[Spellyans] tavas in early Middle Cornish

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Wed Jul 13 16:01:54 IST 2011


Nicholas, 
You wrote: “I am assuming nothing. I am merely pointing out that the earliest recorded Middle Cornish form of 'tongue' is tavas. Tavas, tavaz is the usual form in Middle and Late Cornish.”
 
The first instance of <tavas> I find is in BK.261, but OM.767 has <taves>, and OM is both earlier in composition as well as in manuscript (AFAIK).
The development of /ɔd/ in OC <tauot> would then be analogous to the one in OC /ɔk/, e.g. <chelioc> ‘cock’ and <dioc> ‘lazy’, which rounded to */œ/ > unrounded to /ɛ/ in MC <taves> and as well in <colyek, *dyek> (cf. BM.3360 <thyek>) and -as, -ak in LC <tavaz> and <kulliag, dyack>. So, what I was asking was merely whether you believe a development such as /ɔ/ > /œ/ > /ɛ/ > /ə/ is unlikely for <tauod, taves, tavas>, or whether you believe it went through /a/:  
Either: /ɔ/ > /a/ > /ə/
Or:       /ɔ/ > /œ/ > /ɛ/ > /a/ > /ə/
 
Yes, the spellings <tavas, tavaz> with <a> are more frequent, but are from texts that you assume were composed and written down after the Prosodic Shift where both old unstressed /ɛ/ and /a/ fell in with each other as /ə/.
So, let me rephrase, are you saying that a proposed */ˈtavɛz/ (cf. OM <taves>) did not (is unlikely to have) exist(ed)?
Dan 
  _____  

From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] 
On Behalf Of nicholas williams
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 3:55 PM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] tavas in early Middle Cornish
 
“I am assuming nothing. I am merely pointing out that the earliest recorded Middle Cornish form of 'tongue' is tavas. Tavas, tavaz is the usual form in Middle and Late Cornish.”
 
The three examples of the englyn all come from Lhuyd but are nonetheless slightly different.
They are as follows:
 
An lavar kôth yu lavar guîr
Bedh dorn rê ver, dhon tavaz rê hîr;
Mez dên heb davaz a gollaz i dîr 
AB: 251c.  
 
An lavar kôth yu lavar guir,
Bedh dorn rêver , dhon tavaz rê hîr;
Mez dên heb davaz a gollaz i dîr 
Pryce H 3v
 
An lavar koth yw lavar gwîr,
Na boz nevra dôz vâz an tavaz re hîr;
Bez dên heb davaz a gollaz i dîr.
Pryce G g 2.
 
The last version of the englyn is recorded by Lhuyd in a letter published by Pryce in ACB.
Lhuyd says in the letter that he heard the englyn from the Clerk of St Just.
It is therefore undoubtedly genuine.
I cannot see any Cymricism in any of the versions.
 
Since we do not know how the word for 'tonge' developed from OC tauot, 
I prefer to spell the unstressed vowel as our sources do.
 
Nicholas
 
 
 
 
On 2011 Gor 13, at 13:15, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
 
As for the unstressed <a> in <tavas> (BK, SA, Hawke, N.Boson, J.Boson, Pryce), we have the OC form <tauot> (VC) which I take to mean */ˈtavɔd/ or */ˈtavœd/. The expected development would be */ˈtavɛz/ > */ˈtavəz/ > LC */ˈtævɐz/. Are you proposing that <taves> (OM) */ˈtavɛz/ passed through a development stage */ˈtavaz/ at the time of composition of the englyn before going on to */ˈtavəz/ and */ˈtævɐz/ after the prosodic shift?”
 
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