[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu May 31 12:39:41 IST 2012

Notice that the Stokes' text of BM has 

Da dym yth yv nesse the du

whereas the inscription reads:

Da thym ythyu nesse the Thu.

The author of the inscription has clearly edited the manuscript reading in the following ways:

dym > thym
ythyv > ythyu
du > Thu.

Thym and dym are both well attested in BM for 'to me'.
du > Thu The capital letter for 'God' is understandable. The lenition of du > Thu, however suggests that the author of the inscription correctly knew that after the 'to' the following consonant should be lenited. This suggests that the author had learnt or was learning Cornish. 

A further interesting emendation is ythyv to ythyu. 
In his Handbook of 1904 Jenner always writes the yv, yu, yw, ew 'is' of the manuscripts as <yu>.
Nance followed Jenner and yu was the spelling in UC.
Yet <yu> was probably a mistake. The diphthong is [i:w] not [ju:], i.e. a falling, not a rising, diphthong.

It seems to me likely in view of the Thu and ythyu that Jenner or Nance may have had a hand in the inscription. 
Given that the inscription adheres for the most part to the MS orthography but correctly replaces dym with thym and correctly lenites after the, 
I should suggest that the inscription appeared after the publication of Jenner's Handbook in 1904 (the author understands lenition)
but before the first edition of Cornish for All (the first handbook of UC) in 1928 (the author did not venture to write *Da yu dhym nessa dhe Dhew).
In which case it might not be too hasty to suggest that the inscription was written
when the churchyard was enlarged in 1920.


On 31 May 2012, at 09:49, N Meek wrote:

> The article gives the same translation as Nicholas.

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