[Spellyans] Cornish for 'Ireland'

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Tue Jul 5 12:56:27 IST 2016


Thank you for your support, Clive. 

Jenner died in 1934 and thereafter Nance probably considered himself the undisputed authority on Cornish and probably believed no one would question him.

In the 1934 dictionary s.v. ‘money’ Nance gives arghans and (cash) môna. The vowel in mona is not long as can be seen both from 
Ni venja pea a munna seer Tonkin and from Monnah ‘Pecunia’ AB: 115c. Arghans does not mean ‘money’ but ‘silver.' The one counter-example is gans clethyow, arghans, dafyr lathva ha kenyver ehan a booz daber in Keigwin’s translation of King Charles’s letter. Keigwin is not reliable.

To return to Nance’s 1934 dictionary. His arghans ‘money’ has become so firmly entrenched in Revived Cornish that it will take a long time to replace it with mona. Nance’s spelling is also unfortunate in that everybody who uses the word pronounces it with gh [x] after the r.
Yet as early as Origo Mundi the fricative is lost:

yma onen theugh parys a arans pur ha fyn gurys ‘one [a garland] is ready for you, made of pure and fine silver’ OM 2099-100.

This agrees with the inscription on the silver ball by Thomas Boson:

An pelle Arrance ma ve resse, etc.

The word should be spelt <arhans> (as it is in KS), and, I believe, should be pronounced with a voiceless r. 

Nicholas






> On 5 Jul 2016, at 10:41, Clive Baker <clive.baker at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> n support of that, when I was first learning Cornish,(it seems millennia ago now) I was fortunate to possess both the 1934 and 1952 editions of Nance's dictionary, and I queried that very same question of my then great tutor, and now unfortunately deceased Leonard Orm...his reply was that Nance must have discovered something new in the meantime.
> We now know that to be wrong of course, and I must agree with Nicholas.
> Clive

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