[Spellyans] "become" with nouns

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Sun Nov 2 14:58:56 GMT 2008

The merger was taking place when BK and PA were composed (late 14th/ 
early 15th century).
It was complete by the time that BM was composed (1504).
The rhymes of BK and PA show that oy and o were kept separate.
The rhymes of BM show that they were not.

In some texts (PC and RD) the reflex of OC ui appears as <ou>:
war ow scouth by my laute PC 658
dro hy thy'mmo war ow scouth PC 2623
This seems to me to indicate that in some forms of Cornish ui  
monophthongised to u: rather than lower to
oi and monophthongise to o:
It is for this reason that some toponyms show Cus- 'wood' rather than  
Cus- forms, I believe, contain the shortened vowel of *cous < cuit
rather than cos- < coys- < cuit.
The cus- forms agree with the LCornish toponyms in Kûz etc.

The scribe of PA was not the author of the poem. For the scribe  
(though not for the poet) bos 'to be' and boys 'food' < OC buit
were pronounced the same way. It is for that reason one finds, for  

kyns ys boys colyek clewys 'before the cock be heard' PA 49b
na boys yn y gowezas 'nor be in his company' PA 110b
Own boys crist mab du an neff  'For fear that Christ was the son of  
the God of heaven'  PA 122a.

Notice also that the scribe of PA writes:

In meth an goyff me ny wraff  'Said the smith, I will not' PA 155a,  
though gof 'smeith' (W gof) never had ui/oi.


On 2 Nov 2008, at 14:21, Tom Trethewey wrote:

> --- On Sun, 2/11/08, nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> wrote:
> >Degoyth is a compound of cotha 'fall'. The stress is on the first  
> syllable.
> >Gostoyth is gostyth in CW and the second syllable is unstressed.
> This interpretation of the stress seems the most likely.
> >Not infrequently boys 'to be' is written, although the word never  
> had a diphthong.
> >This, I believe, is because oy (OC ui) monophthongised to o: and  
> thus fell together with o:
> from other sources.
> >This is why bos to be is often boys, and boys 'food' < OC buit is  
> often bos.
> This is in apparent conflict with the evidence from the rhymes in  
> the verse quoted from BK. There and in many other instances, there  
> is a distinct set of words whose rhyming syllables are often spelled  
> with <oy> and which are apparently unstressed. These are the very  
> words which contain OC ui. The facts that words in this set were  
> frequently rhymed with one another and were often spelled with <oy>  
> lead me to think that no such merger had taken place.
> Tom
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