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The Decline and Revival of the Cornish Language

Mills, Jon (2014) The Decline and Revival of the Cornish Language. In: Looking Homewords: Mainstreaming Minority Languages, Literatures and Cultures, 5 September 2014, University of Ulster, Belfast. (Unpublished) (doi:10.13140/2.1.1465.7923) (KAR id:42898)

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The Cornish language went into decline during the Middle Ages until it was all but totally extinct by the time the revival began at the beginning of the 20th century. The period following the Norman Conquest had been the era of Cornish classical literature when the Cornish Miracle plays were written. This episode came to an abrupt halt with the accession of the Tudor dynasty. Following a series of unsuccessful rebellions, the Cornish speaking population was reduced and the Cornish language went into rapid decline. By the beginning of the 18th century, Cornish was confined to the far west of Cornwall. The revival began with the publication Jenner’s (1904) Handbook of the Cornish Language. During the 20th century a succession of orthographies were devised for Cornish, so that by the close of the 20th century 3 main orthographies were competing. In 2002, Part II of the 1992 Council of Europe Charter for Regional and Minority Languages granted Cornish Official "minority language“ status. A new orthography, the Standard Written Form (SWF) / Furv Skrifys Savonek was adopted for official and educational use. The SWF was revised in 2013. Nevertheless, since its introduction, the SWF has been much criticised, and has not been universally accepted by the Cornish language community as a whole.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
DOI/Identification number: 10.13140/2.1.1465.7923
Uncontrolled keywords: Language revitalization, Cornish Language, Celtic Linguistics, Minority Languages, Language death and revival, and Celtic Languages
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > English Language and Linguistics
Depositing User: Francis Mills
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2014 14:24 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 13:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mills, Jon:
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