[Spellyans] January and other months.

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Fri Nov 23 21:33:53 GMT 2012

With respect, Lhuyd was not a native Cornishman.  We don't know whether he heard the word or saw it written.  In Late Cornish of c.1700, J was often represented in written Cornish by G or even GG.  Take for example <ollgollogack> [Keigwin} for ollgallosek>ollgallojek.  Dialect 'spriggan' is from MC spyrysyon > spyryjyon, LC spriggion, and, therefore this <gg> is /j/ also.

We have from native Cornishmen, <Jenuar> and <Yenvar>, plus the assertion from local tradition that the G was soft; we also have the derivation from Latin Ianuarius (probably via Anglo-French Jenever); all of which give /y/ or /j/.  Jenner most likely took his spelling from Lhuyd, and may not have seen the additional evidence cited by Gendall.

I cannot see the slightest tangible evidence that the G - written only by Lhuyd - was hard; and every native evidence that it was soft.


(PS - if etymology is important, as it seems to be for some, then shouldn't the modern spelling also have <-ar> to reflect the Latin origin and the native spellings?  Or is etymology only to be cited where it suits the modern argument?)

On 2012 Du 23, at 18:37, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> Lhuyd spells the Cornish for 'January' as genvar AB: 67a and he uses the Gaelic style g.
> He uses this same symbol for g in the following words (examples all taken from Jowan Chy an Hordh AB: 251).
> trigaz 'dwelling' (trigys)
> gyz 'your' (agas)
> têg 'fair' (teg) 
> ryg 'did' (wrug)
> guîl 'to do' (gwil)
> varginiaz, vargidniaz 'bargained' (vargynyas)
> dhisguedhaz 'showed' (dhysqwedhas)
> gûber 'wages' (gober)
> urêg 'wife' (wreg).
> I think we can be fairly sure that for Lhuyd the word for January had a "hard" G. 
> Jenner spells it Genver. 
> I can't see any real evidence for *Jenver.
> Nicholas
> On 23 Nov 2012, at 11:30, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
>> Does anyone else think that <mis Genver> should be <mis Jenver>?  It's evidently derived from the Latin "month of Janus", and the attestations are mostly from the Late Cornish period.  
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