Cornish lingo gets standard written form
Factions get their orthographic act together
Supporters of the Cornish language have, following "more than two years of passionate negotiations", agreed on an essential for official recognition of and funding for their tongue - a "Standard Written Form" (SWF) designed to unify the disparate versions of the revived lingo.
According to the Telegraph, the last native Cornish speaker, Dorothy Pentreath, died in 1777 at Mousehole. In the early 20th century, the language was raised from the grave and currently boasts around 300 fluent speakers.
However, in resurrecting Cornish, enthusiasts deployed "various sources from different eras", leading to several written versions, including Modern Cornish, Unified Cornish, Unified Cornish Revised, Kernewek Dasunys, Kernewek Kemmyn and Kernowak Standard.
The matter was finally resolved by a linguistic SWAT team led by Norwegian Trond Trosterud. Working with the Cornish Language Partnership (CLP), it was able to largely satisfy the rival factions who voted earlier this month to ratify a SWF Specification (pdf).
Cornish speaker and CLP development officer, Jenefer Lowe, said: "There were scholastic disagreements and some pretty firmly held opinions but we managed to reach agreement in the end. The standard form draws on the forms already in existence. This means that users of any form will find much that is familiar, alongside some differences."
The agreement paves the way for EU cash in support of the Cornish revival, and the SWF will now be rolled out across "brochures, pamphlets and on street signs". ®
Sorry this is so late (the Cornish language not being at the top of my agenda), but I'd just like to correct P.Bowden. Celtic language and culture is generally regarded as starting with the La Tene and Hallstatt cultures, over in Europe. It was imported into Britain, where it replaced the indigenous languages and cultures. It was, in turn, replaced by Anglo-Saxon over much of the country. Anglo-Saxon then evolved into English, which holds sway over most of the globe (notice what happens when you write in Cornish on this board - you can write in a Celtic language can't you, otherwise exactly which bit of their culture are you happy about).
As for tracing your ancestors, how far back have you managed to get? Hope none of them pesky Normans/Vikings/Angevin/Huguenots/Eastern European Jews etc diluted your pure Celtic DNA.
To hide the Red Queen on a black and white chessboard. Or in newspeak, "cultural diversity", which sounds like a product, but is actually an on-going process to confuse and confound social identities. Which is newspeak for replacing real communities in spatio-temporal proximity with virtual ones in quasi-logical proximity. Real ones with hyperreal ones.
History - don't ignore it
Graham T knows what he's talking about. Let's not ignore history. English, after all, is a "foreign" language - the language of the Germanic invaders. We all spoke Welsh/Cornish, once. Or "British" as it was. And most of us on these islands are descended from speakers of this language - the genetic evidence is overwhelming. Did you know that the word "Welsh" comes from the old English "Wealas", meaning "foreigners"? A bit much, considering that the English were the foreign invaders!
Trace your ancestors and open your minds - I used to think I was merely English - but now I know I'm mostly something much more interesting - a Celt!