[Spellyans] Jazz > loan words?
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
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
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Ahes an forth hyr hep wothvos y tremenynyn
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