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Form and Content in Revived Cornish: Articles in criticism of Kernowek Kemyn

Form and Content in Revived Cornish

Michael Everson, Craig Weatherhill, Ray Chubb, Bernard Deacon, Nicholas Williams

First edition, 2007. Reprinted with corrections 2011. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-904808-10-7 (paperback), price: €13.95, £11.95, $16.95.

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Kernowek Kemyn, a form of spelling currently promoted by the Cornish Language Board, has been subject to sustained criticism for nearly two decades since its inception. The form and content of the Cornish Language Board’s publications continue to invite criticism and have inspired this volume.

The essays begin with Michael Everson’s review of recent Cornish Language Board typography, including the second edition of Ken George’s Gerlyver Kres, the New Testament in Kernowek Kemyn, George’s Gerlyvrik, and the recent and controversial “preliminary edition” of Bywnans Ke. This is followed by a reprint of Everson’s review of the first edition of George’s Gerlyver Kres, since reference is made to it in the first article. Michael is a linguist, typesetter, and font designer. His central area of expertise is with the writing systems of the world, specifically in the representation of these systems in formats for computer and digital media.

  • Recent typography in Kernowek Kemyn
  • “An event of great signicance” [sic]: Review of George’s Gerlyver Kres

Craig Weatherhill, Cornwall’s foremost expert on place-names, provides the next two articles, both reviews of Cornish Language Board publications, Place-Names in Cornwall and The Formation of Cornish Place-Names. Craig is a Cornish archaeologist, historian, and writer who has specialized in the study of Cornish place-names for more than 25 years. He was made a bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 1981 for services to Cornish archaeology, taking the Bardic name Delynyer Hendhyscans.

  • “The best Cornish form of Cornish place-names”: Review of the Cornish Language Board’s Place-Names in Cornwall
  • “Studying Cornish place-names”: Review of the Cornish Language Board’s Formation of Cornish Place-Names

Ray Chubb and Craig Weatherhill collaborated on a short paper in which they provide an analysis of the similarity of Revived Cornish orthographic forms to traditional spellings of Cornish place-names. Ray has been fluent in the Cornish language for about 20 years and has raised his children to be bilingual in Cornish and English. He is a Cornish language teacher and publisher. He was made a bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 1996 for services to the language, taking the Bardic name Map Essa.

  • Recognizability of traditional Cornish place-names in Revived Cornish

Bernard Deacon provides two insightful articles, the first on the values expressed in Kernowek Kemyn rhetoric, and the second on the aims and methods of the Cornish Language Board. Bernard is Senior Lecturer in Cornish Studies in the Institute of Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter in Cornwall. He is a Cornish speaker and his recent publications include Mebyon Kernow and Cornish Nationalism (2003) and The Cornish Family (2004). His new book Cornwall: the concise history is due to be published by the University of Wales Press in 2007. He was made a bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 1993, taking the Bardic name Crakkya Lewen.

  • Deconstructing Kernowek Kemyn: A critical review of Agan Yeth 4
  • The Cornish Language Board against the world: The Board’s Policy Statement of November 2006

Finally, Nicholas Williams reviews An Testament Nowydh edited by Keith Syed and published by the Cornish Language Board. Nicholas learned Cornish while still at school. A graduate of the University of Oxford, he has a PhD in Celtic from Queen's University Belfast. He was made a bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 1962 for proficiency in the language, taking the Bardic name Golvan. He is currently Associate Professor in Celtic Languages in University College, Dublin.

  • A review of The New Testament in Kernowek Kemyn

HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2011-01-15

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