[Spellyans] treven as the plural of chy
njawilliams at gmail.com
Wed Dec 31 12:48:43 GMT 2008
It has recently been suggested that treven may be a singulative, and
not therefore be the plural of chy 'house'.
There can be no doubt that treven is indeed the suppletive plural of
chy. Here are some examples:
Neb a garra y das po y vam, y vab po y virth, chy, trevyn po tyrryow,
moy agesa ve, y myth crist 'Who ever loves his father or mother, his
son or his daughter, house, houses or land more than me, says Christ…'
Ke oagoaze tha e drevon ha bethow why looan 'Draw unto his houses and
be joyful' Thomas Boson (translation of Psalm 100)
Na dale deiw gwell treaven war an treath 'You ought not build houses
on the sand' John Jenkins
Domus…An house, a lodging, a dwelling… C. Tshyi [plur Treven] Lhuyd
The form *chyow (KS *chiow) is unattested.
Treven is probably indeed a singulative of tref, trevow 'town, village'.
ha gensy y feth tra dek maners trefov castylly 'and with her there
will be fine possessions, manors, towns and castles' BM 304-05 (said
to Meriasek as an incentive to marry the duke's daughter).
treven then could be understood as 'a portion of a town > a row of
houses > houses'.
Indeed in this suppletive plural we may see a reflection of the
distinctively nucleated settlement
patterns of Western Cornwall (The element ti, chy is almost wholly
absent from toponyms in East Cornwall).
Suppletive plurals are found elsewhere in Cornish.
The obvious example is tra 'thing', plural taclow, taclennow.
*Traow is attested twice in Lhuyd, but not anywhere in native Cornish.
Compare also coscar 'company, lads' as a suppletive plural of maw 'lad'
in ha parcel a throk coscar 'a bunch of evil lads' BM 2358.
It seems that trevow may itself sometimes be used to refer generally
to 'houses' in the plural.
This is perhaps why Tregear says:
In delma oll gouernans gwlasow, an pow, an Trevow marras, han trevow
'Thus all governance of kingdoms, the countryside, the towns and the
dwelling houses…' TH 25a.
Neither *chiow nor *traow has any place in the revived language.
Forms in -tiow, -jiow are acceptable in compounds, however, in
clâvjiow 'hospitals', bowjiow 'cowsheds'.
I prefer not to use it in *arhantty 'bank', *arhantiow, because I
prefer bank, bancow; cf. banknota 'bank note' used by
Caradar in Nebes Whethlow Ber. *Arhantty seems a particularly unhappy
coinage by Nance, because arhans
in Cornish always means 'silver'; the word for 'money' is mona:
Ni venja pea a munna seer John Jenkins
ha Mona lour gans goz Gureg Williams Gwavas
Pecunia…Money, coin…C. Monnah Lhuyd AB: 115c.
I also prefer shoppa, shoppys 'shop' to *gwerthjy, *gwerthjiow. Shoppa
is attested in the toponym
Ponson Joppa. *Gwerthjy is an invention of Nance's.
I prefer the attested tavarn (BM, Lhuyd) to *dewotty, again an
invention of Nance's.
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