[Spellyans] tavas in early Middle Cornish

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Wed Jul 13 16:34:58 IST 2011


If it helps, the word turns up in two place-names:

Tavis Vor, Mousehole (coastal feature - no other available spellings);

Hantertavis (rock formation > settlement, Mabe):  Hantertavas 1522;  
Hanterdeves, Henterdeves c.1580;  Hanter Davys 1585
Later spellings written by external sources, suggest deves, 'sheep  
(pl'), but tavas is the true word; "half-tongue", from the shape of  
the rock.

Craig



On 13 Gor 2011, at 16:01, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> 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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--
Craig Weatherhill





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