[Spellyans] 'who' in Cornish

ewan wilson butlerdunnit at ntlworld.com
Tue Jul 19 21:32:06 IST 2011

Many thanks, Nicholas!
These examples really do help give a flavour of how to express such tricky constructions. I know they probably seem very obscure but it's the sort of thing the phenomenally precisionist way the likes of French and Latin grammar traditionally was presented so it leaves one with an ingrained need to know how other languages tackle these concept which if not satisfied tends to make one feel onehasn't quite mastered the tongue! I find the best way to grasp how to do it is to have loads of examples, translated in a literal word-for-word way and some grammatical explanation appended. Not the modern 'direct' method, I know, but I've always felt that too haphazard a way to acquire  a confident , overall grip. 

You mention the distinction between interrogative and relative which we were always taught to watch out for, and, moreover, to distinguish between interrogative pronouns and interrogative adjectives; and between relative pronouns and relative adjectives. All very hair splitting but in some languages the distinctions are vital to know as they can lead to different constructions.

Anyway, many thanks for the ample examples and explanations.   Good old parsing and sentence analysis!    

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: nicholas williams 
  To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 9:04 AM
  Subject: Re: [Spellyans] 'who' in Cornish

  There is no relative pronoun in Cornish. Thus there can be no word corresponding to relative whose.
  Instead of such a pronoun one uses the relative particle a (or no particle before vowels in bos an mos)
  If the antecedent is neither the object nor the subject in the relative clause, but is governed by a preposition in English,  a prepositional pronoun is used in Cornish.

  tus benegas ha benenas in testament coth a rug vsia gwyska yscar ha canfas garow, an pith a vetha gwrys syehar anotha
  'holy men and women in the old testament used to wear hessian and rough canvas, that which bags used to be made from' TH 6a

  ny a yll bos sure, fatell ra eff in tyrmyn ay vicitacyon agan humbrag ny in ban then wlas vgy y vab Jhesus crist inhy tregys 'we can be sure, that he will in the time of his visitation lead us up to the kingdom in which his son Jesus Christ dwells' TH 11a

  kepar ha in gweder why a yll gwelas ha percevia gas bewnans ha gothfas in pana danger esow why inna 'as in a glass you can see and perceive your life and know what kind of danger in which you are' TH 28a

  Alas, pana cas vsy an rena inna neb a rug seperatya aga honyn ha naha an catholyk egglos 'Alas what a plight are those people in who separated themselves and denied the Catholic church' TH 32a

  ha mar te ha gull an dra a ra an perill skynnya anotha wosa y bosa gwarnys y fowt ew the vrassa ha the voy 'and if he goes and does the thing from which the danger derives after he has been warned, his fault is the greater'  TH 4

  hen o an gwryoneth an catholyk feith a rug eff cowse anotha 'that was the truth of the Catholic faith of which he spoke' TH 18a

  ha in aga myske yth esa henna esa crist pub vr ow kull mer anotha, henn o S Johan 'and among them was he of whom Christ always made much, that is St John'  TH 43

  kepar hag one ledys then folde the vos knevys y knew the veis 'like a lamb lead to the fold whose fleece is to be cut off' TH 23

  I can at present find no exact parallels to your sentence with relative whose in them, though the last is perhaps the closest. Your sentences in Cornish would use a similar syntax:

  This is the man whose house you viewed: Hèm yw an den a wrussowgh why miras orth y jy.

  This is the man whose house fell down: Hèm yw an den a wrug y jy codha dhe'n dor.

  He is the man on whose shoulder the pigeon landed: Ev yw an den a wrug an golom lôndya wàr y scoodh. 

  John is the man whose shoulders sagged under the weight: Jowan yw an den a wre y scodhow plegya in dàn an poos.

  Your first three sentences are not relative, but interrogative. Here one can use the defective verb pew 'owns'; cf.

  Ne ren vry pew a’s pewa, kyn fe va arluth mar vras 'We don't care whose it is, be he a so great lord' BK 100-01.


  Whose house fell down? Pyw a bew an chy a godhas?

  Whose house did you view? Pyw a bew an chy a wrussowgh why miras orto?

  From whose phone were you calling? Pyw a bew an pellgowser esewgh why ow kelwel dhyworto?

  For the first two you might also say: Pyw eus tregys i'n chy a godhas? and Pyw eus tregys i'n chy a wrussowgh why miras orto?

  For the last one might also say Pyw a ros dhywgh y bellgowser dhe elwel dhyworto?


  On 2011 Gor 18, at 20:04, ewan wilson wrote:

    Whose house fell down?
    Whose house did you view?
    From whose phone were you calling?
    The man whose house you viewed.
    The man whose house fell down.
    The man on whose shoulder the pigeon landed.
    The man whose shoulders sagged.


  Spellyans mailing list
  Spellyans at kernowek.net
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://kernowek.net/pipermail/spellyans_kernowek.net/attachments/20110719/7ac7a581/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Spellyans mailing list