[Spellyans] Place names

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Thu Jan 28 17:34:15 GMT 2010

I meant to do this yesterday but - the best-laid plans of mice and  
Craigs . . .

These are the bullet-point summaries of my suggested policy for modern  
representation of historic place-names (which I define as those which  
were in place at the beginning of the Cornish revival in 1904):

* Prime consideration should be given to protecting the historical  
integrity of each name, be it of Cornish or non-Cornish origin (and  
that each be properly and fully researched).

* Where current names show Old Cornish characteristics (i.e. non- 
assibilated consonants), these should be retained unless historic  
forms show that an evolutionary change did, in fact, occur.

* Late Cornish features, such as pre-occlusion and the substitution of  
<j> for <s>, should be included, but only where found.

* Mutation should not introduced where it did not occur in current and  
historic forms of a name, but should be retained where it occurs, even  
where, in theory, it should not have done so.

* Old Cornish Ti- (Ty-) should be retained where it has persisted to  
the present day, and not converted to the later form Chi- (Chy-).  (Ti/ 
Ty names seem to be exclusive to major manorial centres, and the Old  
form may have been retained as a symbol of prestige).

* Names of Celtic and Biblical saints should not be preceded in  
toponyms by Sen, Sent, in accordance with historical practice.

* Place-names of non-Cornish origin often fail to translate directly  
or satisfactorily into Cornish and, with the exception of major and  
long-established modern coinages such as Aberfal, should not undergo  
translation in order to protect their own individual histories.   
Exceptions can be made where a name of non-Cornish origin has an  
historically attested Cornish alternative.

* Division of elements within reconstructed toponyms is a matter for  
debate and further discussion may be considered appropriate.

* Where the derivation of a toponym is unknown or uncertain, an  
historically attested spelling should be carefully selected.


On 28 Gen 2010, at 16:09, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

> Silly woman argued against bilingual signage, saying it would  
> confuse her 'constituents*'.  Hardly - her Ward is in the old  
> Kerrier area (Troon and Beacon) where bilingual street name signage  
> has been in place for several years!
> *Note that some of these councillors now have 'constituencies' as  
> though they're MPs.  Sheer pretentiousness.  They are still Wards.
> Craig
> On 28 Gen 2010, at 15:44, Ken MacKinnon wrote:
>> Tom,
>> I have a word for this 'cultural false consciousness'.   A good  
>> example of this was Councillr Morwenna Williams on Inside Out last  
>> Monday.  She thought that the use of Cornish language made the  
>> Cornish people look ridiculous.  She might have set a good example  
>> herself by changing her name.
>> - an Ken ken
>> Ken MacKinnon is now on Broadband  with new e-mail addresses:-
>> ken at ferintosh.org
>> and also at:-
>> ken.ferintosh at googlemail.com
>> My former e-mail addresses are no longer able to be used.
>> (Prof) Ken MacKinnon
>> Ivy Cottage, Ferintosh,
>> The Black Isle, by Dingwall,
>> Ross-shire  IV 7 8HX
>> Scotland  UK
>> Tel: 01349 - 863460
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Tom Trethewey
>> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
>> Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 2:07 PM
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Place names
>> There is a very good "reason for it".  The Cornish form (I favour  
>> Eglosveryan) indicates the pronunciation, while the Anglicized St  
>> Buryan is ambiguous in this respect.
>> Tom
>> --- On Thu, 28/1/10, John Nash <mim.oldwellstudio at btinternet.com>  
>> wrote:
>> From: John Nash <mim.oldwellstudio at btinternet.com>
>> Subject: [Spellyans] Place names
>> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>> Date: Thursday, 28 January, 2010, 10:12
>> How much support are people finding for Cornish to be used in  
>> public signage? I recently mailed St Buryan Parish council to ask  
>> why our very nice brand new village sign didn't include somehwere  
>> the name in Cornish, as this wouldn't have added to the cost. The  
>> answer was simply that "they saw no reason for it" and that "of the  
>> eleven councillors, ten were St Buryan born and bred".
>> Oll an gwella
>> John Nash
>> Lamorna (Sadly, not born and bred in St Buryan)
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> --
> Craig Weatherhill
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Craig Weatherhill

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