[Spellyans] Adjectives that premodify their noun

j.mills at email.com j.mills at email.com
Mon Jan 18 16:15:21 GMT 2010

I wonder if the data is not perhaps muddied by the fact that much of our corpus is in verse. Consider the English carol, "It came upon a midnight clear, ..." Note that "clear" is not required to be at the the end of the line for purposes of rhyme. Rather it is for stylistic effect; "a midnight clear" sounds more poetic than "a clear midnight." The writers of our Cornish miracle-plays would have needed to move the elements of the clause around for scansion and rhyme, but may also have done so purely for stylistic effect.

Dr. Jon Mills, 
School of European Culture and Languages, 
University of Kent

-----Original Message-----
From: nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>
To: Standard Cornish discussion list <spellyans at kernowek.net>
Sent: Mon, Jan 18, 2010 2:38 pm
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Adjectives that premodify their noun

In the first place we should probably distinguish borrowed adjectives like dysawor, perfect and chyf from words inherited from Common Brythonic.
Among such indigenous adjectives that precede their noun we should include:

drog-, hager-, berr-, as Jon suggests.

Probably here also belongs leun:

e.g. leun-golon PA 25c, 30a; leun vanneth BM 21; lene amyndys TH 12a

Gwir may be used before its noun: 
gwyer Thew BK 194; hag un gwyer Thew  BK 254 and after: in quarel gwyer BK 1504.

As far as the borrowed adjectives are concerned, chyf seems always to precede its noun (as does chief in English).

Another borrowing that is almost always used as a prefix is fals:

a fals huder OM 565; fals duwow OM 1882; a fals prophettys TH 19a; An fals brybours BK 743, etc.
The only exceptions I can find are Iudas fals PA 36a; a dus fals PA 90d.


On 18 Gen 2010, at 10:32, j.mills at email.com wrote:

Or is there some sort of rule that governs when a noun is premodified and when it is postmodified?


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