[Spellyans] horseman

Linus Band linusband at gmail.com
Fri Nov 2 16:43:40 GMT 2012


2012/10/31 Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>

> In Cornish the word for 'horseman' ends either in -*ek* or -*ak*:
>
> *marrak* PA 246, BK 1514, 1632, 1648, *marrack* NBoson
>

> *marrek* PA 241d, 242a, 244a, 245a, OM 2004, 2139, 2150, 2204, 2226,
> 2338, BM 350, 2444.
> *marreg* PA 190b, 190c, 217a, 218b.
>
> The voicing of the final stop in *marreg* is probably to be explained by
> dissimilation. The reduction of the medial -rx- to -rh- (and thus a
> devoiced r)
> probably led to the voicing of the final segment by dissimilation of the
> sequence voiceless + voiceless > voiceless + voiced.
>

I haven't found any reference to a soundlaw that entails exactly this
dissimilation, so I put your theory to the test by looking up 'answer'. I
found:
gortheb *OM* 2229
wortheb *OM* 2235
worthyb *BK* 52, 192, 604, 1876, 2099, 2263, 3168
gorthyb *BM* 1442, 3457, BK 211, 1887, 2094, 2101, 2140, 2274
gorthyp *PC* 512, 1722, 1735, 1839, 2008, *RD* 494, 1228, 1834
gorthib *CW* 1754
gorryb *CW* 1198, 1736, 1761
(I don't have the other texts at hand, I'm afraid)

Perhaps an example that also has the original cluster *-rx-* would have
been better, but I couldn't really think of one. Anyway, apart from PC and
RD, the evidence seems to support your claim. The counterevidence still
remains to be explained, however. Any ideas?




>
>
The original shape of the word was probably **marhek* < **marxâko*- cf.
> Welsh *marchog* < earlier *marchawc*.
>
> The expected plural with o (cf. *bohosek*, but *bohosogyon*) is seen in
>
> *marrogyon* BM 221, BK 1946, 2381, *marrogyan* BK 2252
> *marogyan*  OM 1876, *marogyen* BM 1742, *marogyon* BM 294, 815, 4359, BK
> 3286.
>
> There is, however, an analogical plural in -*egyon*:
>
> *marregyon* PC 1613, 2347, RD 657, *marregion* RD 607.
>
> I think the revived language should allow both, and spell them *marhogyon*,
> *marhegyon*.
>
> Nicholas
>
>
I have thrown **marˈxɔːk** *in to the soundlaw machine:
**marˈxɔːk* (final stress!)
**marˈxɔk*
**marˈxœk* (stressed ɔ became œ in OSWBr., cf. **mɔːr > meur*)
**ˈmarxœk*
I do not know, however, what to do in Cornish once *œ* become unstressed
because of the accent shift to the penultimate syllable. Does anyone else?
My point was, anyway, that the plural in *marregyon/marregion* might
contain the old /œ/, that was retained in a stressed syllable as we would
expect soundlaw-wise (c.f. /mœr/ that was spelt *mer/muer/mur*).

 Linus

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