[Spellyans] 'Book' in the Akademi dictionary

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Mon Apr 5 12:57:31 BST 2021

The online dictionary of the Akademi Kernewek distinguishes by means of superscript M and L respectively “Middle Cornish” lyver ‘book’ from “Late Cornish: lever ‘book’. This alleged distinction is without justification. The attestations of the two variants are as follows in the texts.

lyver TH 6a, 42, 45a, 47a, 49a, SA 60; lyfer TH 45; lyffer TH 18a; lyvyr PC 95
lever TH 1, 46a x2, 47a x2, SA 61a, 62a, 63a, BF: 29 x2, 31 x2, Looking at the Mermaid: 244 (Bodinar); levar PA 135d, SA 59, AB: 246a, 250b; lefer BM 1418, 1499.

It will be noticed that forms with e, i.e. lever, levar, lefer already occur in Pascon Agan Arluth, Beunans Meriasek, Tregear’s Homilies and Sacrament an Alter. There is no justification for the assertion that the y-forms are Middle Cornish and the e-forms belong exclusively to the later language. Again the compilers of the dictionary appear to be exhibiting an inadequate knowledge of the traditional language.

Nicholas Williams
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