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

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Fri Mar 3 12:15:36 GMT 2017

I note that SWF writes <ebel>, "colt, foal.  However, we have, from the 1580 Penheleg MS, <An Eball> for what are now marked on OS maps as "Ebal Rocks" off Gurnard's Head, Zennor.


On 2017 Mer 3, at 11:53, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> In defence of the suffix -el Dr George has drawn attention to
> bretholl ‘sleeve’ in OCV and hudol ‘magician’ in OCV.
> One could also add ebol, ebal ‘colt’.
> All three words are substantives and they are constructed with the
> OC suffix -ol which became -el or -al in Middle Cornish.
> One should however, note that in all three cases the -ol, -el, -al is a bound morpheme.
> It is part of the word and although historically a suffix, it is no longer felt to be such.
> The fact remains that there is no attested example of a productive suffix -el or -al
> anywhere in traditional Cornish.
> It is therefore legitimate to reject any neologism in the revived language which
> uses such a suffix. 
> The productive adjectival suffixes in traditonal Cornish are 1. -ek, -ak; 2 -us, -ys.
> Any newly constructed word containing adjectival -el must, I believe, be considered
> spurious and should be rejected.
> As footnote I should like to point out that there was a good reason for Cornish to
> discontinue -ol, -el as a productive suffix.
> The -l- in the suffix (which until the eleventh century bore the stress in disyllables)
> had the effect of strengthening a lenis stop (d or g) for example to a fortis.
> It is for this reason that we have skyans but skentyl and drog but drockoleth < *drockyl.
> The same strengthening function can be seen in Cornish dialect fackle ‘inflammation’,
> where Welsh has ffagl < Latin facula. It may also account for such forms as
> capel ‘cable’, tropel ‘trouble’ and popel ‘people’. This strengthening did not occur in either
> Welsh or Breton.
> Since the suffix -ol appears to have had a distorting effect on the relationship
> between the simplex and the derived adjective, it is not astonishing that Cornish 
> discontinued -ol, -el as a productive suffix.
> It should also be noted in this context that the word scrisel ‘poster’, a calque on 
> Breton skritell is wrongly formed. If the word had existed in Cornish, the -l of the suffix
> would have prevented assibilation of the previous stop and the word would have
> appeared as *scridel. 
> That l in the next syllable blocked assibilation of -d- can clearly be seen, inter alia,
> from Nadelek, scudell and padell.
> Nicholas
>> On 2 Mar 2017, at 18:55, Clive Baker <clive.baker at gmail.com> wrote:
>> thanks for that enlightening list Nicholas...and Ray....this very much  reinforces your booklet of errors
>> kemereugh wyth
>> Clive
>> On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 9:29 AM, Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
>> -ek
>> 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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