[Spellyans] Ian Jackson: introduction

Janice Lobb janicelobb at gmail.com
Tue Dec 15 15:55:18 GMT 2015

to rhotacise or not to rhotacise; that is the question


On Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 11:38 AM, Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>

> The last instance of *ponya* before the seventeenth century seems to be
> Tregear ca 1555 who writes *lyas onyn a rug resak ha ponya in stray* TH
> 30a. Lhuyd in *Archæologia Britannica* (1707), however, writes the verbal
> noun of the verb ‘to run’ as *punnia* AB: 53b, *punnya* AB: 61c. In later
> Cornish therefore one might more accurately spell the stressed vowel as <u>
> rather than <o>.
> Janice says:
> Yth esof vy ow ponya — shift forward a few hundred years and you get Thero
> vy ow ponya.
> I am not sure I can agree with her.
> Setting aside the verbal noun for a moment, let us look the rest of the
> phrase.
> In Sacrament an Alter (ca ?1570) we read:
> *rag ne geran cregy nanyle regardia gerryow Dew* ‘for we do not believe
> nor regard the words of God’. Notice both that the -s- of *eson* has been
> rhotacised and that the particle *ow*, *o* has been suppressed/omitted
> before both *cregy* ‘believe’ and *regardia* ‘regard’.
> Look then at the following quotations from the *Creation of the World*
> (1611):
> *mere yth esaf ow towtya* CW 1540
> *yeth esaf ow tremena* CW 1696
> *yth esaf ow pose gorthys* CW 2125.
> It seems, therefore, that *neg eran cregy* from *ca* 1570 predates *yth
> esaf ow towtya* from 1611. Jan’s remark ‘a few hundred years’ is
> difficult to sustain.
> This is, I believe, an important point. Many of the alleged differences
> between Middle and Late Cornish are apparent rather than real and it is
> unwise to emphasise the distance between the two forms of the language.
> Nicholas
> On 13 Dec 2015, at 17:50, Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> wrote:
> Me a bon means 'I shall run'. 'I run' is best translated Yth esof ow ponya.
> And indeed 'I shall run' is more idiomatically rendered me a vydn ponya or
> me a wra ponya.
> Nicholas
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