[Spellyans] *ow qwil

Harry Hawkey bendyfrog at live.com
Mon Aug 22 16:24:45 IST 2016


Thank you Nicholas. So, you're saying that although 'ow quil' is unattested, it (or some similar spelling) probably would be if we had more texts, and (some) speakers would (probably) have been saying [kwi:l] (amongst other variations), due to our knowledge of how the mutation system worked (or didn't) and how other 'gw-' verbs are known to have been spelled?

Is that a fair interpretation? (I have no particular reason for asking this question, I'm just curious...)


On 22/08/16 13:24, Nicholas Williams wrote:
At Desky Kernowek A.7 we admit that the system of initial mutations outlined in the book is rather schematic.
We also mention the breakdown of initial mutation in the later texts.

There is great uncertainty with respect to initial provection of initial gw after ow from the late 16 century onwards:

ow gwandra ‘wandering’ CW 757
gwandra ‘wandering’ Rowe
ow gwelas ‘seeing’ SA 59 x 2, 62a
ow gwellas ’seeing’ TH 8a.
ow gwetha ‘keeping’ TH 49
guaya ‘moving’ JBoson.

alongside

ow quandra TH
ow quelas TH 56 x 2
ow quetha TH 55a n.
a quayah ‘moving’ JKeigwin.

In his Student’s Grammar of Modern Cornish (1991)  Richard Gendall gives both geel and gweel for ‘to do’.
He gives what he calls the ‘present participle’ as geel, gweel and adds 'no mutation generally made’ SCMC page 51.
In Tavas a Ragadazow (2000) on the other hand he gives the ‘present participle’ as gweel, keel TR page 116.
The only examples we have of a kîl ‘doing' are from Lhuyd and may not be authentic.

The absence of attestations of ow qwil is probably fortuitous. Given the variation between gw and qu in other verbs
it can hardly be structural.

In An Beybel Sans, by the way, ‘to do’ is gul and ‘doing’ is ow cul.

Tregear invariably writes ow kull for ‘doing’. Since he also writes du for Duw ‘God’, it is probable that the vowel
in ow kull was a diphthong.


Nicholas.



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