[Spellyans] Plural of 'lo'

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed Dec 16 16:40:46 GMT 2009

Gendall's source dictionary of Late Cornish (1990) gives:

lo, pl. lew (Lhuyd); loe (Borlase), pl. leu (Pryce).

I also believe that the word, as Lo, occurs in the place-name Lo Cabm  
(coastal,Mullion), i.e. 'bent spoon/spoons'.  Padel (1985) interpreted  
it as logh, but this coastal feature is, I believe a rock formation.   
It was Lew Gabm in 1875, which certainly does not suggest 'logh'.

Lew appears to be the attested Cornish plural and, for that reason, I  
think we should stay with it, not take a guess that it shared the same  
plural with Welsh or Breton.


On 16 Kev 2009, at 16:23, nicholas williams wrote:

> The singular is attested in MC only, as far as I am aware, in the  
> dog's name lonk-y-lo "swallow his spoon" BM  3226.
> Nance (1938) considers Lhuyd's leu to be a late contraction of *loyow.
> The pair lo ~ loyow are similar to  ro "gift" ~ royow "gifts" x 8 in  
> TH.
> Neil's dictionary gives lo "spoon", pl. lew.
> The final segment is -u for earlier -ow. How do we then explain the  
> shift in the root from o > e?
> It would seem to have been provoked by a following [j]. In which  
> case the underlying shape
> may well have been *loyow.
> It is not unlikely that the original form of the word was *loy (W  
> llwy; cf. C moy, W mwy; C. oy, W wy), plural loyow. In which case lo  
> could have arisen by false division from the plural *loyow.
> Nicholas
> On 16 Kev 2009, at 15:54, Herbie Blackburn wrote:
>> Jon wrote:
>> >George (2009) gives the plural of lo (spoon) as "loyow". The only  
>> attestation that I have so far come across for the plural is Lhuyd  
>> (1707: 48c) "leụ". Is the spelling "loyow" really justified?
>> >Jon
>> Only - Welsh : ‘llwy(-au)’. Breton ‘loa(-iou)’, don’t know  
>> about historical Cornish attestations, other than Lhuyd.
>> Herbie
>> _____________________________________
>> Dr. Jon Mills,
>> School of European Culture and Languages,
>> University of Kent
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Craig Weatherhill

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