[Spellyans] chi v chy

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Thu May 6 16:24:04 BST 2010

I'd agree with the last sentiment.  In the mid 80s, one school of  
thought went much too far, in my view, in moving Cornish towards  
Breton, so much so that the distinction between them was being wrongly  
blurred.  Welsh and Breton each developed in their own independent way  
(as did Cornish which, for example, took on the assibilation the  
others did not develop).  I would certainly agree that Welsh and  
Breton, as sister languages, can be used to assist and inform Cornish,  
but no more than that.  The respective individuality of each language  
must be kept intact.

As you mention the <hw> graph was introduced to link closer to Breton  
C'h (and Welsh Ch) but would I be wrong in saying that a true parallel  
would not have been <hw> but <ghw>?  Of course, there was an  
irrational opinion that <wh> was "English'.  So, to replace it, they  
introduced <hw> which is, of course - English.  Old English (e.g.  
hweol - wheel).  It was false purism.


On 6 Me 2010, at 14:13, nicholas williams wrote:

> Of course not. The word ryver was borrowed into spoken Cornish by  
> native speakers of Cornish and was the word used by speakers of the  
> traditional language.
> There is no evidence at all that yalgh, for example, was in use in  
> the spoken language. It was borrowed into Neo-Cornish by non-natives  
> out of sheer purism.
>  My objection is to words borrowed from Breton for the express  
> purpose of avoiding a word in use in the texts. Cornish is full of  
> words from Latin and from Old English, though we often don't  
> recognise them as such, e.g. cùsca < quiesco; collel < cultellum;  
> pronter < primitir < presbyter;
> nefra < næfre.
> In fact the presence of such a common temporal adverb as nefra <  
> næfre in Cornish is an indication of how heavily influenced the  
> language was by English. In this respect it is wholly different from  
> Breton. Breton is useful for filling occasional gaps in our lexicon,  
> but it should not, in my view be used as the template for recasting  
> Cornish entirely.
> Nicholas
> On 6 Me 2010, at 13:41, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
>> Isn't that a contradiction, Nicholas?
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Craig Weatherhill

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