[Spellyans] gawas 'to get'

Ken MacKinnon ken at ferintosh.org
Fri Sep 9 08:12:31 BST 2011

Nicholas ha gowetha-oll,


I think this is an important point for learners.  I am stuck permanently at
Grade Three simply because I have no real confidence in pronunciation of
Cornish on points such as these, and I really wonder whether having failed
the Grade Four oral (let alone amongst other things!) I do not really know
what pronunciations the examiners expect of the likes of me.

I would appreciate some practicall guidance on all this.


Gorhemmynadow – an ken ken


From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net]
On Behalf Of nicholas williams
Sent: 08 September 2011 21:27
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] gawas 'to get'


This discussion, as usual, is getting a little heated. Although I feel very
strongly about this matter, I don't think it merits quarrelling.

The best solution for the present would be to allow speakers to write either
genev or genef, etc. and either meneth and menedh, etc.


On another point: I was also amused at the Gorseth evensong in St Michael's
Helston that everybody was saying dre:z an bizz for dres an bÿs.

This is entirely due to George's distinguishing i from y. Nobody understood
that both could be long and short in KK. Instead they assumed

that y was the short variant and i was the long. Hence bizz.

In the days when UC was the only orthography people said beez.


On a further point. In CW Eve thanks the serpent for the gift of the apple
with the words:

myhall sera thewgh gramercy CW 599.


This is an anachronism, of course, because the fall hasn't happened, let
alone salvation and the emergence of Christian saints.

That's a minor point.


The scribe of CW was William Jordan of Helston.

St Michael was the patron saint of Helston, so he put into Eve's mouth the
common asseveration used in the town.

It may even be intended as mild irony. 

A little later Eve says of the fruit she has been tempted to eat:


ny vannaf bos mar grefnye

tha wetha oll ow honyn

adam sure dres pub hwny

me an kare po dew deffan 

the wetha heb y shara 


I will not be so greedy

to keep all to myself.

Adam above everybody 

I love; or God forbid

that I keep him without his share CW 682-86.


That really is irony.




On 2011 Gwn 8, at 21:01, Michael Everson wrote:

Well, put all the evidence together and publish it in Cornish Studies if you
have the courage of your convictions. Because my reading of the evidence
does not lead me to the same conclusion. 


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