[Spellyans] Jazz > loan words?

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Jul 6 09:40:13 IST 2008

On 5 Jul 2008, at 23:06, John Sheridan wrote:
> Yes, but mezzo-soprano is not a Cornish word, so there's no reason  
> that KS should need to spell it.
> I'm not an expert -- but off the top of my head, it seems that such  
> borrowings happen routinely in major European languages with little  
> or no respelling.  So why not in Cornish as well?

Just so, John. Moreover, I must emphasise the point I was trying to  
make earlier. Music uses (probably) thousands of technical terms  
which don't exist in Cornish. Many of them don't exist in English  
either, and have had to be borrowed from French, Italian,  
German . . . and even Gaelic and Welsh! Some have been calqued of  
respelt, but many are in their original form: anglicised 'pibroch',  
for instance, sits happily alongside original 'pìobaireachd' (and the  
more accurate 'ceòl mòr'), while the Welsh 'pennillion' stands in  
English musicology in its original form, gloriously innocent of any  
alteration whatsoever.

It's a similar story for every other academic discipline, and for  
many crafts and trades as well, from Chemistry to Cookery. The  
terminology for Biology and Medicine is largely Greek and Latin, for  
Philosophy it's German, for earth science there's lots of Russian and  
Swedish, for Ballet it's French, while for Cookery . . . it's every  
language on earth whose people cook their food! The list could go on  
and on and on.

Cornish has a vocabulary of, what? -- 30,000 words, perhaps. The big  
Oxford English Dictionary has (if I remember correctly) some 900,000  
headwords. Who exactly is going to coin/calque/respell all of those  
missing words, and who's going to pay for the work to be done. And  
what are the rest of us learners, speakers, writers and teachers  
going to do in the meantime?

No, we have to conclude that it ain't going to happen, is it? As  
Craig says, words like this are not Cornish: they're international  
words, and are probably best left in their original form.

We should stand somewhere between 'laissez faire' and 'dolce far  
niente' on the issue of loan-words, I fancy.


Eddie Foirbeis Climo
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ahes an forth hyr hep wothvos y tremenynyn
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