Modern Cornish

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Disambiguation: you may be looking for general contemporary forms of the Cornish language.

Modern Cornish (Kernuack Nowedga) is a variety of the revived Cornish language. It is sometimes called Revived Late Cornish (RLC) or Kernuack Dewethas, to distinguish it from other forms of contemporary revived Cornish.

When Unified Cornish came under heavy fire in the early 1980s, various attempts were made to rectify its problems. While some supporters stuck with original or modified UC, two main schisms arose, that of Kernewek Kemmyn led by Ken George, and that of Modern Cornish, led by Richard Gendall. Unlike Kernewek Kemmyn, which tended to go to medieval Cornish for inspiration, Modern Cornish uses the latest known forms of Cornish from the 17th and 18th centuries from writers such as Nicholas Boson, John Boson, William Rowe, Thomas Tonkin and others, and Anglo-Cornish dialect words of Brittonic origin. Critics[who?] claim that the later forms of Cornish are corrupt and anglicised, but supporters of Modern Cornish[who?] counter this by saying that they are continuing the natural evolution of the tongue where it left off.

The orthography of Modern Cornish is a standardisation of the English-influenced orthographies of Cornish writers of the 17th and 18th centuries, and its grammar is more periphrastic than that of Middle Cornish-based varieties. It retains a number of English borrowings discarded by Kemmyn and Unified, e.g. wolcum instead of dynargh for 'welcome'. It makes sparing use of accents and diacritical marks. For instance, the word for 'good' typically spelt dâ, could also be written daa, and the word for 'month' could be spelt mîz or meez.

Cussel an Tavas Kernuak is the governing body of Modern Cornish. The need for standard spelling when learning a language has led Cussel an Tavas Kernuak to adopt the Modern Cornish spelling standardised by Gendall and Neil Kennedy.

Modern Cornish provided a source of input into the creation of the Standard Written Form of Cornish in 2008.

Example text[edit]

The following is a letter by William Bodinar, written in 1776, translated into Modern Cornish.

Bluth vee ewe try egence a pemp.
Theara vee dean bodjack an poscas.
Me rig deskey Cornoack termen me vee mawe.
Me vee demore gen seara vee a pemp dean moy en cock.
Me rig scantlower clowes eden ger Sowsnack cowes en cock rag sythen ware Bar.
Na rig a vee biscath gwellas lever Cornoack.
Me deskey Cornoack moas da maor gen tees coath.
Na ges moye vel pager po pemp en dreav nye ell clapia Cornoack leben,
poble coath pager egence blouth.
Cornoack ewe oll neceaves gen poble younk.
(Translation) I'm sixty-five years old.
I'm a humble fisherman.
I learnt Cornish when I was a boy.
I was at sea with my father and five more men in a fishing boat.
I heard scant a single word of English in the boat for in seven days.
I did not ever see a Cornish book.
I learnt Cornish going to sea with the old men.
There are no more than four or five in our village who can talk Cornish now,
old people, eighty years old.
Cornish is all forgotten by the young people.

External links[edit]