[Spellyans] adjectival suffixes -ek, -yl, *-el and -us

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 09:29:02 GMT 2017

There is some debate at the moment concerning these suffixes. The adventitious suffix *-el is wholly unattested in traditional Cornish
and in my view is better avoided. 
I recently sent the following to the Panel Whythrans (Research Panel). I am sure the list could enlarged with further examples. Nonetheless
it may be of general interest.

Nicholas Williams

The suffixes -ek and -el in the Cornish texts

	Briefly speaking the suffix -ek is well attested in the texts, where it has several functions. The adjectival suffix -yl is attested in one word. The suffix -el for instruments occurs once, where it is written -al. An adjectival suffix -el is wholly absent from traditional Cornish of all periods. I cite one attestation for each form below, though there may in many cases be further attestations.

The suffix -ek, (Later -ak) is used to create adjectives, mostly from nouns. Examples include:

	anhethek, anhethak ‘chronic’ BM 1853, BK 1013; cf. hethy ‘to cease’
	awherak ‘anxious’ BK 778, 2336 < awher ‘anxiety’
	barthusek, marthojak ‘miraculous’ PC 1177, BK 250 < marthus ‘wonder’
	bohosek, bohosak ‘poor’ BM 438, BK 773 < bohes ‘little amount’
	cafalek for *cavylek ‘tendentious’ OM 2784 < *cavyl
	clamderak ‘faint’ BK 2333 < clamder ‘fainting’ 
	clovorak ‘leprous’ BK 179 < *clavor ‘leprosy’
	colonnek, colodnak (kylednak) ‘courageous, hearty, sincere’ BM 32, AB: 150c < colon ‘heart’
	galarak ‘sorrowful’ BK 721 < galar ‘sorrow’
	gallosek, gallogek, gallosak ‘powerful’ OM 1494, PC 2376, BK 248 < gallos ‘power’ 
	gowek, gowak ‘deceitful, mendacious’ PC 55, TH 8 < gow 
	grajak ‘thankful, grateful’ BK 368 < gras ‘thanks’
	guyryak ‘privileged’ BK 2237 < gwyr, gwir ‘right’
	hyrethek, hyrethak ‘wistful’ BM 4526, BK 2751 < hyreth ‘longing’
	kabmlagadzhak ‘crosseyed’ AB: 155b < cabm+lagas
	kabmsgudhak ‘round-shouldered’ AB: 63b < cabm+scoodh
	kerengeak ‘loving’ TH 2a < kerenge ‘love’
	kevrennek, kevrannak, keverennak ‘paricipating’ TH 35, TH 51a, TH 12a < kevran ‘share’
	lyastrosak ‘having many feet’ BK 1829 < lyas ‘many’ + troos ‘foot’
	methek ‘ashamed’ TH 8a < meth ‘shame’
	molothek, mollothak ‘accursed’ PA 47c, BK 3258 < mollath ‘curse’
	morethek ‘sorrowful’ PA 66d < moreth ‘sorrow’
	morthelek ‘hammered, dinted’ PC 2731 < morthol ‘hammer’
	mosek ‘stinking, fetid’ BM 2131; cf. mosegy ‘to stink’ 
	othomek, othommek ‘needy’ BK 2307, RD 2377 < othem ‘need’ 
	ownek ‘fearful’ TH 52a < own ‘fear’
	peswartrosek, peswartrosak ‘four-footed’ TH 2, BK 1398 < peswar+troos ‘foot’
	podrek ‘rotten’ BM 3048; cf. poder ‘rottenness’
	podrethek ‘rotten, corrupt’ BM 541; cf. podrethes ‘corruption’
	prederak ‘full of care’ BK 779 < preder ‘thought, care’
	rajak ‘gracious’ BK 362 < ras ‘grace’
	sevyllyake ‘standing, fixed’ CW 458 < sevel ‘to stand’
	skiansek ‘intelligent’ BM 377 < skians ‘knowlege’ 
	truethek ‘pitiful’ BM 2152 < trueth ‘pity’
	tyllak ‘ragged’ BK 2289 < tell ‘holes’
	whansek, whansack ‘desirous’ PC 37, CW 1794 < whans ‘desire’
	ydnlagadzhak ‘one-eyed’ AB: 93c < udn+lagas

