[Spellyans] in our, in your, in their

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Sat Jul 18 14:09:19 IST 2009


In his Grammar of Modern Cornish (UC—first edition) page 35 Brown  
gives the following variants:

yn ow/y'm 'in my'
y'th 'in thy'
yn agan/y'gan 'in our'
yn agas/y'gas 'in your'
yn aga/y'ga 'in their'.

This agrees with Nance (Cornish for All (1949): 15): "yn remains  
before ow, y, y [her] but elsewhere contracts to y, with yn aga etc.  
as an alternative to y'ga, etc."

Taking Brown and Nance together it seems that UC has

y'th 'in thy'
y'gan 'in our'
y'gas 'in your'
y'ga 'in their'

as the default forms, with yn agan, yn agan, yn aga as permitted  
variants.

I am not sure that this really reflects the situation in the texts.
yn the 'in thy' is attested x 13, in the 'in thy' x 25; in tha 'in  
thy' x 5. This seems at least as common as y'th (pace Brown).

The only example of y'gan that I can find is ygyn forth BM 3426. In  
agan on the other hand is attested 30 times and yn agan x 2.
The only example I can find of y'gas is i'gas kerthow BK 22295. On the  
other hand yn agas x 5; in agys x 6; in agis x 6.
The only example I can find of y'ga is yge kerhyn RD 886. On the other  
hand in aga is attested 22 x; yn aga x 2; in age x 4.

The full variants with yn seem to be the default forms. Interestingly  
KS spellings with <in> in agan, in agas, in aga, are actually the  
commonest in Cornish.

Nicholas
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