The orthography of revived Cornish as an attempt at pluricentricity
After over twenty years of debate over Cornish orthographies, recognition by the UK government according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2003 led to the creation of what was initially intended as a “single written form” for use in official contexts. However, the inevitable impossibility of finding a compromise that pleased opposing groups of speakers with differing ideologies meant that the eventual Standard Written Form (SWF) was pluricentric, comprising two “main forms”. While these were initially stated to be of equal status, this has been hard to maintain since the SWF’s implementation: with more speakers using Middle Cornish forms, the Late Cornish forms are less visible and commonly believed to be subsidiary. Drawing on such perceptions, along with learning materials and other resources, this paper examines the status of the SWF today and offers some reflections on this unsuccessful attempt at pluricentricity in a minoritised language.
Keywords: Cornish, pluricentricity, orthography, ideology, standardisation, language revival
Published online: 01 July 2020
n.d.). Akademi Kernewek – TRE | Home. Retrieved April 26, 2019, from https://akademikernewek.weebly.com/
Bock, A., & Bruch, B.
(2008) A report on the Cornish Language Survey conducted by the Cornish Language Partnership. Retrieved May 2, 2016, from http://www.magakernow.org/default.aspx?page=404
n.d.[a]). “Middle” and “Late” Cornish forms/Formys “kres” ha “diwedhes”. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from http://www.cornishdictionary.org.uk/content/middle-and-late-cornish-forms-formys-kres-ha-diwedhes
n.d.[b]). Search. Retrieved December 29, 2018, from http://www.cornishdictionary.org.uk/search?keys=house
(2016) An yeth Kernewek. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/the-cornish-language/an-yeth-kernewek
Council of Europe
(1992) European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Retrieved April 26, 2019, from https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/rms/0900001680695175
Cunliffe, D., & Harries, R.
Cussel an Tavas Kernôwek
n.d.). Modern Cornish – Home. Retrieved December 30, 2018, from http://moderncornish.net
Deacon, B. W.
First Group & Golden Tree
n.d.). What’s Cornish for …. Retrieved December 30, 2018, from https://whatscornishfor.co.uk
George, K. J.
(2017) Accommodating Middle and Late bases in Cornish orthography. Unpublished paper. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from http://www.cornishlanguage.info/spell/variants.pdf
(2019) Go Cornish – get into the Cornish language revival. Retrieved January 17, 2019, from https://gocornish.org
n.d.). Go Cornish 1. Retrieved December 30, 2018, from https://www.memrise.com/course/1569471/go-cornish-1/
Harasta, J. O.
Harris, S., Harris, D., Harvey, P., & Harvey, R.
I pledge to become more fluent in Cornish
n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2018, from https://www.facebook.com/groups/245714002161986
(2013) Lyver pur deg. Retrieved October 18, 2018, from https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R3ACTT4CO4KVMN
Le Pipec, E.
Nakassis, C. V.
Ó Murchadha, N. P.
Payton, P. J.
Sayers, D., & Renkó-Michelsén, Z.
(2019) Cornish: Course 1: Introduction. Retrieved January 17, 2019, from https://www.saysomethingin.com/cornish
Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D.
(Eds.) (2018) Ethnologue: Languages of the world (21st ed.). Dallas: SIL International. Retrieved on January 4, 2019, from http://www.ethnologue.com