DECISION BY THE COMMISSION ON THE CORNISH LANGUAGE

   
On Sunday, 14 October, 2007 the Commission for a Single Written Form of Cornish announced their decision, recommending that the Single Written Form be a compromise orthography between Kernewek Kemmyn (KK) and Kernowak Standard (KS), building on Kernewek Dasunys (KD). KD was considered a suitable basis for a Single Written Form because it is the most open and accommodating of the submitted orthographies. The designers purposely left a number of parameters open to discussion so that speakers of all varieties of Cornish could have input on what the future SWF will look like.

The Commission further recommended that an ad-hoc committee be set up to discuss details and other unresolved issues, and it will most likely be that body which will have the final decision on the exact form of the SWF. In the meantime, however, everyone who would like to voice his or her opinion is invited to do so on the forum of our website at www.dasunys.net. It is hoped that the SWF will be finalized by some time in December.

As the designers of KD, we hope to build on the work of all the pioneers of the Cornish Revival, from Jenner and Nance to George, Gendall, and Williams, in a spirit of co-operation and mutual respect. We recognise that without the work all of these scholars have put into the Revival, the question of an official orthography for use in education and administration would never even have arisen.

We consider it equally important that any future Standard Written From be inclusive of all spoken varieties of contemporary Cornish, and that it include provisions for both Middle Cornish- and Late (Modern) Cornish-based dialects of the revived language. Not only is this the best way to provide all Cornish speakers with an orthography they can relate to and honestly call their own, but it will also facilitate understanding of traditional written Cornish of *all* periods from the fourteenth to the late eighteenth century.

We have done our best to show how a future orthography can be constructed that minimises the challenges of adaptation for the maximum number of people, and we sincerely hope that - whatever the finalised version of the future SWF may look like - the principles we have outlined in the KD draft will serve as a solid basis for true compromise and reconciliation between the various factions in the Cornish Revival. With good will from all sides, the hatchet will be buried by December, and Cornish speakers from all camps can once again join forces to promote the language and secure its rightful place in the cultural and social life of twenty-first-century Cornwall.

Benjamin Bruch
Albert Bock



With the support of the Cornish Stannary Parliament

With the Support of Cornish Heritage.

 

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