fuller explanations" as to why no books from any publisher were given Commendation or High Commendation.

Everyone who knows Cornish and who has read the books, "Mike", has reported that the language in them is quite easy to read. Which is as it should be, since the orthography represents, accurately, the pronunciation which speakers of Cornish actually use.

But the Holyer an Gof awards aren't meant to be a verdict on orthography, nor is it stated anywhere that its readers will be arbiters on orthography. The fact is that Jowal Lethesow on its own is 60,000 words of Cornish, attractively typeset and bound, and it seems odd that it, or even one of the three editions of Skeul an Tavas (SWF/T, SWF/K, KS) did not merit "Commendation", never mind "High Commendation".

Doesn't it? I mean, if the awards aren't a fix, one would expect some notice to be taken of several hundred pages of Cornish, pleasantly presented, even if they languish in the shadow of Yet Another KK Dictionary and a booklet of twenty-four kid's songs.
Last edited by Evertype on Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Anselm » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 pm

Yth o da genev klywes an fleghes yn-dann gana nebes a'n kanow a skrifis vy, ha Graham ow formya an ilow.
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.'
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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Karesk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:56 pm

Evertype, it seems that the Gorsedh have criteria that mean that your books were excluded. If I were on the gorsedh, I would be inclined to propose that all books in Cornish should be eligible, and if I were on the committee that awarded the prizes, I would take seriously the case for awarding a commendation to either of the two books of yours I've read.
The Gorsedh are free to set the criteria they see fit, though, and I can easily understand why some people would see the KS project and the way it has been presented as divisive, and would not want to give it support. Personally I think the way to unity is the way of mutual acceptance, but I seem to be in a minority there.

As for the books that did win, I think Ken's dictionary well deserved its prize. I haven't seen or heard Kanow Fleghes but I think the value of such a book towards fostering the revival is obvious and I can't agree with your dismissive attitude to it,

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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Marhak » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:05 pm

As I'm not supportive of KK, I haven't seen the new KK (Mark how many?) dictionary, so can't judge. Kanow Flehes, though, is merely a translation of a children's song book which first came out back in the UC days, 25 years or more ago. I have a copy of that right here. Eddie's Kensa Lyver Redya offered much more to children. The apparent disregard for all the many entries from Michael, though, does strike the observer as odd.

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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Anselm » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:13 pm

Yma yn 'Kanow Flehes' meur a ganow a lies mammenn. Y'ga mysk yma nebes a'h hanow vy! Kedhlow kamm genes arta - herwydh usadow!
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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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Tennven » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:21 pm

I would agree with Karesk, some might say supporting KS is divisive.

However, this doesn't explain your SWF/T/M coursebook? I thought it was good? (and useful,) but I would have appreciated more!...

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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Karesk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:26 pm

Tennven wrote:I would agree with Karesk, some might say supporting KS is divisive.

However, this doesn't explain your SWF/T/M coursebook? I thought it was good? (and useful,) but I would have appreciated more!...
Those two books were published by Agan Tavas. Were they submitted?

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Anselm
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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Anselm » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:39 pm

Yma meur a wryonedh y'n pyth a leverydh.
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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Evertype
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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Evertype » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:47 pm

Karesk wrote:Evertype, it seems that the Gorsedh have criteria that mean that your books were excluded.
No; if that had been the case, they ought to have returned the books as ineligible.
If I were on the gorsedh, I would be inclined to propose that all books in Cornish should be eligible,
As I say, I filled out the application form which is to be submitted with the books
and if I were on the committee that awarded the prizes, I would take seriously the case for awarding a commendation to either of the two books of yours I've read.
That's kind of you to say. Which ones are those, may I ask?
The Gorsedh are free to set the criteria they see fit, though,
Yes, but it appears that my books met the criteria for entry into the Cornish language section: they were in Cornish.
and I can easily understand why some people would see the KS project and the way it has been presented as divisive,
It has been presented as a correction of identified errors and inconsistencies in the SWF as we see it. We gave up
and would not want to give it support.
That may be, but there are no strictures set on orthography in the Holyer an Gof rules.
Personally I think the way to unity is the way of mutual acceptance, but I seem to be in a minority there.
I trust not.
As for the books that did win, I think Ken's dictionary well deserved its prize.
I can't really agree that it deserved it. In it, George has changed the phonology of KK and in doing so he has made the orthography quite un-phonemic—a bit of an own goal if you ask me. But I stipulate that his winning was a foregone conclusion.
I haven't seen or heard Kanow Fleghes but I think the value of such a book towards fostering the revival is obvious and I can't agree with your dismissive attitude to it,
I haven't seen it either, but it wasn't new. Evidently it was a re=print of a book of twenty-four children's songs. I don't begrudge it winning. It takes a lot of organization to make a DVD of children singing in a language they don't speak natively. Hopefully the production values (typography etc) of the book are high.

My complaint is about the conspicuous lack of any Highly Commended or Commended books in the Cornish language section this year. This implies that no books of merit appeared other than the two winners, and that simply isn't true.

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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Karesk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:54 pm

Your books I have read are Alys and Jowal Lethesow. I enjoyed reading them. I'm not qualified to say whether they deserved a prize as writing in Cornish.

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Evertype
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Re: Holyer an Gof, 2010

Post by Evertype » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:55 pm

Tennven wrote:I would agree with Karesk, some might say supporting KS is divisive.
Some might. Others might not.

We were all told that the Partnership would use the SWF and that certain types of school examinations would use the SWF, but that we were all free to use whatever orthography we liked. A number of us involved with Spellyans gave up the UCR we had been using, because KS1 and the subsequent SWF were in many ways more accurate. But found we could not use the SWF as specified because it has what we consider to be serious shortcomings. Those shortcomings are addressed in the orthography we publish in. It is reported that no one who has read the books has had much difficulty with the orthography. Some people have praised it ("Hey, this looks Cornish!") indeed.

The point is that we are free to use an orthography that does not have mistakes in it if we want. In our view KS responds carefully to the SWF. But it is more accurate.
However, this doesn't explain your SWF/T/M coursebook? I thought it was good? (and useful,) but I would have appreciated more!...
Nicholas and I edited Skeul an Tavas, written by Ray Chubb. We produced it in SWF/T and SWF/K versions (and believe me, working with those was quite instructive as to the problems the SWF has), and we produced it in a KS version. Agan Tavas submitted the SWF volumes to Holyer an Gof, and I submitted the KS volume. None of them were Commended or Highly Commended.

And it's not as though a Commendation costs the Gorseth anything.

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