[Spellyans] Late Cornish adaptations

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Sun Aug 3 20:12:23 BST 2008

There is a problem with LC spellings (other than Keigwin, who was the 
only actual linguistic scholar of the time).  The Bosons, Gwavas, 
Tonkin, Jenkins etc. -  none of them were actually native speakers.  
They all learned the language later in life. The only probable exception 
was Rowe, but it seems that not even he ever saw a written text.  So all 
these people wrote Cornish in the best way they could in order to convey 
the pronunciation.  What they wrote was not really true Cornish 
orthography but a approximation, largely using English graphs, to put 
across a pronunciation guide.

I continue to think that the true spelling of Late Cornish is echoed by 
Keigwin's own version of the last 16 lines of CW, which, like Jordan 
himself, shows the scribal tradition carrying on from Middle and Tudor 
Cornish, but with updatings.


nicholas williams wrote:
>  Lhuyd shows, though, that it is OC /iw/ that remained distinct until LC. 
> Really? So it's piu always?
> Piua or medh an dzhei? Pìu a ’ryg an bad-ober? Piu a ’ryg an bad-ober? 
> medh
> Dzhûan; mar nyz medra dheffa previ  peu a ’ryg an bad-ober; mî a vedn 
> krêg ragta.
>  What about that peu of Lhuyd's? And his: Peua ez enna en bar’ Deu 
> amedh hei?
> And that is the same as pew in
> Pew vedna why gawas rag seera rag guz flo? in the LC song. The 
> spelling <pew> 'who' occurs over 20 times
> in MC. Are you claiming that the sound meant is [piw]?
> And I suppose you will say that 'colour' is *liw in LC. How then do 
> you account for 
> ha frutes teke aga lew in CW?
> And would you write <gwiw>?
> The spelling <guew> occurs seven times in BK. In PA it's gweff.
> OC iu fell together with eu in stressed monosyllables. In disyllables 
> OC eu has a tendency to become ow from the earliest
> MC. That is why one finds dowlyn 'knees' in PA.
> Even if iw and ew were different in MC and LC, the graph iw is wholly 
> inauthentic.
> There is no need to defend KK spellings.
> Nicholas
> ----------
> On 3 Aug 2008, at 15:11, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
>> Lhuyd shows, though, that it is OC /iw/ that remained distinct until LC. 
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