[Spellyans] Blejyow or Flowrys?

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Sun May 30 19:55:21 BST 2010

Speak for yourself, Nicholas - you haven't met MY doctor!


On 30 Me 2010, at 19:49, nicholas williams wrote:

> Whoever said anything about rejecting anything? I was merely  
> pointing out that some words favoured by Nance do not occur in the  
> texts (though they do occur in OCV and in toponyms) and therefore we  
> should possibly not use them for everyday use. The English word  
> 'twain' means 'two' but we don't say 'I want to book a flight to  
> Paris for twain', do we?  We don't say "Has ought happed?" but "Has  
> anything happened". We don't say "I hied me to the leech" but "I  
> went to the doctor".
> As for blejyow, it probably was originally the word for 'flowers',  
> but 'flowers' in all our texts from the Ordinalia to CW is  
> invariably flourys, the plural of flour.
> We should use the attested words for the attested meanings, and  
> leave the archaisms for poetry and elevated writing.
> Nance didn't do that because of his idees fixes about what  
> constituted "correct" Cornish. Nance's purism nourished later less  
> scholarly purism and has, in my view, done the revival immense damage.
> Nicholas
> On 30 Me 2010, at 18:12, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
>> Indeed, dowr is used in river names, i.e. English would say 'River  
>> Fal' but Cornish would say 'Dowr Fala'.  Also names such as 'Chy an  
>> Dour' probably translate as 'house at the stream'.
>> If a word occurs in a Cornish (or Irish) tononym, then where did  
>> that word come from, if not the language itself?  We have so little  
>> of historical written Cornish that one simply can't reject a word  
>> because,in what does survive, there is only one attestation.   
>> Blegyow 'flowers', from the Passion Poem, is one such example.  We  
>> can't just reject it because it only occurs once (as far as we  
>> know).  That it occurs at all is the essential point.  <Flourys>  
>> appears to be the 'ordinary word' in the few texts that survive but  
>> was it so in the total? We'll never know but I think it's dangerous  
>> to draw conclusions from insufficient evidence survival.  Which is  
>> where toponymic elements come in very useful.  They, too, are there  
>> because Cornish speakers and writers used those words and for no  
>> other reason.  All must be included in tota Cornicitas.
>> I am happy to use <awan> or <ryver>; flowr> or <blejen>.  Their  
>> existence in traditional Cornish is beyond doubt, and the choice  
>> gives the advantage of allowing extensions of vocabulary, so useful  
>> in written Cornish especially, where one doesn't want to keep using  
>> one word where alternatives are available..
>> Craig
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Craig Weatherhill

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