[Spellyans] 'who' in Cornish

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jul 18 11:50:14 IST 2011


On 2011 Gor 18, at 10:15, nicholas williams wrote:
> …Cornish pyw, W. pwy and Bret. piv are from IE *kwei, *kweis, cf. Irish cia 'who?' and Latin quis.

This reminds me of an interesting observation: the interrogative/relative words like who, where, what, why, where tend more or less to follow a pattern. For fun, I've extended the list with the help of Google Translate:

wh- in English,
w- in German and Dutch,
hv- in Norwegian, Icelandic and Danish,
qu- in Latin, Spanish and French,
p- in p-Celtic (Cornish, Welsh, Breton) and Greek,
c- in q-Celtic (Irish, Scots and Manx Gaelic),
k- in Latvian and Lithuanian,
m- in Finnish and Hungarian, as well as (surprisingly) Arabic and Hebrew.

By contrast, Maltese and Swahili seem to show no pattern, understandable perhaps given their heterogeneous roots.

Eddie Foirbeis Climo
- -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -
Dres ethom akennow byner re bo lyeshes
Accenti non multiplicandi praeter necessitatem

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