Archive for the ‘Cornish (cor)’ Category

Cornish funding to end – petition started in opposition

1 May 2016

For more than a hundred years, Cornish (Kernowek or Kernewek) has been undergoing revitalization in the southwest area of England. The movement has resulted in children’s books, films, daycare and other Cornish-oriented institutions.

According to the Cornishman, government funding for revitalization efforts is slated to be terminated. A petition has been started. If 10,000 people sign it, the government will respond, and if 100,000 people sign, the issue will be debated in parliament. Only British citizens and UK residents are eligible to sign the petition.

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The Cornish an official minority

25 April 2014

According to “More than pirates ‘n’ pasties,” the Cornish people are now an official minority of the United Kingdom, which will bring heightened protections. The article also says that the 2011 census had 84K people declaring Cornish as their ethnicity. With more than 100 years of revitalization, 557 people also claim it as their main language.

BBC Quiz!

30 May 2012

The online BBC News Magazine posted a quiz today on less-spoken languages.

The quiz features some tough questions on languages such as: Aka or Hruso (hru), Aramaic (family) and Romansh (roh), as well as four UK languages: Breton (bre), Cornish (cor), Irish (gle) and Manx (glv).

Readers of this blog will probably score far higher than most. With two lucky guesses (whoops!), I scored five out of seven. What’s your score? Post below!

News on Indigenous Tweets blog

18 May 2011

In addition to helping people finding tweeters in lesser-used languages on Indigenous Tweets, Kevin Scannell has a blog by the same name. (A tweet is a very short message sent out instantaneously to subscribers’ cell phones and posted on the web.)

According to “Interviews Coming Soon,” Indigenous Tweets has added 11 languages, bringing the total to 82. Some of those include languages recently discussed here, namely, Adyghe (ady), Delaware (del) and Yiddish (yid).

Another exciting post is “Not dead yet: John Gillingham on the Cornish Language.” As noted, Cornish (cor) is a language spoken in southwest England, and despite being one of the first victims to the expansion of English, Cornish has nevertheless survived.

The post is primarily an interview of John Gillingham, a student of the decline of Cornish who tweets in the language. He says that there are a couple dozen children raised in Cornish and discusses how disagreements about orthography (spelling) hindered the Cornish revitalization movement in the past.

Another topic discussed is the modernization of Cornish. In order to maintain the interest of particularly younger people, words have been developed for modern technology, and are spread through various media such as books, dictionaries, magazines and radio.

Cornish Language Partnership – Funding in Doubt

13 April 2011

According to “Fears for Cornish Language Partnership” on the BBC website, funding for the Cornish Langauge Partnership ran out at the end of last month and the British government has not approved any new funding yet. The CLP depends on the government for three-fourths of its budget. According to their site, the CLP was “set up in 2005 to oversee the implementation of the Cornish Language Development Strategy.”

Spoken in southwest England in the area known as Cornwall, Cornish (cor) went silent in the eighteenth century and began to be revived about a century ago.

According to an article last December, UNESCO had classified Cornish as extinct but revised that status to critically endangered. The article also says, “It is taught in a number of schools and is becoming increasingly popular for wedding speeches, house names and tattoos.” (Also see this page to listen to a recording of Cornish.)

One of the major hurdles the CLP had in promoting Cornish was deciding on a standard written form, that is, how to spell words and how to represent certain forms of speech. This is an issue many endangered languages face.

According to “Breakthrough for Cornish language” also on the BBC, there are four written forms: Unified Cornish, Unified Cornish Revised, Common Cornish and Modern Cornish. Without a standard form, there is the problem of which form to use, and if more than one form is in use, people become confused, making it difficult to promote fluency.

Probably most common among endangered languages is the issue that different dialects are spoken in different areas, making it difficult to decide on spelling and grammar standards that please everyone.

Linguicide and Revitalization

10 April 2011

In “Linguicide: Trends and Revitalization,” op-ed writer Sandeepan Borthakur discusses the decline and rejuvenation of languages.

