[Spellyans] SWF discussion

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Sat Aug 9 19:06:30 IST 2008

The "Vikings" that we joined forces with (in 838) were Danes.  I think 
we must also have helped them locate and fire the Saxon-founded mint at 
Lydford during the 10th century (how else could they have known it was 
there without local knowledge).  One suggestion of why we teamed up in 
838 was that we were allowing them to use our ports (including Plymouth 
Sound, then wholly within Cornish territory which strecthed to the 
Exe-Taw line).  Unfortunately, someone snitched when we teamed up to 
take Crediton and Exeter back from Ecgberht of Wessex, and we were 
ambushed and defeated at Hengestesdun - now believed to have been 
Hingston Down, Moretonhampstead, 10 miles from both Crediton and 
Exeter)  The Danes weren't here nearly long enough for their language to 
have the slightest influence on Cornish.  The only Scandinavian 
place-names I can find are Old and New Grimsby on Tresco, Isles of Scilly.

Interesting question, though - who could have acted as interpreters 
between the Danes and the West Welsh (Cornish)?


Harry Fraiser wrote:
> Now you mention it, I vaguely remember references to 'Kornbretlandi'.
> Any chance there might be a Norse influence at work in Cornwall? After
> all, the Norse and Cornish sometimes joined forces against the Saxons.
> Tim
> On 8/9/08, nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> wrote:
>> George did his thesis in Brittany where they know nothing about
>> Cornwall and her history. All they are concerned with is saving
>> Breton from the Jacobin French republic.
>> Understandably of course, but it means that they have a skewed
>> approach to Cornish. And Cornish is completely unlike Breton for three
>> reasons.
>> 1 Cornish was spoken where it always had been. Breton was imported
>> into a different
>> linguistic milieu in the 5th and 6th centuries.
>> 2 Cornish was heavily affected by Middle English. Breton not at all.
>> 3 Cornish has no native speakers. Breton has thousands.
>> The idea that Breton is a phonological key to Cornish is absurd.
>> It is particularly absurd when one remembers that Breton tad, zant,
>> Welsh tad, sant are
>> Cornish tas, sans. It is obvious that something radical has occurred
>> to Cornish which
>> both Breton and Welsh have missed.
>> Moreover the presence in Cornish since the sixteenth century of pre-
>> occlusion (absent from
>> both Welsh and Breton) is another indication that Cornish is unique
>> among the Brythonic languages.
>> This means that using either Welsh or Breton as controls is impossible.
>> Actually the question of pre-occlusion is itself an interesting one.
>> The only other
>> Celtic language to demostrate pre-occlusion is Manx. Manx is Gaelic in
>> the mouths of
>> Norsemen, speakers of a Germanic language. Cornish is Brythonic in the
>> mouths of
>> Anglophone Cornishmen and Cornishwomen as they relearnt the Celtic
>> language
>> after the Norman Conquest and the loss of prestige by English.
>> Nicholas
>> On 9 Aug 2008, at 16:59, Harry Fraiser wrote:
>>> Never forget that the troll fears nothing more than the clear light
>>> of day.
>>> Harry
>>> On 8/9/08, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:
>>>> On 9 Aug 2008, at 16:26, Penny Squire wrote:
>>>>> I hadn't realised that you had come to the conclusion that Jenner's
>>>>> phonology was correct. Perhaps it's time for his Handbook to be
>>>>> reprinted. That would be a splendid project for Michael!
>>>> Penny.
>>>> You sound like a troll.
>>>> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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