[Spellyans] Lhuyd's Cornish

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sun Oct 22 21:42:08 IST 2017

On 22 Oct 2017, at 20:10, Tom Trethewey <tom.trethewey at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

>> >You will also hear ev a drig 'he lives' for the correct yma va trigys
> (subject) + a drig is attested several times (usually with the meaning 'remain' rather than 'dwell'), so this does not bother me. 

Remaining isn’t dwelling or residing, though. If “yma va trigys” means ‘he resides’, then “ev a drig”, while it might mean 'he remains’, mightn’t mean the same thing.

>> >tus [neb] a vydn desky Kernowek 'people who want to learn Cornish' for the correct tus a garsa desky Kernowek
> This implies that the first sentence is incorrect;  in what way?

When used as an auxiliary, mydna indicates the future or conditional.

>> >in kever 'about' for ow tùchya or adro dhe.
> Because this phrase is not attested does not make it wrong. 

Sure it does. We know how native Cornish people expressed this idea. We also know the restricted range of usage Cornish makes of “in kever”. “In kever” is not used with nouns. And “in kever” doesn’t mean “about”. It means ‘regarding, with respect to’. 

> It is a logical extension, avoids the obvious English origin of ow tuchya and the semantic ambiguity of a-dro dhe.

It’s an unnecessary extension. And prejudice against loanwords from English is very passé indeed. Indeed, whole “ow tochya” and “tochying” are used in Cornish, we don’t use those words this way in English. It’s a uniquely Cornish construction. Be proud of it. Enjoy it. 

Or make your long long list of English borrowings that you want to expunge, and use a Cornish that native speakers probably wouldn’t understand. After that you can go after the French borrowings. Sure, why not just re-construct proto-Brythonic, though that probably has pesky some Latin loanwords in it.

>> >You will also hear an huny-ma 'this one' for the correct hebma, hemma.
>> >This last solecism was absent from the first (UC) edition of Brown's Cornish Grammar.
> and, so far as I can tell, this specific expression is absent from his second and third editions.

Use of “an huny” does not appear in §70(1) of Brown’s first edition. It appears in §72(1) of both his second and third editions.

>> It appears for the first time in the second KK edition at §71 1 where Brown recommends such expressions as gwell yw genev an huni rudh 'I prefer the red one'.  This is without warrant in traditional Cornish. Ray Edwards thought such usage 'reasonable' (Notennow Kernewek s.v.). 
> I agree with Ray Edwards. 

Why? It’s an unnecessary bretonism. 

>> >If you want to speak a conlang it is. Otherwise you use onen.
> Why?  Onen is not attested in phrases like 'the red one’. To use onen is to set up a calque on English. Brown obviously prefers to copy Breton practice.

But Cornish has its own practice. In some contexts you would simply repeat the noun under discussion. In others, “hedna” and “hodna” are used. Nichola discusses this in Desky Kernowek §37A.1.

Michael Everson

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