[Spellyans] January and other months.

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 20:50:50 GMT 2012


I don't think Kevardhu has anything to do with ploughing.
Du is the black month because it is the beginning of the Celtic winter. Cf. Irish dúluachair 'midwinter'.
The first element in Kevardhu is probably the same element as in in the gever 'with respect to you' and cf.
Welsh cyfair 'direction' and ar gyfair 'opposite'. 
Kevardhu I take to mean 'the month opposite i.e. following November'.

The months of the year from January to May in Cornish all derive from Latin.
Whevrel, Wherval like Welsh Chwefror has dissimilated the expected initial f to wh/chw,
presumably because of the following labial continuant.

Both Breton and Cornish have a hard g as the initial in their name for 'January'.
Why Latin Ianuarius has acquired an initial [g] remains to be explained.
It happened in Southern British, i.e Cornish and Breton, but not in Welsh which has Ionawr.

One might ascribe the acquisition of the initial g to hypercorrection from an unlenited form. 
Cf. alyle for Galilee, which has worked in the other direction, i.e. g > 0 
But the lenition of g in Breton is c'h, not zero, so that suggestion is unlikely be the whole explanation.

Nicholas

On 24 Nov 2012, at 19:05, Hewitt, Stephen wrote:

> December is kerzu (kerdu in Treger, NE)
> 
> 

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