[Spellyans] final -y in verbal nouns

Clive Baker clive.baker at gmail.com
Wed Apr 7 12:21:37 BST 2021


as shall I Janice...it was never in question bird

On Wed, 7 Apr 2021 at 12:17, Janice Lobb <janicelobb at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you, Nicholas. I shall continue to write kelly, desky, etc.
> Jan
>
> On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 11:51 AM Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>>
>> Late Cornish users often write the final segment of verbal nouns in -y
>> with <i>. Similarly the SWF and therefore the online dictionary of the
>> Akademic Kernewek write the final segment in verbal nouns as <i>, eg.,
>> *dybri* ‘to eat’, *dyski* ‘to learn, to teach’, *kregi* ‘to hang’,
>> *leski* ‘to burn’, *pedri* ‘to rot’, etc. There is no legitimate reason
>> to use <i> in such cases in either Middle Cornish or Late Cornish
>> registers.
>> In the later language historic final -*y* is usually written as <-e>,
>> for example in the following:
>>
>> *browe* ‘to wound’ Rowe; *creege* ‘to believe’ BF: 31; *crege* ‘to
>> believe’ BF: 41; *debre* ‘to eat’ Rowe 14 x 6, 16 X 4, 18 x 3, LAM 226; *dibre
>> *AB: 244c, Pryce: E e 4 verso, : 242; *deske* ‘to learn, to teach’
>> Gwavas MS x 4, Rowe 36; *gwarre* ‘play’ LAM 224; *do gware* ‘to play’
>> BF: 12; *do guare *‘to play’ BF: 12; *gwille *‘bed’ Gwavas MS x 4;
>> *guille* ‘bed’ Gwavas MS; *tha **kelme* ‘to bind’ Pryce: F f 2; *leske*
>> ‘to burn’ BF: 10, 12; *tha **medge* ‘to reap’ Pryce: F f 2; *peege* ‘to
>> pray’ LAM: 224, 226; *pedeere* ‘to think’ BF: 27, 31; *perthe* ‘to
>> tolerate’ BF: 41; *tha **trehe* ‘to cut’ Pryce: F f 2 x 3.
>> (LAM = *Looking at the Mermaid*; BF = *Cornish Writings of the Boson
>> Family*)
>>
>> It seems likely that -*e* in these items was a way of writing final
>> schwa. Rowe writes *tha gorthe thotha* ‘to worship him’ but *ha gortha
>> thotha* ‘and worship him’, where *gorthe* and *gortha* are variant
>> spellings of the same word. The final segment there is undoubtedly schwa.
>> Similarly ‘to learn’ is *deske* in Rowe and in the Gwavas manuscripts,
>> but Lhuyd cites the same etymon in *Dho **desga* AB: 55a. Further verbs
>> whose verbal nouns ended in -*y* in Middle Cornish but are attested in
>> the later language with -*a* include:
>>
>> *Molletha* ‘to curse’ AB: 84b (*y voleythy* PA 18b); *Dho **preva* ‘to
>> prove’ AB: 128c (*prevy* TH 34a. 36); *Dho **pidzha* ‘to pray’ AB: 127c (
>> *pygy* RD 444); *Dho **teva* ‘to grow’ AB: 52b (*tevy* OM 275); *Dho *
>> *sendzha* ‘to catch’ AB: 3a, *Dho **sindzha* AB: 50a, 162a; *senzhia*
>> BF: 60 (*sengy* TH 19a, *syngy* TH 33; BK 2503).
>>
>> It seems therefore that by the later Cornish period, if not before, final
>> -*y* was in some cases pronounced as [ǝ]. This would also explain a
>> further phenomenon noticeable in Late Cornish.
>> The reduction of final -y > schwa is not astonishing. After all the
>> Cornish for ‘Wales’ was almost certainly **Kembry* (cf. Welsh *Cymru* < *
>> *Kombrogi*), yet is attested in Lhuyd and already in BK as *Kembra*. The
>> final segment in Middle Cornish verbal nouns ending in -*y* was schwa by
>> the later period.
>> The only reason for spelling final -y as <i> in the Middle Cornish
>> register is in imitation of Lhuyd. It is far from certain, however, that
>> Lhuyd should be imitated in this matter. He writes:
>>
>> *The Letter* y *differing* *so very little from* i, *especially in the
>> Termination of words of more than one Syllable, may be in this Infinitive
>> spar’d; and such words written constantly with an* i: *As* Deski (*not*
>> desky) *To learn*; Ageri, *To open*; Sinzhi, *To hold*; Gysenzhi, *to
>> buy*; Gulhi, *To wash*; Leski, *To burn*; Terhi, *To break*; Huari, *To
>> play*; Kelli, *To loose*, Prediri, *To meditate or think upon*; Tebri
>> *and* Dibri, *To eat*; Gorthybi [*and* Gorthebi] *To answer*; Strihui, *To
