[Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Fri Jul 11 09:24:05 IST 2008


Of course they are different. There is evidence for Cornish Yesu in  
the name of Pantersbridge (Pontyesu 1241), for
the Cornish equivalent of Mair 'Mary, the BVM' in Venton Veor and  
Yowan in Goluan. Such names
are fossilised survivals. When the Cornish church was Saxonised these  
names disappeared and were
replaced after the conquest by Breton/French forms: Jesu(s) with  
initial [dZ], Maria and Jowan.
Lhuyd tells us that Jesu and Jowan had initial [dZ] (AB 67b; 228a) and  
Maria with three syllables is clearly neither
the same as W Mair nor borrowed from English.

Nicholas

On 10 Jul 2008, at 23:45, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

> Are Yowan and Jowan the same?  Might they not be similar to Welsh  
> Ieuan
> and Sion?  Of course, I am not holding that they are different, but
> might they be?
>
> Craig
>
>
>
> nicholas williams wrote:
>> <y> [j] is sometime lost initially in Yedhow (ezow in MC), yehes
>> (ehes, ehaz) and yeth (eyth).
>> It is also lost in Yust < Latin Justus; cf. Por' Ust < Porth Yust.
>> It is also lost in Yowan > Goluan 'Midsummer'. Jowan is a different
>> form borrowed from French/Breton.
>>
>> It is very unlikely that [j] > [dZ]. It is more likely that we are
>> dealing here with sound substitution.
>> They didn't understand yet so they made it jet. Cf. Marhas Yow >
>> Market Jew.
>>
>> Nicholas
>> ------------
>>
>>
>> On 10 Jul 2008, at 22:25, A. J. Trim wrote:
>>
>>
>>> I have long said that I would like to use <z> for <s>/<j> in, for
>>> example
>>> nynz yu, pyzy, paruzy and kerenza.
>>> If the true sound is [Z], that works just fine!
>>>
>>> So yeyn has <ey> and that could be the [e:] in Jane or [i:] in
>>> Jean ...
>>> familiar.
>>> Now, are these separate sounds or its the true sound in between -  
>>> [I:]
>>> perhaps?
>>> How do you say these two names in West Cornwall?
>>>
>>> Should yeth "language" be pronounced [Ze:T]?
>>>
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>> Andrew J. Trim
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --------------------------------------------------
>>> From: "Craig Weatherhill" <weatherhill at freenet.co.uk>
>>> Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 7:56 PM
>>> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks
>>>
>>>
>>>> Can I suggest that the s/g sound is like the S of leisure (from  
>>>> West
>>>> Cornish speech), a soft zh sound rather than a hard J.  This sound
>>>> also
>>>> attached itself to certain words with the initial Y, such as yeyn  
>>>> and
>>>> yet, explaining location and field names such as Chapel Jane,  
>>>> Venton
>>>> Jean and Park an Jet.
>>>>
>>>> Craig
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Tom Trethewey wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> --- On *Thu, 10/7/08, nicholas williams /<njawilliams at gmail.com>/*
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Nicholas Williams wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> The argument that a phoneme is midway between Y and Z and is
>>>>>> therefore
>>>>>>
>>>>> written X is not one that carries much weight.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Indeed.  If there is no obvious graph available, then it is likely
>>>>> to
>>>>> be written sometimes Y and sometimes Z.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> If there is a phoneme X then the scribes will tend to spell it by
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>
>>>>> closest graph available.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> If it lies between Y and Z, but closer to Y, one might expect more
>>>>> Ys
>>>>> than Zs.  If it lies closer to Z then Z would be commoner than Y.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> They may write two different sounds in the same way, e.g. <u>
>>>>>> for /oe/
>>>>>>
>>>>> and /y/ in Middle Cornish. But the idea that <e> and <i> mean
>>>>> something in between both is naive.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On the contrary, it is commonsense.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> Ken George noticed the hesitation between s and g and suggested  
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>
>>>>> absurd /tj/ and /dj/. The most likely explanation is that both / 
>>>>> dZ/
>>>>> and /z/ occurred and this seems to be the case in Late Cornish and
>>>>> in
>>>>> toponyms.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> But is this the most likely explanation?  Chaudhri points out that
>>>>> /ose/ is followed within thirty line in OM. by /oge, /and in BM.  
>>>>> we
>>>>> find /dewgys/ and /dewsys/ within six lines.  It is not absurd to
>>>>> suggest that we are dealing here with a single sound which is not
>>>>> [z]
>>>>> but not far from [z], and which is not [dZ] but is not far from
>>>>> [dZ].
>>>>> [Z] would fit the bill.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> If there had been a sound *[dj] the scribes would have devised a
>>>>> combination of letters  to write it.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> But you just said that "the scribes will tend to spell it by the
>>>>>>
>>>>> closest graph available."  You cannot have it both ways.  :-)
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> Res 'necessity' is indeed written rys and ris.
>>>>>>
>>>>> Also <reys>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> Just as 'given' is reys, rys, ris and res. <res> is much commoner
>>>>>> for
>>>>>>
>>>>> 'necessity' than for 'given'.
>>>>>
>>>>> You would be well advised to check the veracity of this statement.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> There are several problems here. One is that the scribes learnt  
>>>>>> to
>>>>>>
>>>>> write rys for 'given',
>>>>>
>>>>> Pure speculation.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> but may have said res.
>>>>>>
>>>>> Pure speculation.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> My own view is that some words had variant pronunciations, e.g.  
>>>>>> bys
>>>>>>
>>>>> 'world' was either bi:z or be:z. I do not believe that Middle
>>>>> Cornish
>>>>> had i: I: and e:.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> You made that clear in your book /Towards Authentic Cornish/.  Yet
>>>>> the
>>>>> spellings in the texts are compatible with just such a threefold
>>>>> distinction.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Tom Trethewey
>>>>>
>>>>>
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