[Spellyans] au

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Thu Jul 24 14:27:54 IST 2008

Then I should be thankful for small mercies, Ken!  I must admit that I 
did want the name Menhyr (and have published under such a pseudonym) 
because it represented an archaeological monument - and I was (and still 
am) heavily involved in archaeology - Craig "rock" was close enough to 
Men "stone" and, as for the Hyr part, well, I am 6' 3" tall.

Oliver has been at considerable pains to point out that Gover is replete 
with error and, apparently, he is currently checking evcery single 
source cited by Gover in order to sort it all out.  A mammoth task that 
I would not even contemplate tackling - not if I want to go on earning 
my meagre living.  He is uniquely placed to take this on.

For example, Pensivillowe, cited by Gover, might well look like an early 
form of Pensilva (which is a name of relatively modern coinage) when, in 
fact, it refers to amlst site in Newlyn East parish.  Oliver brought me 
up short for my citing forms such as Brevannek for St Agnes when it 
seems that all the similar forms actually refer to a site in St Hilary.  
Hence my reversion to the Bryanek forms for St Agnes.

I will have to place a cautionary note about reliance upon Gover in my 
place-name document, which has to be complete by the end of July.


Ken MacKinnon wrote:
> Most interested in your revison of place-names list, Craig.   I would be 
> very keen to receive this when it is ready.
> I was presented with a full set of the Kesva placenames booklets when I did 
> my 2000 study.   I could immediately see that many of them were 
> unsatisfactory on all sorts of grounds - and that this represented 
> essentially an amateur approach.   I have always felt that the failure to 
> publish Gover's placenames book was a considerable failing on the part of 
> the EPNS.  When Oliver retired I said I hoped he would get this published as 
> priority.  He siad he wanted to revise it as further scholarship had 
> overtaken some of Gover's work.  However we still await this opus.  I can 
> imagine that Oliver is beavering away - but you can beaver away for ever on 
> that sort of thing and submerge without trace beneath the detail,   never to 
> emerge with the finished product.  I very much hope that your revised list 
> will see early publication.  Otherwise it's Gresham's Law: bad money drives 
> out good.
> I would hope very much as a priority that a commission for Cornish 
> placenames might be constituted as an ealy priority of developments now the 
> SWF has been announced.    If it is, I very much trust that it will comprise 
> actual professional experts and persons with actual track record in the 
> field.
> I feel that your application for Menhyr as a bardic name was rightly turned 
> down - but for the wrong reason.   A menhyr is an artefact.   Craig refers 
> to a natural and conspicuous stone feature.   It is Creag in Gaelic and is 
> feminine in gender - and so is its derivation carraig.   As is also its 
> Cornish cognate carrek.  There is of course clegar - which Nicholas gives as 
> feminine but Nance as masculine.   You may have had a lucky escape.
> gorhemmynadow - Ken
> (Prof) Ken MacKinnon,
> Ivy Cottage, Ferintosh,
> The Black Isle, by Dingwall,
> Ross-shire  IV7 8HX
> Tel: 01349 - 863460
> E-mail: kenmackinnon at enterprise.net
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Craig Weatherhill" <weatherhill at freenet.co.uk>
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:00 AM
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] au
>> In their booklet on place-name recommendations, the Kesva tended to
>> replace <au> with <ow>, so we had "Mownan", "Mowgan", "Lanvowsedh" for
>> what was traditionally Maunan, Maugan and Lanvausa (St Mawes).  Then
>> they went and replaced <ew> with <ow> in the name Trenewan which,
>> historically, has been Trenewien 1207; Trenywyan 1310; Trenywyen 1422;
>> Trenewyen 1424; Trenewen c. 1523 (presumably tre + personal name).  One
>> wonders why they did not recommend Trenywyen in accordance with their
>> own system, and which would have found an historical match from 1422.
>> The SWF system would now have <o> for KK <ow>, so we would be looking at
>> Monan, Mogan and Lanvosa/Lanvosedh (admittedly, for Mawgan-in-Meneage,
>> we do have the spelling Pluvogan), which is why I advocate the
>> restoration of <au>, and am doing so in my place-name recommendation
>> document.
>> Speaking of which, do those to whom I sent the provisional list of 3,400
>> toponyms, have any comments?  If so, could I have them ASAP, if not
>> sooner?  Grassa dhewgh.
>> Craig
>> Michael Everson wrote:
>>> At 07:45 +0100 2008-07-24, Ken MacKinnon wrote:
>>>> Maybe because Austria is an anglicisation of Oesterreich from
>>>> Germnan Ost, ostern.  = east
>>> The English translation is "Eastric" or possibly "Eastreach". :-)
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