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

Harry Fraiser harryfraiser at googlemail.com
Fri Jul 11 11:24:57 IST 2008


Pardon my asking - are you the Nicholas Williams mentioned in Peter
Beresford Ellis' book on Cornish?

Harry

On 7/11/08, nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you for that, Craig. Fentenvayr and Fentenveyr certainly do look
> like "Our Lady's Well".
>
> Nicholas
> -----------
> On 11 Jul 2008, at 10:47, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
>
>> Yes, that Venton Veor name is a significant one.  If it helps to
>> bolster
>> your records, recorded spellings are: Fontenwoyri 1375; Fentenveyr,
>> Fentenvayr, Fentenfeyr 1441; Ventonvere 1675.
>>
>> Craig
>>
>> nicholas williams wrote:
>>> 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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