[Spellyans] "Public house"

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Thu Aug 4 11:46:45 IST 2011

I agree that tavern is by far preferable than diwotty. The word is derived
from SWF diwes (C diot (VC), dewas (PA), ?ewas (PA), dewes (OM, BM, Lh, Pr),
dywes (PC, RD), deves (BM), dewas (BK, TH, SA, AB, Lh, Pr), thewas (SA),
deu?az (Lh), deu?as (Lh), †diot (Lh, Pr), deuaz (Lh), dewaz (Pr), †diot
(Pr); (pl.) dewosov (BM); cf. B died; W diod).
Analogous to OC dioc ‘sluggish’ and OC *tioc (< pl. OC tiogou) ‘farmer’ the
expected development of Cornish ‘drink’ should have been MC *dyes, *dyas >
LC *deeaz, *dîaz > SWF *dies. My take is that this particular word developed
irregularly and inserted /w/ in the hiatus and then followed the same
development as SWF diwedh. Does anybody have a better explanation?
Since the word diwotty is derived from an attested word, there isn’t really
anything to say against it, except that it is redundant owing to tavern and
(h)ostelry being available. 

From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net]

On Behalf Of nicholas williams
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 2:53 PM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: [Spellyans] "Public house"
Nance 1938 gives *dewotty 'drink-shop, ale-house', which is based on Welsh
dioty 'ale-house'. UC dewotty appears now in the SWF glossary as diwotty,
the SWF for 'drink' being diwes. The attested forms for 'drink' are dywes x
2; dewas x 12; thewas x 1.
Nance presumably coined *dewotty on purist grounds. We have two attested
words for 'public house, tavern, ale-house', however.
In tavern sur ov eva ymons pur ruth age myn BM 3308
Caupona…A Tavern, an Ale-house, a Victualling-house; A. [& C[ornish]]
Tavargn AB; 47a
Taberna…A tavarn or victualling house…Tshyi tavarn AB: 160b.
HOSTELRI, an inn, an alehouse, a victualling house ACB R 2
Hostelri, a Tavern, Alehouse Borlase
It is possible that Pryce borrowed hostelri from Breton ostaleri, but the
differing second vowel and the initial h- in hostelry make this unlikely.
Nance thought the word was genuine for he includes it in his 1952 dictionary
s.v. hostelry, though removing h- he gives ostlery.
It might be better to retain the h- and to consider that hostelry is to be
stressed on the second syllable.
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