[Spellyans] SWF review results.

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Thu Mar 27 13:24:11 GMT 2014


I've always said the same thing, Ken.   Surviving textual Cornish is limited and, therefore, we have to include place-name history in that category, although some disagree.

After about 1600, we need to be careful, though.  Before that date, the records tend to be locally sourced: Pipe Rolls, Assize Rolls, etc., but after 1600, there is an ever-increasing amount of spelling from non-Cornish sources.  Many of these wrote what they THOUGHT they heard, not what they were actually being told by local people, hence some of the terrible mistakes on Tithe Maps c.1840, and the Ordnance Survey.  Just one example:  "Scarrabine" (St Endellion) is actually Roscarrek Bian.   How Boslowen ever became Bellowal (Paul) is a mystery!

There is a move afoot to replace SWF <oo> with <oe>.  I find that I can't really disagree with this, or condemn it as a Kemmynism, for historical reasons.  The vast majority of the spellings of <goon> in Middle Cornish place-name history write <goen>.   One name, Goenrounsan (St Enoder) retains that spelling to this day.  <loes> and <coes> are often found, too.  For me <oo> is too Anglicised, but I'm sure some will disagree with me.

Craig



On 2014 Mer 27, at 12:28, Ken MacKinnon wrote:

> Craig,
>  
> I have always felt that placenames are a valuable source for the revived language.  In that placenames are recorded in written documents, they are as valid an attestation as any other written source, and should feed into the principle of ‘total Corniah’.
>  
> -        An ken Ken
>  
> From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Craig Weatherhill
> Sent: 25 March 2014 10:54
> To: Standard Cornish discussion list
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] SWF review results.
>  
> The short form <bygh> does exist, though but seems largely ignored by the revival.  It occurs in several place-names.
> One wonders what will happen in the SWF if current <byhan> becomes <byghan>.  What about the variant <bian>?  What happens to that?
> (I remain baffled why, of those two forms, one contains <y> and the other <i>, when the vowel is exactly the same length in both, and both should, under SWF rules, contain <i>).
>  
> Craig
>  
>  
>  
> On 2014 Mer 25, at 10:35, Nicholas Williams wrote:
> 
> 
> There is no justification for byghan anyway, since byghan is unattested in the texts. It occurs in PNN but toponymy is likely to maintain archaic forms. In PA beghan occurs twice. In other texts the commonest form is byan, byen. Tregear writes bean, Lhuyd bîan. The use of gh between syllables in UC was suggested by forms in PA, which was Nance's foundation text. PA writes arghans 'silver', vghelder, peghes, yrghys, nagha, fleghys, etc.
>  
> On 25 Mar 2014, at 10:17, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
> 
> 
> This is a step back into the dark ages. Not only does intervocalic ‹gh› prompt an unlikely pronunciation, it actually prompts mispronunciation as native English speakers who learn and speak Cornish prequently subsitute [k] for aspired [x] or [ɦ] ("arkans, mikturn" etc.). I have yet to hear KK-supporters pronounce, e.g. ‹byghan› 'small, little' as recommended by Ken George as [ˈbɪˑɦan]: 
> 
>  
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