[Spellyans] The Contribution of Nance

Herbie Blackburn kevin.blackburn1 at ntlworld.com
Thu Feb 24 22:58:58 GMT 2011

I agree - my 1978 edition of his dictionary is the sole reason for my
interest in Cornish - though I do value Nicholas' dictionary as much these


Ewan / Ray wrote>

To Ray's comments on Morton Nance I can only exclaim 'Amen!'

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Chubb" <ray at spyrys.org>
To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2011 9:10 AM
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] The Contribution of Nance

> On 23 Whe 2011, at 18:49, Eddie Climo wrote:
>>  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".
> Eddie does have a point here although he could have expressed it in a 
> more temperate way.
> I have recently been re-reading chapter 15 of Cornish Today by Nicholas.
> At 15.2 item 3 we have:  "UC" (and by implication Nance) "suppresses 
> variation in Middle Cornish".  Later on the chapter goes on to 
> criticise various grammatical structures but fails to point our that 
> the main source of grammar for Unified was A.S.D Smith not Nance.
> Nance's 1938 dictionary is an invaluable  and irreplaceable work now 
> into its 5th edition, at least.  As far as I can see Nance has not 
> attempted to suppress anything.  Sure he had to make some spelling 
> choices, that's why he called it Unified Cornish, but the Celtic, for 
> lack of a better description, and the loan word are given and it is up 
> to the reader to make a choice.  In addition many of the spelling 
> variations recommended by Nicholas in UCR are given as alternatives in 
> Nance's dictionary.
> Nance has been criticised for not being a linguist, this may be true 
> but he was not a 'poor linguist' he was an adequate linguist for a 
> revived language where there will always be uncertainty and more to be 
> discovered.  Also he was modest and was able to recognise that there 
> are uncertainties;  qualities that a few on this forum could do with.
> What he most definitely was, was a great linguistic archaeologist.  In 
> other words he was carefully recording the location and depth of what 
> he found and putting things into the right context.
> Eddie is right we are standing on the shoulders of a giant and let us 
> not forget that.
> Ray Chubb
> Portreth
> Kernow
>   Agan Tavas web site:  www.agantavas.com
> _______________________________________________

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