[Spellyans] 'deed' in the dictionary of the Academy

Ian Jackson iacobianus at googlemail.com
Thu Apr 1 12:58:22 BST 2021

Professor Williams points out that ‘gwrians’ is not found in the plural in our textual evidence. I understand the Akademi considers a plural may be coined for a noun whenever there is a plural form in English for the word considered to be the nearest equivalent. I am not convinced that plurality in Cornish, particularly of abstract notions, may legitimately be judged by English semantic criteria. In any event, a rigorous scholarly approach worthy of an academy would surely require explicit marking of any form that is not evidenced historically, including any plurals that are not found in the texts.


Ian Jackson



From: Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> 
Sent: 01 April 2021 12:33
To: spellyans at kernowek.net; Neil Kennedy <keverango at yahoo.ie>; Ian Jackson <iacobianus at googlemail.com>; Kyle Odgers <kyleodgers at hotmail.com>
Subject: 'deed' in the dictionary of the Academy


Under ‘deed’ the online dictionary of the Akademi Kernewek cites gwrians, pl. gwriansow and ober, plural oberow. Unfortunately in traditional Cornish the word gwrians does not mean ‘deed’ and it has no plural. 


The word gwrians, gwryans means ‘activity, doings, behaviour, business’ and is never pluralised. Here are the attestations:


tormentores deugh yn scon may huththaho ow colon agan guryans na’m bo meth ‘tormentors, come quickly that my heart may be gladdened that we may not fail in our business’ RD 1876-78 

Lemmen me a wor in ta orth the worthyb ha gwryans the vos cle’gys ‘Now I know well from your answer and your activity that you are diseased’ BK 603-05

Arluth nef re bo gorthys, mar deke eth of confortys der wryans an caradow ‘May the Lord of heaven be worshipped, so sweetly am I comforted by the activity of the beloved one’ BK 829-31

ow affirmya playn fatell wothya an bobyl mer an gwrythyans a thu ‘affirming plainly that the people knew much of the activity of God’ TH 14

may teffans ha tenna re erell dre aga teball examplis ha gwrythyans ‘that they may happen to entice other people by their evil examples and behaviour’ TH 25a

han rulle ew holma, kemerys in mes an gwrythyans a awncyent den dyskys in discans an egglos crist ‘and the rule is this taken from the business of an ancient learned in the teaching of Christ’s church’ TH 34a.


Another attested word for ‘deed’ is deda:


ha dre an deda na a russens ow dissobeya du, I a gollas an originall innocency ‘and by that deed which they did in disobeying God, they lost the original innocence…’ TH 4

a vynna purposia na predery the wull mar heynys deda na mar vras pegh ‘who would intend of think of doing such a heinous deed or so great a sin’ TH 29

an pith a wyllyn ny in very deda ‘that which we see in very deed’ TH 50a.


Deda does not seem to be in the dictionary of the Akademi.


Nicholas Williams

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://kernowek.net/pipermail/spellyans_kernowek.net/attachments/20210401/5ee02c8e/attachment.html>

More information about the Spellyans mailing list