[Spellyans] borrowing ~ purism

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Sun Jul 31 11:29:43 IST 2011

I agree with Eddie. The corpus of traditional Cornish is too small to discard anything that can be shown to have been part of the language at some point, be it attestations from before or after the Middle Cornish period, place, personal and field names, etc. I thought this was the principle of tota Cornicitas. On the other hand I’m with Nicholas when it comes down to avoiding pedantic purism and avoiding English/French/Latin, even Hebrew, loans at all costs. No word should be discarded from the modern revived language, be it Celtic or loan. 
Of course a glossary of limited size, aimed at first year learners of the language cannot by definition cover the entire traditional corpus of Cornish, while at the same time giving neologisms for relevant use today. I do believe all these words should be part of a more comprehensive dictionary, though.

From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] 
On Behalf Of Eddie Climo
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2011 4:29 PM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] borrowing ~ purism
On 2011 Gor 29, at 17:22, nicholas williams wrote:
I notice that under Course (direction) the glossary gives hyns. This word is unattested in Old, Middle and Late Cornish.
Nance 1938 says that 'hins' is found in the Old-Cornish Vocabulary; in his "Guide to Cornish Place-names", he gives the older form as ˘'hent'.

It is found only as an element in camhinsic, eunhinsic, kammynsoth.
So, those words would have been compounded like this in Old Cornish, presumably:
            camhinsic < cam + hins + -ic. unjust, unrigheous, of evil ways. (UC. camhensek)
            eunhinsic < eun + hins + -ic. upright, just (UC. ewnhensek)
            kammynsoth < kamm + hins + -eth. immorality, unfairness, unrighteousness (UC. camhenseth.)
That looks like 3 more attestations to me. Furthermore, given the slimness of the Cornish lexicon, we can't afford to turn our noses up at a perfectly usable Cornish word, just because it's part of a compound. Moreover, 'hens' has been in use throughout the whole of the Revival—certainly since 1934, when it appears in Nance's dictionary of that year. 85 years of usage have made it a commonly used word. That gives the word any needed legitimacy in the only court that counts with languages: that of usage. To reject 'hens' smacks of purism and pedantry!

Under Carpenter the glossary gives ser prenn and a hypothetical RLC ser predn. …It is not attested in Middle Cornish.
No matter, 'sairpren' is attested in Old Cornish. Revived Cornish cannot afford to pick and choose; Old, Middle or Late, if it's attested then that's good enough.
Ser prenn is a respelling of sairpren in OCV.
Then it can hardly be 'hypothetical', surely.

Under Chair the glossary gives cador, which is well attested in names of rocks. The ordinary word for 'chair' in the texts, however, is chair, chayr:
'Cader' [? spelling] is, I gather, attested in the OCV. That makes it Cornish. Its presence in toponyms makes it further attested. I see no problem with using 'cader' in RC.

Under Creator the glossary gives gwrier, creador and furvyer. Gwrier is attested in Middle Cornish. Creador is in OCV. 
So no problem with using either of those in RC.

Furvyer is an invention. The word formyer is attested in Middle Cornish. Indeed it occurs it occurs in three different texts.
We find in Cornish the following set of words derived regularly from the stem:
            form > formya > formyer.
We also find  'furf' [?spelling] in the OCV at least. so it's perfectly reasonable to extrapolate on the same paradigm:
            furf > *furvya > *furvyer.
Have the compilers really read the texts?
pot + kettle = black?
Eddie Climo
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