[Spellyans] SWF Review

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Tue Feb 23 00:44:32 GMT 2016

I can only suggest the location to be the answer to that.  The manorial centre of Tywarnhayle was in the middle of what is now Perranporth.  At that time, there was a substantial estuary running south to Nampara, and the manorial centre would have been on its shore, so the place-name would refer to a specific <heyl>.  Other <heyl> locations are fairly distantly spaced out along the north Cornish coast (Hayle, Tywarnhayle, Hayle Bay (Camel), and Hele, Bude.  Plus a diminutive <heylyn> at Holywell Bay (formerly Porraylen [for Por' Heylyn] 1688).  The only definite <heyl> name that is not on the north coast is Cotehele on the bank of the tidal part of the Tamar.

<heyl>, therefore, refers to estuaries which leave extensive flats at low water.  Estuaries with deep water at all tides (rias) are <logh>, and both the <logh> names and deep water rias are confined to Cornwall's south coast.  (It's my belief that cove names such as Portloe, Veryan and Porth Loe, St Levan, contain <lo>, "spoon", from their shape (their early forms never show -gh, although those of Looe don't, either).

In the case of Tywardreath, that, too, stood by an estuary that ran from Par Beach northwards to Ponts Mill, and its banks would have been extensively sandy.  It would have been difficult to cite a specific beach with such long expanses of sand on either side.  A specific small beach might have warranted a definite article, but a large expanse of beach would not, hence Portreath and Vellandreath (Sennen), both considerable beaches, but no def. art. in the names.

Tehidy and Degembris do indeed contain personal names (Hydin and Cambret).  The qualifying element of Tybesta is of uncertain origin.  I'm certain in my own mind that both Tywarnhayle and Tywardreath have locational qualifiers.

Regarding the retention of Ty- in the names of high status manors, all I can suggest is an early example of place-name snobbery, as though the older form retained the air and illusion of high status, whereas Chy- could refer to a humble, "common" dwelling (and often did).
Tywarnhayle was a huge manor, covering about 12 square miles; virtually the whole of Perranzabuloe parish.


On 2016 Whe 22, at 22:07, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> Given that Ty in this toponym does not affricate to ch, we must assume that the name did not contain
> colloquial or at least spoken elements. In which case the presence of warn, though interesting, is not 
> normative for the spoken language. 
> It is curious that of all the names with unaffricated t in them which you cite
> Tywardreath appears to be the closest in formation to Tywarnheyl, but there is no definite article
> in it. Indeed Tywarnheyl is the only one which contains the definite article.
> Is there any reason for this? 
> Tehidy and Degembris seem to contain personal names. Is it at all possible that Tywarnheyl contains a personal
> name and that the analysis of it as Tywarnheyl ‘manor on the estuary’ has arisen by Volksetymologie?
> I ask simply because warn ‘on the’ in Ti Waernel seems rather suspicious, particularly in a name attested in the tenth century.
> Nicholas
>> On 22 Feb 2016, at 21:24, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:
>> war'n occurs consistently in the place-name Tywarnhayle.
>> Ti Waernel, Tiwaernhel 960
>> Tywarnail 1221, Tywarneil 1231
>> Tywarnail, Trewernayl 1296
>> Tywarnheil 1303
>> Tywarnail 1310
>> Trewerneil 1346
>> Tuernayl 1391
>> Tywarnayle 1461
>> Trewarnayle 1584
>> Tywarnhaile 1613, 1673, 1680, 1699, c.1720
>> Tiwarnail 1750
>> ty, "senior manor" + war'n (on the, upon the", + heyl, "estuary with tidal flats".
>> (Ty- seems to have been retained for manors perceived to be of high status and, in these names, did not alter to chy-.   Tybesta, Tywarnhayle, Tywardreath, Degembris and Tehidy are examples).
>> Craig
>> On 2016 Whe 22, at 21:08, Nicholas Williams wrote:
>>> Thank you, Linus, for the one example.
>>> The counter-examples seem to me still to be overwhelming.
>>> I have found the following: 
>>> war an x 147
>>> waran x 1
>>> var an x 10
>>> vor an x 3
>>> wor an x 8
>>> and Lhuyd writes uar an x 10.
>>> The scribes of both Middle and Late Cornish seem to have believed the collocation
>>> of war + an to contain two syllables.
>>> I think I shall continue for the present to consider war’n less authentic than war an (wàr an in KS).
>>> Nicholas
>>>> On 22 Feb 2016, at 20:59, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:
>>>> Elided for verse? "war ’n ambos” is not exactly the same thing as a regular contraction to “war’n". 
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