>> sneez*; Kylyui, *To lighten* (AB: 245b).
>>
>> Lhuyd is admitting here that the traditional spellings with -*y* can be
>> replaced by spellings in -*i *because there isn’t really much
>> difference. He may also be thinking of the spelling of comparable words in
>> Welsh. Neither reason is sufficient, in my view, to repudiate the practice
>> of the scribes of traditional Cornish. *Leski*, *Kelli*, *Gorthebi*,
>> etc. are arbitrary spellings by Lhuyd, as he himself admits, they are not
>> traditional. Here are a selection of verbal nouns in -y as they are found
>> in texts written by Cornishmen:
>>
>> *crysy*, *cresy *‘to believe’
>> *crysy* OM 1435, 1508, PC 2883, TH 38, 54a; *crygy* PC 1482, 1597, 1771,
>> 2963, RD 8, 284, 482, 990, 1016, 1057, 1068, 1078, 1088, 1106, 1114, 1126,
>> 1275, 1345, 1423, 1456, 1462, 1468, 1507, 1514, 1529, 1566, 1709, 2469;
>> *cresy* OM 233, 241, 1759, 1761, 1784, 2018, BM 834, 971, 4117, 4125, TH
>> 1a, 9a, 19a, 20, 21, 34, 37a, 50, 53, 53a, 54a x2, 55, 57, 58 x2.
>>
>> There are no instances of either **crysi* or *cresi.*
>>
>> *dybry* ‘to eat’
>> *dybry* OM 171, 231, 248, 264, 283, 386, 994, 2048, 2706, PC 625, 635,
>> 671, 719, 812, 2632, TH 52a; *dybbry* PA 43c, 87c, 173a, OM 168, 183, PC
>> 47, BM 134, TH 3a, 4, 4a, 5, 51a, 52a, BK 343, 365; *dibbry* TH 55,
>> 55note, SA 64a, 66; *debry* TH 4a; *debbry* CW 1813
>>
>> There are no instances of either **dybri* or **debri*
>>
>> *dysky *‘to learn, to teach’
>> *dysky* PA 176c, OM 1554, PC 36, 256, 1250, BM 13, 33, 60, 97, 381,
>> 3300, TH 8a, 9, 14a x2, 18a, 19 x2, 20, 24, 27, 34a x2, 35a, 38 x3, 39, 42;
>> *disky* RD 1959, TH 10, 20 x2, 21a, 31, 31a, 32;  *desky *BM 49, 367,
>> 651, 3752, 4020*.*
>>
>> There are no instances of either **dyski* or **deski*
>>
>> *egery* ‘to open’
>> *ygery* RD 317; *egery* OM 382, TH 18, 23, 31, 53 x2
>>
>> There are no instances of either **ygeri* or **egeri*
>>
>>
>> *golhy **‘to wash’*
>> *golhy *PC 518, 845, 862, 875, BM 744, 1600, 1716; *ȝ**e wolhy* PA 46a; *the
>> wolhy* RD 22o2
>>
>> There are no instances of **golhi*
>>
>>
>> *gorthyby* ‘to answer’
>> *gorthyby* OM 301, PC 181, 821, 1317, 1484, 1660, 1674, 1739, 1820,
>> 2273, BK 556; *gortheby* BM 3532, TH 23, BK 2293; *gurryby* TH 44;
>> *gweryby* CW 1145
>>
>> There are no instances of **gorthybi*, **gorthebi*
>>
>>
>> *kelly* ‘to lose’
>> *kylly* PA 241a, BM 3341, TH 17a; *the gylly* RD 354; *kelly* CW 840,
>> 2029
>>
>> There are no instances of **kylli*, **kelli*
>>
>>
>> *pysy*, *pesy* ‘to pray’
>> *pysy* OM 1607, 2140, 2197, PC 37; *pygy* PC 1013, 1044, 1162, 2090, RD
>> 285, 444, 448, 1338, 1575, 1649, 1932; *pesy* PA 53c, 54d, 62a, 65a,
>> 72d, BM 404, 520, 537, 613, 707, 1470, 2138, 2141, 2174, 2339, 2420, 2506,
>> 2556, 2725, 2998, 3186, 3359, 3440, 3475, 3638, 3800, 3845, 4128, 4276,
>> 4288, 4425, 4461, 4554, 4561, TH 9a; *pegy* BK 133, 426, 2335, CW 2207.
>>
>> There are no instances of either **pysi* or **pesi*.
>>
>> *synsy*, *sensy* ‘to hold’
>> *synsy* PA 62c, 82c, 154a, 159d, 207c, OM 23, 1444, TH 40; *syngy* TH
>> 33, BK 2503, 2613; sensy PA 75b, 105d, 156d, 166b, 206d, PC 1176, BM 1074,
>> 2279, 2291, 2315, 2588, TH 49, SA 61; *sengy* TH 19a, BK 65.
>>
>> There are no instances of either **synsi* or **sensi*.
>>
>>
>> *tyby* ‘to think’
>> *teby* OM 3250.
>>
>> There is no instance of either **tybi* or **tebi*.
>>
>> All the above verbal nouns should in any authentic spelling be written
>> with final -*y*.
>>
>>
>> Nicholas Williams
>> _______________________________________________
>> Spellyans mailing list
>> Spellyans at kernowek.net
>> http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Spellyans mailing list
> Spellyans at kernowek.net
> http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://kernowek.net/pipermail/spellyans_kernowek.net/attachments/20210407/bd5a4526/attachment.html>


More information about the Spellyans mailing list