[Spellyans] Pronuncaiation

Hewitt, Stephen s.hewitt at unesco.org
Wed Jan 23 16:10:43 GMT 2013


Ffraeth in Welsh means witty, jocular. Fraezh in Breton means clear, well-spoken.

Is there nothing in the corpus about speaking Cornish well?

Not all languages use something like "fluently" for this, cf. Breton.

Steve

From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Hedley Climo
Sent: 23 January 2013 17:05
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Pronuncaiation

On 2013 Gen 23, at 11:06, Nicholas Williams wrote:
Incidentally the word freth is used by many to mean 'fluent' in a language. This goes back to Nance and is not really legitimate, I think.

However, the cognates ffraeth in Welsh and fraez in Breton--both of which Nance cites in his unsurpassed 1938 Dictionary--are used with the meaning of 'fluent'. Given that fact, it is quite reasonable to add that semantic domain to the Cornish lexeme, if that is indeed what Nance and his colleagues did.

Indeed, Nance et al. are not alone in offering us this meaning for the word. In NJA Williams' authoritative 2006 UCR Dictionary we find:
fluent. freth, ...
fluency. frethter, ...

Neil Kennedy's RLC Gerlevran-e similarly includes:
freth. fluent, ...

and Richard Gendall' 2008 Dictionary likewise has:
freth. fluent, ... (with Thomas Tonkin cited as the C18 source).

Thus, UC and UCR and RLC (2 flavours thereof) are all unanimous: freth = fluent (amongst its other meanings).

Moreover, just as in other languages, Cornish usage by many ordinary speakers/writers/translators/teachers since the 1920s outweighs the prescriptions of a lone academic pundit since 2006.

K. freth = S. fluent has had 80 years of usage to add weight to its legitimacy. Languages are, almost by definition, largely democratic affairs, and the vox populi has the final word. Pundits get just as many votes as anybody else--one!

Gorhemmynadow nebes freth dheugh,

Eddie Climo
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