[Spellyans] Cornish words, or Foreign ones?
eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Oct 19 17:56:50 IST 2008
While I accept the importance of attestation in our Revived Cornish
lexicon, there is a fundamental problem which leaves me deeply
puzzled and uneasy. It is, in short, that the source texts do not
mark a word or passage as being (a)Cornish, (b)unassimilated non-
Cornish, (c)non-Cornish with some degree of assimilation. We can only
arrive at these conclusions, I assume, by deduction, by assumption,
or perhaps by guesswork.
For instance, in 'Bewnans Ke' (Thomas/Williams), we find many such
lines as this
> 16. A, out warnas, traytor puer!
We notice that Teutharus is exceedingly fond of 'out!', and often
utters a whole string of them. Both Nance and Williams offer us K.
'owt' as an interjection, but I imagine no-one would recommend the
use of this word in modern sentences like:
> *My a vyn mos owt dhe'n dre. (I will go out to the town).
But what about 'traytor'? Both Nance and Williams give these entries:
> traitor. traytour, fals-gwas, brasyer
So K. owt can only be used in a very limited sense, while K. traytour
presumably) is different. Puzzling.
Then, if we look at Tregear, we find another pattern that's just as
puzzling. From Keith Syed's revision of Christopher Bice's
we find 'doublets' like this which occur quite frequently, such as
these from the 1st Homily:
'... preysse the du neb o y gwrer ha creator ...
.... eff a alsa creatya ha gull mab den ...
.... Gesow ny the wull den the gan similitud ha hevelep ny ...
From these, we can see that
> gwrer = creator
> creatya = gull
> similitud = hevelep.
Is it fair to say that these form a rhetorical device of [Cornish
word + English synonym], or must we assume that it's actually
[Cornish word + assimiliated English word]?
Tregear doesn't tell us, but I'd be uneasy at using freely the likes
of 'creator', 'creatya' and 'similitud' in everyday Cornish.
Equally, what about this phrase from the same Homily:
> an tas a vsias solempnyty bras, ha lowre notabyll sircumstans.
What do we assume about 'solempnyty' and (with its English lexicon
and syntax) 'notabyll sircumstans'?
Eddie Foirbeis Climo
- -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -
Dres ethom akennow byner re bons lyeshes
Accenti non multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
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