<div dir="ltr">I see the point of the plural *<i>bestys</i> not existing presenting a problem, but would it be possible that original plural <i>-ys</i> in this word was replaced with <i>-as/-es</i>? It appears to have been quite a common plural used for animals, e.g. <i>cathas </i>'cats', <i>kyrwas </i>'stags', <i>enyvalles </i>'animals', so I wouldn't be surprised if the word was nativised. <div>I can't offer any explanation for the spellings, <i>trest</i> for <i>trist</i> and <i>chrest(e)</i> for <i>christ</i>, and it appears that at least some kind of lowering has taken place and perhaps, as you suggest, shortening. I myself have always wondered whether the fluctuation between <i>e</i> and <i>y</i> in Cornish may have had something to do with how close the sounds [e] <e> and [ɪ] <y> are. </div><div>The problem with including <i>bêst</i> in this shortening would be that it would have taken place during the earlier stages of Proto-British, which is <b>very</b> early. So early that we would expect that something like this would also have taken place in Welsh and Breton, but these show respectively <i>trist/trist</i>, <i>Crist/Krist</i> and <i>bwyst/-</i> (<i>bwyst</i> does not appear to have a counterpart in Breton, which may show that this loanword from Latin did not survive in South-West British). I am therefore inclined to favour the interpretation that native <i>-as/-es</i> was adopted for the English loanword <i>bêst</i>.</div><div><br></div><div>Oll an gwella,</div><div>Linus</div></div><div class="gmail_extra"><br><div class="gmail_quote">2014-12-01 10:07 GMT+00:00 Nicholas Williams <span dir="ltr"><<a href="mailto:njawilliams@gmail.com" target="_blank">njawilliams@gmail.com</a>></span>:<br><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div style="word-wrap:break-word"><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px">Linus suggests that <i>best</i> 'animal' is unlikely to derive from Latin <i>bêstia</i>, since the long vowel of <i>bêstia</i> would have been expected to give <i>oy</i> or <i>o</i> in Middle Cornish; cf. Welsh <i>bwyst</i>. Linus may well be right and <i>best</i> must therefore be a borrowing from English < Norman French. On the other hand the complete absence of a plural *<i>bestys</i> may possibly be a counter-argument. The attested plurals are <i>bestas</i> x 14 and <i>bestes</i> x 12. Would it be special pleading to suggest that there may have been occasional shortening of vowels before -st in some borrowings from Latin? I have always been perplexed by the spellings <i>trest</i> for <i>trist</i> ‘sad’ and <i>Chrest</i> for <i>Christ</i> ‘Christ’ that one finds on occasion and that might possibly suggest shortening:</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana;min-height:16px"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"></span><br></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><i>ha marya leun a ras ganso <b>trest</b> ha morezek</i> PA 232d</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><i>na porth ovn vyth na veth <b>trest</b> </i>OM 1467</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><i>bos <b>trest</b> thywhy pendra wher</i> RD 1255</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><i>me a'th cusyl dysempys byth na by <b>trest</b></i> RD 2229-30</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><i>Vn ger na campol a gryst ha mar qureth me ath wra <b>trest</b></i> BM 903-04</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana;min-height:16px"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"></span><br></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><i>en Blooth <b>Creste</b> an Arleuth whege Meele Sithcans ha hanter Deege </i>TBoson</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><i>ha en Jesu <b>Chrêst</b> e mab honyn</i> Pryce.</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><br></span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px">Nicholas</span></div><div style="margin:0px;font-size:13px;font-family:Verdana"><span style="letter-spacing:0.0px"><br></span></div><div><span class=""><div>On 30 Nov 2014, at 16:19, Linus Band <<a href="mailto:linusband@gmail.com" target="_blank">linusband@gmail.com</a>> wrote:</div><br></span><blockquote type="cite"><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important">It may be the default word, but wouldn't it make more sense from a phonological point of view if it came from English? If it came from Latin<span> </span></span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">bēstia</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important">, then long</span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">ē</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important"> should have become *</span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">uɪ</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important"> which then fell together with *</span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">oɪ</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important"> and ultimately MC /o/, LaC /u/ (cf. MC<span> </span></span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">boys</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important"> 'food' (MoC<span> </span></span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">boos</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important">)). We know that Welsh borrowed it from Latin since it appears there as<span> </span></span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">bwyst</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important"> (and thus retains earlier *</span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">uɪ</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important"> as<span> </span></span><i style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">wy</i><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;float:none;display:inline!important">).</span><div style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px"><br></div><div style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">Oll an gwella,</div><div style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">Linus</div></blockquote></div><br></div><br>_______________________________________________<br>
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