[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'fluent'

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Sat Jul 23 10:07:22 IST 2011

The Cornish for ‘fluent’

Freth means ‘impertinent, energetic, vigorous’. It does not mean
‘fluent’ of speech. This can be seen from the following examples:

whythyns lemmyn pup yn freth neb na whytho grens fannye ‘let everyone
now blow vigorously; who won’t blow, let him fan’ PC 1242-43
rak henna tus ervys freth gor th'y wythe a termyn ‘therefore send
energetic armed men to guard him in time’ RD 351-52
Bethans mar freth del vynho, nu’m bues owne a gows orto ‘Let him be as
impertinent as he wishes, I am not afraid to speak to him’ BK 598-99
Fers of ha freth. Penagel a’m sorr gans cam, ef a’n gevyth tebal-lam
‘I am fierce and impetuous. Whoever angers me wrongly, he will get an
nasty shock’ BK 1474-75.

How, then, should the revived language translate ‘fluent’ (of speech)?

Helavar means ‘eloquent, fluent’ but is unattested. Moreover fluency
and eloquence are not the same thing.

hep hokkye (heb hockya) is attested and means ‘without hesitation’.
One might say yma va ow côwsel heb hockya ‘he speaks fluently’. But
heb hockya cannot be used attributively.

I should tentatively make the following suggestion:
Frot in OCV means ‘alueus, river bed’; but its descendant is the
Cornish dialect word froze ‘stream; tumult’. It corresponds to Welsh
ffrwd ‘torrent’.

A derived adjective *frosek would mean ‘like a stream, flowing,
fluent’. Then we could say Yma va ow côwsel in frosek ‘he speaks
fluently’ and ev yw cowsor frosek ‘he is a fluent speaker.’


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