[Spellyans] 'every day'

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Aug 4 07:00:51 IST 2011

On 2011 Est 3, at 22:28, nicholas williams wrote:

> I learnt pupteth in the late 1950s, assuming it to be genuine.
> I didn't realise then that pupteth was not attested, only pub tezoll an pup tyth.

Going from 'pup tezoll' and 'pup tyth' to 'pupteth' is the sort of small change that falls well within the acceptable bounds of normalisation.

> Such was Nance's authority, that no one queried anything.

Not so. If we read their published writings, we find that, to name but two, both Caradar Smith and Talek Hooper did precisely that. Dissent, rather than docile subservience to some imagined 'authority', was the way they worked. Not everyone in the Revival was as 'unduly influenced' (to use his own words) as the 'unduly influence-able' Nicholas claims to have been.

> One can still hear people on Radyo an Gernewegva singing
> an mor 'hedra vo yn fos dhys adro, …

Of course they do. Irrespective of what Nicholas claims may or may not be 'attested' in the historical corpus, 'an mor hedra vo' has become profusely attested in the Revived corpus, as the phrase of course occurs in the first verse of 'Bro Coth agan Tasow'. It has become, in a word, canonical.

Languages evolve, and the engine driving that change is largely the choices and preferences of the speakers and writers of that language. 'Experts' have the same freedom to air their views as anyone else, of course; but they need not expect their views to find especial favour simply because of their avowed 'expert' status.

Jenner, Nance and their contemporaries were faced with a 'tabula rasa', if you will, since there was NO revived Cornish (nor any RC speakers and writers) for them to deal with. We are not in that position at all, as we now have a RC corpus stretching back over a century and more, and a (small) host of RC users past and present as well. In fact, it's likely that the RC corpus is not bigger than the pre-revival one, and that there have been more Kernewegoryon in the last 100 years than there were over the prededing 200 years or more.

> …though the three examples of hadre von in CW make it clear that the word was ha'dre.

The key word is 'WAS'. 'Hedra' has had a long time being used, by thousands of modern Kernewegoryon. This has, in my view, legitimised it as a valid form in RC, which now can boast 2 forms of the word, hedra and hadre, for us to choose from.

Eddie Climo

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