[Spellyans] a denewen "aside"

Owen Cook owen.e.cook at gmail.com
Fri Feb 12 12:56:33 GMT 2010

On 11/02/2010, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:
>  If Cornwall Council can derogate on this word, why can't the rest of us?
> Don't forget, Dan - it has been agreed that the variants taves/tavas are
> both allowed in the SWF, so why not onan/onen?  Allowing the one set but not
> the other makes no sense at all.
>  Craig

Perhaps, but <taves> alternates with <tavosow>, <tavas> with
<tavasow>. In my opinion, the SWF has too much multiplicity already.
Allowing 'main forms' alongside the traditional forms was a mistake to
begin with, as you point out. It would have been better just to make
the right choice from the start. In the case of the numeral, that
should probably have been <onen>, as intermediate between the <onan>
and <onyn> attestations, with the motto buttressing its position to

Dan wrote:
> The Celtic derivative of *oino- “one” with the extension *oinâno- meaning
> “alone, personally” can be inferred from OIr oénán, Breton unan and Welsh
> hunan. Since one of the rules of the SWF is to go by the etymological vowel
> one would have to check the etymology and the likeliest development in
> Cornish, e.g. argue that late SW Brit. *uˈnân became Prim.C *oˈnøːn and OC
> *onen (by accent shift and un-rounding). In any case the VC unfortunately
> doesn’t give us an OC form and the earliest attestations are in PA and are
> onan or onon.

But could there have been *oinâno- in Brythonic? In Welsh, with the
intrusive h-, that should have given hunawn > hunon. If I'm not
mistaken, Brythonic requires *oinano- with a short *a.

I'm not sure <onen> is really the best choice on etymological grounds
-- but it is probably the best on synchronic ones.


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