Red an erthygel ma yn Kernowek.
Hello. Welcome to Ünkorn.
This is a personal blog, in Cornish and English.
I have two aims. Firstly, to write articles in Cornish on whatever topic interests me. Everyone who speaks Cornish today (myself included) is able to do so thanks to the time and effort of others. The more stuff out there to read, the better, and the more variety the better. I make no promises on the quality.
It’s also an experiment. I have this theory that a lot of the things I’m interested in have their roots in my early engagement with Cornish as a child. So it’ll be interesting to see what themes turn out to be common. Well, interesting to me anyway.
Secondly, I wanted to write about the language itself. Cornish is special, and this isn’t just personal bias. Many languages are lost to history, which is sad but not uncommon. Very few however are subsequently revived with any degree of success and it is this unusual history that makes Cornish quite different. So I wanted to add my own perspective for the benefit of those on the outside who are interested and particularly for those thinking of learning. But it is just that, my own perspective. Other Cornish speakers will have different ideas and that’s fine.
So, topics will include anything. There will be stuff in Cornish and stuff about Cornish, often both and occasionally neither. Some will be short, some will be longer. Some will be serious, some less so. It won’t be strictly bilingual – some articles will be in Cornish only, and the odd one just in English, depending on audience, time or just whim.
Unkorn, as you might have guessed from the delightful scene at the top, is Cornish for unicorn. The amount of time I spent deciding how to spell it says a lot about Cornish (and probably even more about me). The dots are decorative, a nostalgic nod to the Unified Cornish I started out with.
Why Unicorn? Well, it’s vague, whimsical, and also a bit silly. It’s also one of the 961 words in the Vocabularium Cornicum, the earliest surviving substantial work in Cornish, now over a thousand years old. I like the idea that the word has been sitting there in the background for the whole ride, quietly watching Cornish making its way through the centuries.
Top image: ‘The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn‘; fresco, probably by Domenico Zampieri, c1602 (Palazzo Farnese, Rome)/Wikipedia