[Spellyans] long and short forms of bos

Ray Chubb ray at spyrys.org
Mon Dec 29 09:59:07 GMT 2008

A.S.D. Smith attempts to extend the use of the long form of bos in  
Cornish Simplied part 2.  For example on page 7 he highlights 'pan  
semlant us ganso?' instead of the expected 'fatel yw y semlant?'

How many modern day speakers have read CS part 2 ?  Although stocks  
are plentiful we rarely sell one.   I don't think we can blame  
everything on the early revivalists.  Standards have been falling for  
the last 40 years.  For example even though the views of Nicholas and  
Ray Edwards have coincided on many points of grammar most people of  
all orthographic persuasions, including some teachers of Cornish, are  
unwilling to make any changes.  Not even simple ones like 'dheworth'  
instead of 'deworth' and 'yn gwyr' instead of 'yn whyr'.  Do these  
people want to speak Cornish or Pidgin Cornish?

On 28 Kev 2008, at 10:07, nicholas williams wrote:

> Eus cân genowgh is like Eus keus/Es kês? 'Is there cheese?'
> The indefinite locative form used with an indefinite subject means  
> 'is there?'
> And when + gans is added it means 'have'.
> Thus Eus cân genowgh 'Have you a song (for us)?'
> This was already part of standard UC and is mentioned in Cornish  
> Simplified.
> I rather had in mind the view that UC taught to use yw with  
> adjectives.
> I learnt, for example, nyns yw ef trygys omma in UC and nyns ywa  
> pell adhyworth an le-ma.
> I should now write nyns usy va tregys obma and nyns usy pell  
> dhyworth an tyller-ma.
> UC never seemed to me to be certain about the difference between us  
> and usy.
> Usy/ugy is very common in Tregear in relative clauses when the  
> antecedent is definite:
> han discans vgy an egglos ow dysky TH 19
> gwregh da thyn rena vgy worth agys casa, pesough rag an rena esy  
> worth agys vexia hagys persecutia, may hallow why bos
> flehes agys tas vsy in neff TH 22 [three definite antecedents in one  
> sentence].
> In fact it is common in Tregear only because Tregear is so long and  
> his sentences contain so
> many relative clause. The same construction occurs elsewhere:
> Kensa, vrt an hagar auall igge va gweell do derevoll warneny  
> Keniffer termen dr’erany moas
> durt Pedden an Wolas do Sillan, &c.
> Nessa, vrt an skauoll Crackan codna igge va setha war en crees an  
> aules ewhall heb drog
> veeth.
> Tregya, vrt an Gurroll igge va gweell gen askern skooth davas, &c.  
> NBoson, Duchess of Cornwall's Progress.
> In all the examples with ugy/igge above the form of bos is used with  
> the participle form of the verb (ow + vb)
> to make a present tense. This was never mentioned in UC, although it  
> is common enough in the texts:
> in crist ihesu caradov yth eseff prest ov cresy BM 833-34
> Nyns esos ov attendya an laha del vya reys BM 848-49.
> Wella Brown is his dreadful grammar says that such periphrastic  
> presents "can only be translated by the English continuous  
> present" (page 147 of the KK version).
> So these examples from BM must be translated "In Christ Jesus I am  
> always believing" and "You are not considering how it would be  
> necessary for the law", respectively.
> Such a translation is clearly absurd in the examples from Boson:
> "First because of the storms which he is [at this moment] making to  
> rise up against us every time we go from Land's End to Scilly, etc."
> In fact yma + ow + verbal noun is the unmarked way of making the  
> present in Cornish. If Brown had known that, he wouldn't wrongly  
> have written *mar trig Spyrys Dyw ynnowgh yn *hwir in his  
> translation of Romans 8:3, but correctly mar pydh Spyrys Dyw trigys  
> ynnowgh yn gwir; cf. e ma ef ow trega innaff ve SA 61.
> And Nowodhow an Seythen would not have said: Ni a vir war-rag dhe'n  
> fit rygbi yn Twickenham rather than Yth eson ni ow mires yn rag  
> dhe'n fit rygbi yn Twickenham.
> What is really required is a new Handbook/Grammar of Cornish with an  
> exhaustive discussion
> of the syntax with examples from the texts and a complete index.
> Nicholas
> On 28 Dec 2008, at 09:25, Ray Chubb wrote:
>> I have always realised that one could use the long form, for  
>> example, with objects that have no substance.  e.g. "Ues can  
>> genough?" / Have you got a song?
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Ray Chubb


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