-ek, -ak is sometimes used to reinforce a previously existing adjective:

	bewek ‘lively TH 41 < bew ‘alive’
	bothorak ‘deaf’ BK 177 < bothar ‘deaf’
	cosolak ‘peaceful, at rest’ BK 2471 < cosel ‘peaceful’
	evrethek ‘cripple’ PC 2009 < evreth ‘cripple’
	lowenek, lowenake ‘joyful’ PA 245d, CW 546< lowen ‘happy’ 

Formations in -ek are frequently nouns or adjectives used as substantives:

	cronek ‘toad’ PA 47d < crohen ‘skin’
	crothak ‘cripple’ BK 3254 < croth ‘crutch’
	gowek ‘liar’, pl. gowygyon RD 1510 (cf. gowek ‘mendacious’ above)
	guarthek OM 1065 (cf. Welsh gwartheg ‘cattle’)
	govenek ‘hope’ OM 453 < govyn ‘to ask, to wish’
	lagasek, lagajak ‘sharp-eyed person’ BM 1018, BK 367 < lagas ‘eye’
	ownek ‘coward’ PA 77d (cf. ownek ‘fearful’ above)
	kentrevek, kentrevak ‘neighbour’ OM 2231, TH 29 < ken+trev+ek
	lostek ‘fox’ AB: 298b < lost ‘tail’
	marhek, marrak ‘knight, horseman’, pl. marregyon, marrogyon PA 190b, BK 1514 < margh 		‘horse’
	perhennak ‘owner’ BM 16 < perhen ‘owner’
	plosek ‘dirty person’ PC 451 < plos ‘dirt’
	poddrak ‘rotten fellow’ NBoson < poder ‘rot’
	sethek ‘tribunal’ PA 77c < esetha ‘to sit’
	tasek, tasak ‘patron’ BM 2852, BK 1972 < tas ‘father’
	tellek ‘ragged person’ BM 3492, < tell ‘holes’ (cf. tyllak above).

-ek (-ak, -ok) is also used to form the names of languages:

	Cornowok, Carnoack, Kernuak ‘Cornish’ Exeter Consistory Court, NBoson, JBoson
	Frenkock ‘French’ NBoson
	Kembrack ‘Welsh’ Oliver Pender
	Sousenak ‘English’ NBoson

The suffix -yl is found once only in traditional Cornish, namely in the adjective:

	skentyll PA 8a. 

Notice that the formation skentyl < skiant+yl is old and that the l of the suffix blocked assibilation in the root; thus skyans, skyansek but skentyll, skyantoleth. In the same way the l in the suffix -oleth fortified a lenis g to k in drocoleth, drockoleth ‘wickedness’ < drog ‘evil’. The suffix -oleth, -olath is also seen in sansolath ‘sanctity’ BM 137, but *sansyl is unattested. Similarly flogholeth ‘childhood, children’ OM 2838 is attested but *floghyl is not. The words *marwyl ‘mortal’ was invented by Nance. 

The nominal suffix -al < -el for tools and pieces of equipment is attested only in:

	Guinzal ‘Flabellum’ [winnowing fan] AB: 60a.

The adjectival suffix -us is fairly common though it is frequently written as -ys, -es or -as:

	ongrassyas, ongrassyes ‘graceless’ BM 1282, 1596
	gloryus, gloryes ‘glorious’ BK 2523, CW 27
	grassyes ‘gracious’ BM 4196
	gwyus ‘winding, devious’, in comparative the weusa TH 17a
	prederys ‘anxious’ TH 54.
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