[Spellyans] A breakdown of Cornish vocabulary.

Ken MacKinnon ken at ferintosh.org
Sat Aug 25 16:33:35 BST 2018


A gowetha wheg,

Re the alleged made-upness of Cornish, another exercise might be to take a
'basis-and-essentials' approach to the vocabulary, and examine to what
extent the Brythonic element alone would be capable of being used for a full
range of meanings and usages in everyday speech-situations.   Of course
loanwords originate when new and specialised meanings become needful, and
they are a measure of social change and innovation.

This too could well be a productive study in the historical and social
linguistics of Cornish.

- an ken Ken

PS Anyway I do not imagine any amount of reason and research is going to
move those who regard Cornish as a 'conlang'.


---Original Message-----
From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Michael
Everson
Sent: 25 August 2018 12:56
To: Spellyans discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] A breakdown of Cornish vocabulary.

Every loanword in Cornish is still Cornish. 

No insular Celtic language is free from loanwords from Latin, from French,
and from English. 

> On 25 Aug 2018, at 10:33, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:
> 
> Has anyone ever carried out a breakdown of the vocabulary of Cornish to
determine the origins of each word?
> 
> I ask this after seeing the results of a study of English with concludes
that the current language consists of:
> 
> 26% Germanic
> 29% French
> 29% Latin
> 6% Greek
> 10% Others
> 
> Or, as someone remarked:  "English is not as English as the English think
it is!"
> 
> Although Cornish undeniably contains many loan words from other languages,
I fancy that its Brythonic content will be rather higher than the
surprisingly low Germanic content of modern English (I'd have estimated 40%
Germanic), and might be a very good answer to those many people who persist
in claiming that Cornish is "made up".
> 
> Craig


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