[Spellyans] th/dh

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Mon Nov 22 10:16:16 GMT 2010

If it helps:  from "More Traditional Cornish Numerals" (W.D.Watson,  
JRIC 1926):

Albert Harvey, Paul, 1925:  "On, dew, tree, pajee, pemp, weth, seth,  
eeth, naw, dayg, eegnak, dawthack, tawthack, biswarthak, pempthak,  
wethack, sethak, eethak, nawnjack, eegans".

William Harvey, Four Lanes, Redruth (formerly of Paul and brother to  
the above) 1925/26: "On, dew, tree, pajee, pemp, weeth, sayth, ayth,  
now, dayg, ednak, dowak, treethak, pesworthak, pempthak, wethak,  
seethak, eethak, nownjack, eegans".

John George: Predannack, Mullion, 1925/26:  "Eena, dewa, treea, paja,  
pemp, with,......pagwotha..."  (Mr George's memory was somewhat  
defective, but knew words like:  dour, venton, uggo, pedn, tol,  
carrack, men").

William Cock, Gweek (d.1883) via G.S. Bray, Lanner:  "wunnen, du,  
dree, pedge, pmp, wayth, set, ayth, nohnen, dekka".

Betsy Matthews, Paul (d.1887), via her son, Edward Matthews:  
(fragmentary), "...nohat, dayg....pednack wetnack, setnack, etnak,  
nownjak, niggans".

Ditto, via her second son, Robert Matthews:  "In, dew, thrigh, pajee,  
pemp, wee, sigh, serth, nohek, deeg, eegnak, dowthack......pendhak,  
wettick, sightek, ightek, nownjak, niggans".

My copy of this offprint  (the cover of which bears the handwritten  
initials: W.D.W) ends with a handwritten note by Robert Morton Nance,  
as follows:

'Extract from "Old Cornwall" No.12, Winter 1930, Traditional Cornish  
Mr W.D. Watson has lately got the following score from Mr W.H. Snell,  
of Newlyn:  taught to him by his grandmother, Mrs Phillippa Francis,  
nee Batten, of Paul, dies c. 1870-5:
"Un, doo, tray, paja, pemp, weeth, seeth, neeth, noo, dagg, ignet,  
dawthak, tardhak, beswardhak, penthek, weethek, signyak, aytek,  
nineyak, iggins".

Thos shows the same tendency to degenerate into assonance and rhyme  
that has already been noted in similar survivals (see JRIC No. 71, p. 
300; No. 73, p.113 where 13 different traditions are recorded by Mr  
Watson and myself).  Dr E.A. Bullmore was taught by his great-uncle Mr  
Henry Trevascus b. St Erth 1800, to say:
"oon, dew, tray, padgery, pemp, whay, sayth, ayth, now,  
dayg.....iganz....kans", not completing the score but adding 100.

Mr W. Pezzack of Newlyn learned the whole score as a boy of which he  
remembers:  "unn, dew, tray, pajer, pemp.....dowthack, biswawthack,  

The final page of the offprint has a pencil written note:
'8 versions R.M.N.
7 versions W.D.W.'
which I assume to be a tally of how many versions of the numerals had  
been collected by each man.

Hope that's helpful,

On 22 Du 2010, at 09:38, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:

> Please elaborate. Examples by native speakers? Transcribed when? By  
> whom?
> From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net 
> ] On Behalf Of nicholas williams
> Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 10:25 AM
> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] th/dh
> How then do you explain the examples from Mount's Bay with th? The  
> informants had heard their forms from native speakers. Native  
> speakers trump phonetic representations by non-natives, I believe.
> On 2010 Du 22, at 09:18, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:
> It looks as if Breton and, quite possibly, Cornish gave a different  
> treatment to the word for “fifteen” from Welsh. Lhuyd’s pemdhak may  
> well have been correct.
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Craig Weatherhill

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