[Spellyans] 'Book' in the Akademi dictionary

Ian Jackson iacobianus at googlemail.com
Mon Apr 5 13:13:54 BST 2021

If the on-line dictionary of the Akademi were an old-fashioned book, it seems to me it would at least have to set out in a proper introduction, with scholarly references / bibliography, the whole basis for concluding that specific differences in vowels and consonants can be accounted primarily as diachronic development rather than as variations of region, idiolect, register or style, not necessarily conditioned by chronology.


Ian Jackson



From: Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> 
Sent: 05 April 2021 12:58
To: spellyans at kernowek.net; Neil Kennedy <keverango at yahoo.ie>; Ian Jackson <iacobianus at googlemail.com>; Kyle Odgers <kyleodgers at hotmail.com>
Subject: 'Book' in the Akademi dictionary


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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