[Spellyans] <y>, <i>, etc
weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Sat Jul 26 19:53:14 IST 2008
Just back from the first day of the show (went really well and very good
weather, too). In Welsh, nant, tends to mean "river" but, in Cornish,
OC nant, MC nans is valley, presumably "river valley". However, we do
have phrases such as "war nans" meaning "downward". "Owth yskynnans bre
Cambron, war nans" ("Going up Camborne Hill, coming down") is one
example (referring to Trevithick's test run of his steam car).
Of course, there are various other words for "valley" in Cornish, just
as there are several for "stream, watercourse". Where keep my horse
has such a name: Higher Bostraze. The "straze" element is OC strad (W.
ystrad), MC stras, "flat-bottomed valley". In that particular location
the term is extremely appropriate. It is near the head of the stream
that runs from Porth Ledden (just N of Cape Cornwall) and, towards its
source is a fairly narrow, steep-sided valley. However, above Lower
Bostraze, and getting close to the stream's source in the marshes by the
famous Bog Inn (which, incidentally, still survives as a ruin just
outside our fields), the valley opens out into a wide bowl, with a
broad, flat bottom, and surrounded on all sides bar the outlet valley by
Eddie Climo wrote:
> 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
> 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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