[Spellyans] Multiple adjectives after feminine nouns
everson at evertype.com
Mon Mar 16 18:47:12 GMT 2009
On 16 Mar 2009, at 18:36, Eddie Climo wrote:
> On 14 Mer 2009, at 14:42, Michael Everson wrote:
>> Caradar sets a rule that only the first of several adjectives
>> following a feminine noun is [lenited]
> It is worth bearing in mind that, when Caradar wrote Kernewek
> Sempelhes, he was very careful to stick to the historical texts for
> all (or almost all?) of his specimen sentences.
That may be, but the example he gives (būgh wyn tēk) does not seem to
appear in the corpus.
> That he was prudent to do so is shown by the fact that, to this day,
> he and Mordon and Talek et al still face precisely this sort of ill-
> informed denigration from those petty-minded 'scholars' who seek to
> enhance their own prestige by belittling that of these fathers of
> the Revival.
First, I'm not disrespectful of Caradar. Nevertheless, my question
remains: is there any textual evidence that this rule is correct, and
that Cornish differs in its treatment of multiple adjectives from the
other Celtic languages?
> So, it would be reasonable to assume that Caradar observed precisely
> this pattern of lenition in the historical corpus.
If he did then the pattern should be well-attested.
> I was told a while ago by someone whose Cornish is far better than
> mine (not a difficult achievement, mind!) that I absolutely could
> not start a sentence with 'Yn meth ...' because it was 'not attested
> in the historical corpus'. Someone else suggested that it was in
> fact attested, and in the best-known piece of Cornish prose there
> is: Jowan Chy an Horth. I checked, and that is so.
It starts a *clause* in Jowan Chy an Horth. It does not stand in
absolute initial position. There is a difference.
> Let's remember that KK is the fruit of precisely this sort of
If there is a rule that only the first of two or more adjectives
lenites in Traditional Cornish, then there should be at least one
example in the corpus. If it is really a rule
I don't believe that Jenner, or Nance, or Caradar, or Pool, or
Williams is 100% right all the time. In this case, there is a genuine
question as to whether Caradar's rule -- which makes Cornish different
from the other Celtic languages -- is a valid one. Admiring Caradar
doesn't make him right about this. Only the corpus can prove or
disprove the rule.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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