[Spellyans] <y>, <i>, etc
eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Jul 26 14:20:23 IST 2008
On 26 Jul 2008, at 10:35, nicholas williams wrote:
> Why *Jowann rather than Jowan?
Soweth, my a wruk y gamlytherenna. Drok yu genef!
> .In UC this would be written <menydhyow> and indeed it is so written.
Re'm barf! Camlytherennans aral. Drok dobyl yu genef!
> The word nans is used in adverbial phrases (war nans, yn nans) in
> the texts. It is never used to mean 'valley'.
Upon checking, I find that in Craig Wetherill's various writings on
Cornish place-names, he cites amongst others Trenant, Trenans, Nant
Gover, Nant Wedhen, Nans Bèrres, Nans Kersys, Nans Fenten. It's
difficult to see what else this means other than 'valley'; and I know
of no good reason to reject a straightforward toponymic lexeme like
this for everyday use in revived Cornish.
It's hard to imagine traditional Cornish speakers restricting the use
of the word nans/nant exclusively to toponyms and adverbial phrases,
and all refusing to use it as a simple noun (especially as there's no
such restriction on its cognates in Welsh and Breton). But, even if
they did, nans/nant=valley is a perfectly respectable lexeme to add
to the revived lexicon.
Be that as it may, for E. 'valley', Nance's 1938 dictionary gives
'nans, anciently nant', and Williams' 2006 one gives 'nans; valy'.
And when two of the greatest lexicographers of the Revival agree, who
am I to differ? (. . . especially as it's UC/UCR that I'm learning!)
Moreover, 'valy' would not have given the bilingual 'triple entendre'
of *nancily, a tawdry gwary war eryow which I was unable to resist.
I'm glad you appear to find no fault with the linguistic arguments of
the posting, however.
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