[Spellyans] vocabulary

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Fri Jun 25 09:04:13 IST 2010

1:50,000 Sheet 203 (or 1:25,000 Explorer 7), "Land's End".  SW 390317  
(Higher Bostraze); SW 386318 (Lower Bostraze);  Bog Inn at SW 392320.   
I used to ride out of Higher Bostraze, then a livery stables when  
Larnie was alive:  I now ride out of Lower Bostraze where the yard  
containing Paddy, Shogun and the rest is situated.

There is also (same sheets) Bostrase (St Hilary), SW 573307.  This is  
at the head of another flat-bottomed valley running N towards Tregembo  
and Relubbus.


On 25 Efn 2010, at 07:32, Ken MacKinnon wrote:

> Do we have a grid reference and OS sheet number for Bostrase?
> - 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: "Craig Weatherhill" <craig at agantavas.org 
> >
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:17 AM
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] vocabulary
> Perhaps I should make my view plainer than I have.  I accept that
> Cornish contains loan words from all periods and several languages;
> however, I'd rather not see them as first options. I would far rather
> use (for, say, valley) nans, stras, tenow, etc., than valy.  In fact,
> until Nicholas pointed it out, I didn't even know that valy existed in
> Cornish texts with that meaning.  I'd only ever seen the word (a
> different word, of course) in the exclamation "Tety valy!".  Staying
> with 'valley', the genuine Cornish choices give a greater scope for
> accuracy:  nans "river valley";  stras "flat-bottomed valley"; tenow
> (tnow) "tributary valley", etc.
> (As an aside, the stable yard at Bostraze [bos + stras] is at the head
> of a generally narrow, steep-sided valley but, at this point, the
> valley head proper widens into a wide and very flat-bottomed bowl
> surrounded by hills - a remarkable feature of the landscape and a
> stunningly good example of a 'stras'.  A good map with contours shows
> it very clearly).
> The loan words, though, can often work this way, too.  For 'table' we
> have the choices of bord (more accurately a table-top, and, of course,
> a loan-word), moos and tabel (another loan-word attested in the place-
> name Table Maen and its various spellings - the stone still exists at
> Mayon, Sennen - named after it - and is the site of an Arthurian
> legend and a doomy prophecy of Merlin).
> Craig
> On 23 Efn 2010, at 07:51, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
>> Comments inserted below…
>> From: Ceri Young
>> Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 1:48 AM
>> Thanks Ewan,
>> (Sorry to Spellyans for deviating in this thread, it's still in  
>> the  vein of Craig's post.)
>> The thing is Ewan that the word 'great' even rehashed as 'grêt'   
>> isn't Welsh. (You won't find it in a Welsh dictionary to attest  
>> for  it being Welsh (the Welsh themselves to my knowledge have  
>> never  chosen to include the word), yet you'll find it frequently  
>> in Welsh  texts, novels, magazine articles and every other episode  
>> of Pobol y  Cwm etc.). Yet if you asked someone who regularly used  
>> it in their  colloquial Welsh if it was 'Welsh', I doubt they'd  
>> even concede that  it was. They know what it is. It's English, and  
>> it's in a  particularly English habit that they use it. Thankfully,  
>> Welsh is  sufficiently understood and documented by Welsh speakers  
>> to defend  itself against outsiders presuming that such a word is  
>> deemed to be  Welsh by the Welsh themselves.
>> Yet of course, if every Welsh speaker and dictionary vanished, and   
>> just a handful of texts or records survived... Presumably alien   
>> intelligences might write the word 'grêt' into a Welsh dictionary,   
>> presuming the Welsh truly regarded that as a formal part of their   
>> language...
>> I thought as much. Thanks for this little excursion into Welsh  
>> Welsh life. I’ve always enjoyed watching Pobol y Cwm and other  
>> Welsh TV  and film productions and have noticed the many  
>> spontaneous  Anglicisms (“Mae pizza yn sort o ethnic!”).
>> “A clear phenomenon exists where the Welsh will use English words,   
>> even Cymricise English words in pronunciation and spelling in full   
>> knowledge of what those words are with complete (yet tacit)   
>> acknowledgement that those words are not Welsh. How then, do the   
>> academics of the Cornish revival account for the possibility that   
>> this pheonomenon existed in Cornish? Surely, the answer is that  
>> they  can't. (You can't trust every English word depoyed in Welsh  
>> to be a  wholly accepted and encorporated part of the Welsh  
>> language - so why  would you ever do so in Late Cornish?)
>> Best wishes,
>> Ceri”
>> Again you assume that it is only Late Cornish that incorporated   
>> loans. As mentioned in my previous post, most English loan words  
>> are  actually attested in Middle Cornish. I completely agree with  
>> you  that the encroaching English language would have lead to a  
>> large  portion of the Cornish speaking community to become  
>> bilingual and  then code switching would have been quite normal. I  
>> would regard  Tregear’s Cornish as a perfect example of this.  
>> Because of the lack  of learned ecclesiastical vocabulary he used  
>> the terms current in  English, also rhetorical devices and many of  
>> these I would say are  spontaneous and it would be wise to look ate  
>> them critically and  imitate him only where his wording can be  
>> corroborated in other  texts. His grammar, however, is an essential  
>> part of the Revival as  it is our only MC prose text. So, no, I  
>> don’t think “academics”  would discard the possibility of code  
>> switching phenomena in bilingualCornwall.
>> Dan
>> From: ewan wilson <butlerdunnit at ntlworld.com>
>> To: Standard Cornish discussion list <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>> Ceri,
>> I can understand why some English 'loans' make the more literate/  
>> articulate/purist Welsh cringe at times! I have native Welsh   
>> speaking friends in Aber who deplore such usage as 'downright  
>> lazy'  or 'perverse' when perfectly good Welsh equivalents exist.  
>> However  others seem almost to glory in doing so and insist theu're  
