[Spellyans] 'to bury' in the Akademi's dictionary

Ian Jackson iacobianus at googlemail.com
Tue Apr 6 17:15:59 BST 2021

As I understand it, the Akademi here is driven wholly by a policy of levelling on etymological grounds that it inducts by examining other Brythonic languages in accordance with the comparative method of historical linguistics. Even when this means ignoring concrete textual evidence demonstrating that Middle Cornish had already moved on, in a different direction. This is not revival. It is Cornish as it might have become, but did not. I agree with Professor Williams that it could legitimately be regarded as a sort of conlang. Interesting but essentially fictional.


Quite apart from my view of the merits, I am baffled to know how the Akademi believes it has a mandate to operate in this way. I am not aware that the broad Cornish language community has ever agreed to it, or even been properly consulted,. The revival did not begin this way with Jenner and Nance. So where is the authority for the change of approach?


Ian Jackson



From: Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> 
Sent: 06 April 2021 14:05
To: Standard Cornish discussion list <spellyans at kernowek.net>; Cornish Language Partnership <cornishlanguage at cornwall.gov.uk>; Ian Jackson <iacobianus at googlemail.com>; Kyle Odgers <kyleodgers at hotmail.com>; jenefer Lowe <jeneferl at hotmail.co.uk>; Rod Lyon <tewennow at btinternet.com>; Neil Kennedy <keverango at yahoo.ie>; Daniel Prohaska <Daniel at ryan-prohaska.com>; mickpaynter at paynter6862.fsnet.co.uk; Matthew Clarke <pennlorwydh at hotmail.com>; Peter Jenkin <peternjenkin at gmail.com>; graham sandercock <grahamsandercock at blueyonder.co.uk>; Linus Band <linusband at gmail.com>
Subject: 'to bury' in the Akademi's dictionary


The verb ‘to bury’ is well attested in traditional Cornish:


droga galar ev thy’mmo y anclethyas mar uskys ‘what an ill grief it is for me to bury him so quickly’ OM 868-69

me a’s kymmer yn lowen hag a gront trank hep worfen thy’s y guerthe the anclethyas crystenyon ‘I will accept it gladly and will consent in perpetuity to sell it to you to bury Christians’ PC 1561-64

iosep vs thy’so cummyas an corf ker the anclethyas ‘Joseph, have you permission to bury the beloved body?’ PC 3139-40 

cummyas grantyys thy’m yma th’y anclethyas ‘I have been granted permission to bury him’ 3146-47

Lemen parusugh an beth in hanov crist del deleth may hallen y anclethyas ‘Now prepare the grave in the name of Christ that we may bury him as is fitting’ BM 4510-12

me a wruk y anclethyes hag a’n gorras yn beth men ‘I buried him and set him in the sepulchre’ RD 439-40

mones deglos ny a vyn thy anclethyes in certyn an corff uskys ‘we will go to church to bury the body swiftly indeed’ BM 4470-72

y enclethyes vye da ‘it would be good to bury him’ PC 3103

otte cendal glan a les parys rag y enclethyes ‘here is a clean linen cloth ready to bury him’ PC 3160-61 

Lemen warbarth ov flehys ny a vyn moys alemma the anclethyias an dus vays ‘Now together, my children, we will go hence to bury the good men’ BM 1321-23

en keth oynement a scollyas warnaf rak ow anclythyas ‘she poured that same ointment over me for my burial’ PC 547-48 

ow thas pan ewa marowe me a vyn y anclythyas ‘since my father is dead, I will bury him’ CW 2078-79.


The verbal adjective is also well attested:


ro thy’m kummeas me a’th pys a kymeres corf ihesu yv yn pren crous tremenys may hallo bos anclethys ‘give me permission, I beg you, to take the body of Jesus, who dies upon a cross, that he may be buried’ PC 3112-15

ef a vyth sur anclethys yn le na fue den bythqueth ‘he will indeed be buried in a place where no man was before’ PC 3134-35

ihesu crist map maria ha genys a lel werheys a fue marov in grovs pren hag anclethys in beth men ‘Jesus Christ, the son of Mary and born of a true virgin, died on the cross and was buried in the sepulchre’ BM 4047-50

ihesu a fue anclethyys hag yn beth a ven gorrys ‘Jesus was buried and placed in a sepulchre’ RD 1

ihesu crist yth yv henna a fue marov anclethyys ‘that is Jesus Christ who was dead and buried’ BM 4081-82

an lell kig agen arluth Christ a ve goris in grows, marow ha inclithis ‘the true flesh of Our Lord Christ was put on the cross, dead and buried’ SA 61a

pen vo dewath y thethyow hag in doer tha vos anclythys goer sprusan in y anowe ‘when his days are over and he is to be buried in the earth, put a pip in his mouth’ CW 1850-52.


There is no evidence in traditional Cornish for <eu> as the second vowel in any of these forms. The online dictionary of the Akademi Kernewek, however, writes the verbal noun *ynkleudhyas ‘to bury’ and the verbal adjective *ynkleudhys ‘buried’. There is no warrant for the vowel <eu> in either of these forms. Moreover by spelling them with <eu> the dictionary is suggesting to learners that they should be pronounced with a fronted o as the second vowel. The indifference here of the Akademi Kernewek to traditional Cornish is astonishing.


Nicholas Williams


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