[Spellyans] drog

A. J. Trim ajtrim at msn.com
Sat Jan 16 23:09:30 GMT 2010

If it is correct Cornish to always write da after the noun but to write drog before the noun, then we should not change that. We should use the Traditional Texts as our guide to what is "correct", unless there is a good reason to deviate.

I believe that we should be reviving Cornish, and not just translating each word from the English. Here, I suspect that we are trying to translate an English usage which did not occur in the Traditional Texts so it may be acceptable to extend the rules of idiom to some extent. However, the basic rules of grammar should probably be followed.

How about saying instead (in your chosen orthography) something like:

gwell yv zys yn-kensa an nowozow da po drog?


Andrew J. Trim

From: Nicholas Williams 
Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 6:10 PM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
Cc: Stewart Elizabeth (CE) 
Subject: [Spellyans] drog

On the Maga website there is a photograph of a car mechanic who is saying: A vyn'ta kavos an nowodhow da po an nowodhow drog?

I can find no example anywhere in traditional Cornish of drog as an attributive adjective following its noun. Drog (drok) when used attributively, as far as I can see, always precedes its noun, e.g. drog bewnans 'evil life', drog vomennow 'evil blows', drog prederow 'evil thoughts', drog-venyn 'evil woman', drok pryson 'evil prison', drog-chawns 'evil chance, misfortune', etc. In fact Tregear uses the expression drog pobill, drog pobyll, throg pobill no fewer than 17 times. *Pobill drog/pobill throg is unattested.

If one wants to say 'Do you want the good news or the bad news?' it is, I think, more idiomatic to say:

A vynta cafos an nowodhow da bo an drog nowodhow?

This differing syntax with 'good' and 'bad' is found elsewhere in the Celtic languages, e.g. Irish duine maith 'good person' but drochdhuine 'evil person'. In Welsh drwg 'bad' can follow its noun, but this does not appear to be true for Cornish.

Moreover in Cornish even when the English borrowing bad replaces drog-, it usually precedes its noun, e.g. pur bad dean 'a very evil man' CW 1444 or bad-ober 'evil deed, crime', which occurs four times in JCH.

What do other people think?



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