>> just as  'Welsh'!
>> If a word like 'gret' gets sucked into the language in particular  
>> contexts when does it become 'naturalised' and how do we decide  
>> it's  NOT part of the language when it's being used in front of us.
>> English as we all know is a real mongrel language with its rich  
>> Norman/Latin strand and surely that has enriched it. Cornish seems   
>> to be nowhere near as 'penetrated' with borrowings but those it  
>> does  have seem to have been absorbed into the very Celtic syntax  
>> and even  mutations system so that as you point out it'd be  
>> practically  impossible to spot in a fluent speaker's discourse.
>> The very small number of as good as 'native' Cornish speakers who   
>> still use the tongue regularly must be a good pointer as to its   
>> natural development, whether they be 'literate' speakers or not.  
>> Can  one assume the former would have a larger lexical base for  
>> pure  'Celtic' fluency without resort to plugging the gaps with   
>> (inevitably English) borrowing?
>> That Cornish is good at coining new terms that seem to stick with   
>> greater facility I'd say than in Welsh where they can sound odd   
>> ( pellgowser, pellwollok, golghva-kerry) also acts as a protection   
>> from Anglo- infection!!
>> Ewan.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Ceri Young
>> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8:59 PM
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] vocabulary
>> Although I have no qualifications to chip in, I agree with Craig   
>> here (and having itched to comment earlier I'm very glad to read  
>> his response). When I hear a comment like Nicholas' "My preference  
>> is  for the language of the texts rather than for some  
>> reCelticised  fantasy" I can't help being reminded that to some,  
>> the whole Cornish  Revival is just one elaborate fantasy of  
>> reCelticisation; of  salvaging lost Celticity from the desolation  
>> of a tragic, sustained,  ethnocidal assault. It also then strikes  
>> me that it's perfectly  natural to regard nurturing those late  
>> Anglicisms is somewhat  contrary to the general ethos of such a  
>> fantasy of reCelticisation.  Surely, just because a word is  
>> borrowed, doesn't make it a formal  part of the language. Welsh  
>> speakers will routinely throw English  loanwords like the adj.  
>> 'grêt' (great) (although they'll be using it  as an interjection)  
>> into their speech and even write it into  informal texts, but that  
>> doesn't mean 'grêt' is a Welsh word to be  found in or even  
>> inserted into a Welsh dictionary as a translation  of 'great'.
>> Even if I totally understand the need for the strictest academic  
>> rectitude in the revival, I can also see why some might harbour an  
>> instinct to purge such late Anglicisms from their own useage of   
>> Revived Cornish. It may not be remotely impartial or academic, but  
>> I  can quite understand an uneasy attitude towards Anglicisms in  
>> Celtic  languages in general, stemming from a sense of nationhood  
>> being  established and complete from a given point that precludes  
>> influence  from a resented imperial oppressor. (Perhaps as an  
>> Englishman,  Nicholas simply doesn't see or feel this.) As a  
>> Welshman, I see the  Welsh nation as one of Romano-British origins  
>> (and would have  assumed the Cornish might be justified in thinking  
>> similarly) and  so, as Ken George is accused of here, I can  
>> understand a bias  towards Celtic & Latin words, and some unease  
>> towards Anglicisms.
>> Beyond that, if those Anglicisms entered into Cornish via  
>> borrowing  and were legitimised by Cornish language users taking  
>> them into  their linguistic currency, what would be so wrong with  
>> Revived  Cornish speakers borrowing from Cornish's sister languages  
>> (along  academic lines of their own) - and legitimising any  
>> reCelticisation  of their language which they see fit? I guess that  
>> simply can't  happen until the language is flying naturally of its  
>> own accord, and  finally out of the hands of academics.
>> Best wishes,
>> Ceri
>> From: Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org>
>> To: spellyans at kernowek.net
>> Sent: Tue, 22 June, 2010 18:56:22
>> Subject: [Spellyans] vocabulary
>> I'm concerned over one or two views that have been expressed re.  
>> vocabulary.  On one hand I'm hearing support for tota Cornicitas,   
>> and on the other, I'm hearing that a word only attested in OCV and   
>> not in the MC/Tudor texts shouldn't be used (stevel being an  
>> example  that immediately springs to mind; use rom instead is the  
>> advice).  I  don't agree with this.  Here's an example to  
>> illustrate why I think  this way.
>> Dyek (SWF: diek), 'lazy' occurs on OCV as 'dioc', and not in MC at   
>> all. Until the 80s, when Dick Gendall was the first to look at  
>> Late  Cornish in depth, it was being assumed that the word didn't  
>> survive  into MC.  In fact, it must have survived into Late Cornish  
>> because  it turns up in dialect as 'jack'.  So, if the word made it  
>> to Late  Cornish and dialect, it follows that it must have existed  
>> in MC.  We  just don't have a text that features it and, let's face  
>> it, we only  have a fraction of the texts that must once have  
>> existed.   Attestation in MC texts supports the use of a word;  
>> absence from  what survives of the MC texts is not a reason for  
>> rejection.  It  only tells us that the word isn't found in those  
>> few texts; not that  it didn't exist.
>> For me, tota Cornicitas is essential.
>> I'm afraid that some words being put forward will never find use   
>> with me. I don't see the point of 'valy' for "valley", when so  
>> many  Cornish words for different types of valley already exist.  
>> Nor am I  minded to reject lyw/liw (or however we're spelling it)  
>> in favour of  'color'.  I want to write Cornish.  I already know  
>> English.
>> --
>> Craig
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> --
> Craig Weatherhill
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Craig Weatherhill

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