[Spellyans] A new book by Ann Jenkin

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Dec 18 11:47:18 GMT 2008

I see from the Maga website http://www.magakernow.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=47008
that a new book for children has been published bearing the title
Steren an Kolyn Kernow.
One assumes that this was intended to mean "Steren, the Cornish Puppy"
Unfortunately the title, as it stands, cannot possibly mean that.
*Steren an Kolyn Kernow is ungrammatical and means nothing.

Steren Kolyn Kernow would mean "The Star of the Puppy of Cornwall"
Steren an Kolyn Kernow is meaningless and I cannot see how to parse it.

There are two problems. In the first place Steren is both a proper name
(as intended here) and a common noun "star". In the second place
whoever did the translation made the mistake, almost universal among  
of ignoring the essential rules of Celtic syntax when using definite  
Kernow "Cornwall" is definite. Gorseth Kernow means "THE Gorseth of  
Cornwall" and
Kolyn Kernow means "THE puppy of Cornwall". An Kolyn Kernow is a  
and means nothing. The use of the article is wrong and can be allowed  
when Kernow is deprived of its definite status by the use of a. An  
Kolyn a Gernow means
"The Puppy of Cornwall". An Kolyn Kernow is not Cornish.
Steren an Kolyn Kernow is even less meaningful, because there is no  
that Steren and an Kolyn are in apposition. Indeed the natural way to  
Steren an Kolyn is as "the Puppy's Star", which is how I understood  
the title—though
Kernow cannot then bear any meaning at all.

If one wanted to translate "Steren the Cornish Puppy" into Cornish one  
naturally write:
Kolyn a Gernow, Steren y Hanow or Kolyn Kernewek Henwys Steren
or An Kolyn a Gernow, Steren y Hanow or possibly Steren — an Kolyn a  

What a shame that a book intended for children should
have an ungrammatical and indeed nonsensical title.

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