Ken George

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Kenneth J. George, May 2006

Kenneth "Ken" J. George, is a British oceanographer, poet, and linguist[1] noted as being the originator of Kernewek Kemmyn, an orthography for the Cornish language supporters claimed to be more faithful to Middle Cornish phonology than its precursor (Unified Cornish). This claim has been challenged from time to time. Kernewek Kemmyn was introduced in 1987. A report commissioned by the Government Office of the South West[2] states that it is used by the majority of the Cornish-speaking community, although this finding is disputed by proponents of other spelling systems.[3] Since the 1990s, Kernewek Kemmyn has been sharply criticized by Nicholas Williams and some other academics. Others, such as Richard Gendall, have preferred to ignore Kernewek Kemmyn and instead base revived Cornish on Late Cornish. George has published several dictionaries of Cornish, and various other linguistic as well as oceanographical works.

George has published over eighty items relating to Celtic linguistics, including several dictionaries of Cornish. His edition of the recently discovered Middle Cornish play Bewnans Ke was published by the Cornish Language Board in May 2006.[4] George received a Commendation for this work in the 2007 Holyer an Gof awards. He has translated numerous hymns and songs into Cornish, and also the lyrics of Die Zauberflöte. He has composed a substantial amount of poetry in Cornish, including the full-length play Flogholeth Krist, in the style of the Ordinalia.

George lives in Cornwall, and speaks Breton and French as well as English and Cornish. George was formerly Principal Lecturer in Ocean Science in the Institute of Marine Studies at the University of Plymouth.

George was made a Bard of Gorseth Kernow in 1979, taking the Bardic name Profus an Mortyd ('Tide Predictor'). This reflected one of his research interests in oceanography, the other being numerical modelling. He has over fifty publications in the oceanographic field, including the text-book Tides for Marine Studies, which has sold over 1000 copies.

George is a Gorseth Kernow representative committee member of the Kesva an Taves Kernewek (Cornish Language Board) which is a body promoting the Cornish language.[5]

George took early retirement in 2006.


  1. ^ Dr. Ken J. George - research sea shelf oceanography plymouth
  2. ^ Cornish Language. From the Government Office for the South West.
  3. ^ Bernard Deacon, "Deconstructing Kernowek Kemyn: a critical review of Agan Yeth 4", in Form and Content in Revived Cornish, Cathair na Mart: Evertype, 2007, pp.69-84
  4. ^ Bywnans Ke Published
  5. ^ Kesva an Taves Kernewek (Cornish Language Board)