Genocide and Ethnocide: The Suppression of the Cornish Language

Mills, Jon (2010) Genocide and Ethnocide: The Suppression of the Cornish Language. In: Interfaces in Language. Cambridge Scholars, pp. 189-206. ISBN 9781443823999. (Full text available)

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Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between the Cornish language and officialdom over the past thousand years. The social status of Cornish is examined along with attitudes towards the language held by monarchy, government and their agencies. During the middle-ages, Cornish was relatively stable and indeed enjoyed some prestige amongst the gentry who used Cornish as their preferred language for family mottoes. However, following the Tudor accession, the number of Cornish speakers was greatly reduced following the brutal repression of several popular uprisings when a significant proportion of the Cornish speaking population were exterminated. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Cornish continued to be used amongst the poor in Cornwall's fishing communities. The revival of Cornish began around 1900 and the number of speakers grew throughout the 20th century. Nevertheless, the government and state education system provided no support for Cornish language learners until 2002 when the European Union granted Cornish official “minority language” status under Part II of the 1992 Council of Europe Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. In 2005, the government confirmed modest funding support for the Cornish language. Local government in Cornwall are currently implementing a Cornish language strategy to determine a standard written form for Cornish that can be used for official purposes, such as signage, and for education in schools.

Item Type: Book section
Additional information: Cited in Ferdinand, S., 2013. A Brief History of the Cornish Language, its Revival and its Current Status. E-Keltoi: Journal of Interdisciplinary Celtic Studies, 2, pp.199–227. Available at: http://www4.uwm.edu/celtic/ekeltoi/volumes/vol2/2_6/ferdinand_2_6.pdf. Cited in Kipling, G., 2013. Richard Carew, The Ordinary, The Ordinalia, and the Ordinary Actor on the Medieval Cornish Stage. In 14th Triennial Colloquium of the Société Internationale pour l’étude du Théâtre Médiéval Poznań, Poland, 22nd - 27th July 2013. Available at: http://www.staff.amu.edu.pl/~pber/Kipling.pdf. Cited in Kirkhope, J. (2013) "The Duchy of Cornwall-A Feudal Remnant? An Examination of the origin, evolution and present status of the Duchy of Cornwall" University of Plymouth, PhD Thesis, p.18.
Subjects: P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Jon Mills
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2011 15:39
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 11:32
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/27912 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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