[Spellyans] Multiple adjectives after feminine nouns

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Mon Mar 16 19:03:58 GMT 2009

The problem is that the corpus is incomplete and, therefore, we can  
only gain limited knowledge from it.  The rest has to be arrived at by  
analogy.  I remember being told once that 'mar pleg/plek' isn't  
attested in the corpus, but we all use it, nonetheless.  It does give  
us a problem but also a challenge.

I remember, too, that Nance made certain guesses that were shown to be  
correct by the discovery of BK.


On 16 Mer 2009, at 18:47, Michael Everson wrote:

> 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  
>> naiveté!
> 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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