[Spellyans] <y>, <i>, etc

Eddie Climo 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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