[Spellyans] puns, pens

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Sat Jul 16 12:19:07 IST 2011

The vowel of the Cornish word for 'pound' is not clear to me.
Cornish puns must be the same word as Welsh punt.
And this is probably identical with Irish punt, punta.
It would seem that the word was borrowed into Welsh and Cornish from
Old English pund (with a long vowel). The borrowing must have
been early enough for the vowel to front to [y] in Brythonic
and for the final [nd] to become [nt]. This then was
assibilated in Cornish to [ns].

The attested forms in the Cornish texts are 
puns, punsov, bynsow, pens.
What is the evidence for SWF peuns, peunsow?

In BK we find  try myl bowns i’n blethan (BK 2103). Is this the plural of pownd < NE pound?
 Mil is normally followed by the singular and indeed we find Awos myl buns ny vynsen at BK 1211. Is bowns a spelling for *buns 
contaminated by English pound?

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