In the lead of the article, the dormancy of Bo or Aka-Bo (akm) is mentioned. Bo became silent in January 2010 with the passing of the last speaker. See also Andamanese languages for more information on this rich area of human culture.

UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger is cited as listing 2500 languages in five categories of endangerment.

At the end of the article, the author notes that while Assamese (asm) is spoken by 13 million people today, the percentage of people speaking it of India’s population as a whole has steadily declined over the past four decades.

Other endangered languages mentioned in the article are: Cornish (cor), Irish (gle), and Manchu (mnc), which has an interesting alphabet. The two other projects mentioned are the Rosetta Project and the Endangered Language Fund.

Indigenous Language Tweets – Web 2.0 Communication

21 March 2011

In July 2006, Twitter launched its short message service (SMS), allowing people to create an account and send short messages that are transmitted to mobile phones and displayed on the Twitter site.

Celebrities, for example, send out short messages or tweets announcing their daily and special doings. Political organizations and environmental groups send out updates, and sports teams send out the latest on their players. At Twitter, a short message is known as a “tweet.”

This sort of information-sharing technology is sometimes referred to as Web 2.0, to indicate it is a step beyond the conventional Internet technologies of web pages and e-mail.

While Twitter is currently crowdsourcing (asking for volunteers) to translate its page to other languages, currently the interface is available in English and seven other major languages, and the tweets are overwhelmingly in such major languages.

People seeking information updates on a topic can go to the Twitter site and search for keywords to find someone who tweets on a subject they like. It can be difficult, however, to find tweets in lesser-used languages.

To address this issue, Kevin Scannell has set up Indigenous Tweets as a place to find people who tweet in your language. The home page shows the languages tracked—currently 39, up from the initial 35—as well as other information such as how many users tweet in each language and how many  tweets have been sent out.

To use Indigenous Tweets, click on a language to see the top tweeters in that language (up to 500), then click on a tweeter to go to Twitter.com and see that person’s tweet feed. From there, you can sign up to the feed if interested. Both Twitter and Indigenous Tweets are free services.

As a companion to Indigenous Tweets, Scannell has set up a blog with the same name, Indigenous Tweets (though at a different address).

Quick facts:

  • The total number of tweets tracked so far in the 39 languages offered on Indigenous Tweets exceeds 1.2 million.
  • The top volume language is Kreyòl Ayisyen or Haitian Creole (hat) at nearly 315,000 tweets.
  • Although less in volume, Euskara or Basque (eus) has more tweeters than any other language at 2069.
  • Among the languages on Indigenous Tweets is Cornish (kew), a language that fell asleep in England in the eighteenth century and began to be revived at the beginning of the twentieth. It now has L1 or native speakers.
  • Anishinaabemowin or Ojibwe (oji) is represented with 15 tweeters and Sámegiella or Sami (family) with 58.

The Fifth Celtic Language

11 June 2007

According to Wikipedia, Charles Leland referred to the language Shelta (sth) as the fifth Celtic language (family), though with at least Irish Gaelic (gle), Scottish Gaelic (gla), Manx (glv); Breton (bre), Cornish (cor) and Welsh (cym), there are certainly more than five.

The speakers of Shelta are known as Travellers, a people also commonly known by the derogatory term “Tinker” because of the tin work they are known for.

Richard Waters has a Website dedicated to the Travellers in the US, called Travellers’ Rest. This site includes English > US Shelta and US Shelta > English dictionaries as well as links, music, essays and notes about some of the controversies surrounding the Travellers.

Although related to Gaeilge, the syntax is largely based on English.

Parts of R. A. Stewart Macalister’s 1937 The Secret Languages of Ireland can be found at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and Kobo Books, the vocabulary starting on page 174. Some of the other parts can be found on those sites as well.

Two other nomadic groups are the Romani (or Roma) and Sanka.