[Spellyans] loan words

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Feb 23 19:33:40 GMT 2011

On 23 Feb 2011, at 18:49, Eddie Climo wrote:

>> Welsh ffagl is borrowed from Latin facula 'little torch, splinter used as a torch', a diminutive of fax 'fire', from the proto-Indo-European root *bhā- 'to shine'.
>> As a borrowing from Latin, the word cannot be called "native Brythonic". 
> Cognate, very likely, but 'borrowing'? Prove it!

Sorry? I believe there is consensus amongst Celticists that ffagl was borrowed from Latin facula. 

Brythonic and Latin would have been sister languages, both descending from the Italo-Celtic unity which was a node descended from proto-Indo-European. There are words (like the number 'five') which descend into Italic 

But if ffagl is borrowed *from* Latin, then it is not a descendent of Italo-Celtic, and therefore it is not "native Brythonic", which 

> In any case, it scarcely matters a jot, tittle or iota. Even if borrowed from Latin, the lexeme has had some one and a half thousand years to become a naturalised, Brythonic 'citizen'.

That does not make it "native Brythonic". However useful and wonderful the word is, it is not "native Brythonic", and you erred in saying that it was. 

>> Is it *really* necessary, Eddie, for you to snipe at Nicholas because the URC dictionary does not mark this distinction? Or to imply that he is a poorer scholar than Nance because the choice *not* to mark those words was taken? 
> I didn't mention Nicholas or your UCR dictionary—a valuable work, even though flawed in its design.

No, you didn't, but your opinion that the dictionary is flawed because it does not mark attested and non-attested words is well-known. Further, since some of George's dictionaries do give such an indication, it seemed reasonable to assume that 

Your protest seems a little disingenuous. And does not answer my question. For some weeks now you have just been sniping at us (at Nicholas and me together, and at both of us separately). Is this really necessary?

> Mind you, Nicholas (and you) feel quite at liberty to stand on the shoulders of Nance and others of his generation in order to kick them in the teeth, by disparaging them as "poor linguists".

Criticism of Nance, or recognition of errors in his work, is not "kicking him in the teeth". Much of Nance's work was useful and accurate. Some of it was not. Recognizing what was not helps us to improve Revived Cornish. 

One surmises that Nance would have approved of such a dialogue of examination and refining. Certainly Jenner and Smith and Hooper would have. 

> You might wish to consider acknowledging the debt that you (and the rest of us) owe to the Kernewegoyon of Nance's generation, rather than denigrating their scholarship. Or, of course, you might not,

You may wish to consider my edition of Jenner before making such an assertion. 

Pointing out errors in Nance's scholarship is a sign of respect for his scholarship, not an act of denigration. There are, after all, genuine pseudo-scholars out there whose work merits less consideration. 

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

More information about the Spellyans mailing list