[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Tue May 15 10:49:11 IST 2012

On May 15, 2012, at 10:09 AM, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> Indeed. The SWF writes ynkleudhyas/yncleudhyas 'to bury'. The word is attested in the texts at least 19 times. Not once is it spelt with <eu>. The second syllable is always <e> or <y>/<i>.

Here are the attestations I could find:
anclethyas (OM, PC, RD, BM), anclythyas (PC, CW, Pr), enclethyes (PC), anclethyes (RD, BM), anclethias (BM), anclotha (H), anclethy (Pr), ancleythyas (Pr); (vb.adj.) anclethys (PC, BM), anclethyys (RD, BM), inclithis (SA), anclythys (CW), ynklythys (JK), vmclithes (TB), enkledhyz (Lh, Pr), kleidhez (JB); (3sg.pres.-fut.) anclath (Pr);

Indeed, looking at these the reconstructed ‹yncleudhyas› is clearly mistaken. A typical example of KK reconstructivism. Maybe Ken George was so enthusiastic about 'identifying' the /y/ : /œ/ contrast, that he went a little overboard… 
If Pryce's 3rd person sg. press.-fut. ‹anclath› is correct it shows that the root of this verb is rather the zero grade *klh2d- > CC *klad- rather than the full e-grade kleh2d- > CC *klād-. Both roots still appear in Breton (klaz 'trench', klazañ 'dig'; but: kleuz 'ditch, mine') and Welsh (cladd 'pit, ditch', claddu 'bury, inter'; but: clawdd 'ditch, gutter, trench', cloddio 'dig, delve'). It is not unreasonable to assume that both roots were also present in Cornish. 
If Hawke's attesttation ‹anclotha› is correct, this may actually point towards the full grade */klœð/ root. For this word, I would assume the zero-grade, however, which would give ‹ancledhyas› (with i-mutation of /a/), which is my preferred spelling. 

> The SWF writes kleudh 'ditch', which is unattested. The attested form is kledh. 

Here are the attestations:
cleath (CW), klêdh (Lh), cledh (Pr); (pl.) kledhioụ (Lh), cledhiou (Pr);

While there is no *cluth, *cloth, *clueth or *clevth which would point towards a front rounded vowel, the attestations clearly go back to the full grade */klœð/ root (B kleuz, W clawdd) as there is no reason for a i-mutated /klað/. 

There is also the place name Cargloth where the second element does show a rounded vowel. Since all the textual attestations here are rather late it is not surprising that they would show */œ/ in its unrounded reflex. But since there's also the place name and I should agree with Craig that (critically examined) place names are highly relevant to the reconstruction of Cornish forms, we do have grounds to reconstruct */klœð/, hence SWFt ‹cleudh›. I should say ‹cleudh› is correct. 

> The SWF writes seulabrys, seuladhydh. <eu> is never found in either of these words. Together they are found nine times in the texts and the vowel of the first syllable is always <o> not <eu>.

I agree. This is wrong in KK and in the SWF. Albert actually agrees, but said we weren't able to make changes at that stage until the review, but this is definitely something that needs to be changed, something I have been arguing for since the inception of the SWF. It's simply wrong. 

> The SWF writes Meurth 'March' and dy'Meurth 'Tuesday'. Neither is attested. The vowel is always <e> not <eu>.

I agree, it's quite unnecessary, but if a certain amount of consistency is desired for the pronunciation of MC based RC, then it is possible and legitimate to reconstruct this word as having had, at some point in time */œ/ (B meurzh, W Mawrth). As this word is attested only in LC the desired MC form has to be reconstructed, if you want to know what it is. 

> The SWF writes peuns 'pound' on etymological grounds. The etymology is mistaken.

I agree. This should be corrected. 

> The attested forms always have <u>, <y> or <e>. The authentic forms are either puns, punsow or pens, pensow. The alternation puns ~ pens is phonetically similar to kyns ~ kens, pryns ~ prens, gwyns ~ gwens, myns ~ mens, etc. 
> Nicholas
> On 15 May 2012, at 07:11, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
>> I wonder if too much emphasis is being placed upon etymology. 
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