[Spellyans] convedhes 'to understand'

Jed Matthews ebost.truru at googlemail.com
Wed Aug 24 11:36:58 IST 2011


Words changed their meaning over time in English, surely this must have
happened in Cornish too.

Jed


On 23 August 2011 12:33, A. J. Trim <ajtrim at msn.com> wrote:

>   Here are my suggestions, in my own orthography:
>
> 1)        I appreciate your coming all this way.
> j.         My yv ſynſys ȝe'th tos an forth ·ma oll.
>
> 2)       We appreciate that this is very difficult for you.
> ij.        Ni yv ovth eſtimya tel üs gans henna angus brâs ȝys.
>
> 3)        The sum in the bank has appreciated nicely.
> iij.        An ſömmen in banc re-encreſſys da.
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Andrew J. Trim
>
>
>
>  *From:* ewan wilson <butlerdunnit at ntlworld.com>
> *Sent:* Monday, August 22, 2011 10:08 PM
> *To:* Standard Cornish discussion list <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> *Subject:* Re: [Spellyans] convedhes 'to understand'
>
>  Nicholas,
>
> Mention of this verb makes me wonder how one would translate the English
> verb 'appreciate' in its various shades of meaning as in the contexts
> below:-
> 1) I appreciate your coming all this way.
> 2)We appreciate that this is very difficult for you.
> 3) The sum in the bank has appreciated nicely.
>
> Ewan.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>
> *To:* Standard Cornish discussion list <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> *Sent:* Monday, August 22, 2011 2:36 PM
> *Subject:* [Spellyans] convedhes 'to understand'
>
> Some revivalists dislike the word *ùnderstondya* for ‘to understand’ and
> prefer *convedhes*. *Convedhes*, however, is a Late Cornish word only and
> it really means ‘perceive, see, grasp’ as much as ‘understand’. Here are all
> the examples I can find:
>
> *sera ny won **convethas* ‘sir, I do not understand’ CW 1232
> *me ny allaf **convethas** y bosta ge ow hendas *‘I cannot understand that
> you are my grandfather’ CW 1610
> *gans dean penvo **convethys** worthaf ve sertan ny dale bos mellyes a vgh
> neb tra* ‘when it is perceived by somebody, it will not be worth messing
> with me indeed above all things’ 1620
> *henna yth ew **convethys** der an discans es thymma reis gans an tas es a
> vghan *‘that can be understood by the teaching given to me by the Father
> above’ CW 2153-55
> *Der taklow minniz ew brez teez **gonvethes* ‘By little things is the mind
> of people perceived’ ACB E e 4v.
>
> Lhuyd does not seem to know this word, and s.v. *Intelligo* ‘to perceive
> or understand’ he gives the Cornish word *adzhan* (i.e. *aswon*) AB: 72a.
>
> We now have two examples of *convedhes* in its Middle Cornish form:
>
> *Ema Arthur devethys ha ny gansa **canfethys* ‘Arthur has come, and we
> perceived by him’ BK 2794-95
> *Rag kueth, pan i’n **canfethis**, me re jangyas ow holor *‘For grief,
> when I noticed it, I changed my colour’ BK  3129-30.
>
> The verbal noun of this verb is unattested but it would probably have been
> **canfos* or **canvos*, cf. Welsh *canfod* ‘to perceive, to behold, to
> see’. Cornish **canfos*, Welsh *canfod* are related to Old Irish *cétbuid*‘act of seeing, sense’, Modern Irish
> *céadfa* ‘sense’, and are compounds of **cant*- ‘with’, cf. Cornish *gans*‘with’, and the verbal noun
> *bos*, *bod* ‘to be’. *Canfos* can therefore be set alongside the other
> compounds of *bos* ‘to be’ in Cornish, *gothfos* ‘to know’, *wharfos* ‘to
> happen’,  and **darfos* ‘to happen’.
>
> The present future of **canfos* would have been **canfethaf*, **canfethyth
> *, **canfyth* and the verbal adjective was *canfethys* (see the first
> example from BK above). From this inflected stem *canfeth*- was extracted
> a new verbal noun **canfethes*, which appears in CW and Pryce as *
> convethes*. The unstressed *a* in *canfethes* has been rounded by the
> following *f*/*v*. Notice also that Pryce’s form *gonvethes* seems to have
> acquired permanent initial lenition.
>
> Since *convedhes* really means ‘to perceive, see’ rather than simply ‘to
> understand’, I shall continue to use *ùnderstondya* with a clear
> conscience.
>
> Nicholas
>
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