[Spellyans] The words for "last night" and "evening"

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Mon Aug 17 08:22:24 BST 2009

Beats me where George got -gh- from.


On 16 Est 2009, at 23:49, Michael Everson wrote:

> SWF uses "nyhewer" and "gorthuher". Admittedly these words are  
> problematic. However, it is worthwhile looking at them.
> =====
> Nance gives "nyhewer" and "newer" as headwords, citing Lhuyd  
> "nehuer" and saying "for 'nythewer'". He cites BM 103, the reading  
> of which in Stokes is "bys ynnewer gorȝewar" 'until quite late last  
> night'. If I am not mistaken, the 7 syllables in that are just what  
> is required for the metre.
> Kennedy gives "nehewar" and "newher".
> Gendall gives "nehwer" [ˈnehwəŕ] citing Lhuyd's "nehụer".
> George gives "nyhewer" with the pronunciation [niːhɛwɛr] {with  
> dots under the epsilons} and says: "The spelling of this word is  
> particularly difficult. It is recorded only thrice: 'newer' at BM.. 
> 103, which may be a 2 syll. shortening, and 'nehuer', 'nehwer' by  
> Lhuyd, in which <h> may stand for [θ]. These forms are far removed  
> from the Brit. source and from the Breton cognate, and have probably  
> been influenced by the word 'gorthugher'. The form 'nyhewer' is that  
> used by Nance." He says the British is *nox'tier (citing Jackson)  
> and cites Breton "neizheur'.
> I don't actually see evidence for a trisyllabic word for "last  
> night" here. Lhuyd's "nehụer" must be [ˈnɛʍəɹ] (it can't be  
> [ˈneʊhəɹ]), which we would write as "newher" in KS. BM  
> "newer" [ˈnɛwəɹ] or possibly [ˈneʊəɹ].
> I cannot see where Nance got his "nyhewer", or indeed his  
> "nythewer" (though George also accuses Lhuyd of writing <h> for [θ],  
> which I find unlikely).
> We ought to write [ˈnɛʍəɹ] as "newher" in KS. This restores the  
> [ʍ] to "newer", and accords with Lhuyd. There's no other evidence  
> for any other spelling here (including the metre of BM).
> =====
> Jenner gives "gorthewer".
> Nance gives "gorthewer" as his headword, citing unsourced  
> "gorthuer", OCV "gurthuwer", Late "gothewer", Lhuyd  
> "gudhihuar" (saying that dh is for th). Here he normalizes BM 103 as  
> "yn newer gorthewer" (note he does not use "nyhewer" here).
> Kennedy gives "gothiuar" noting the loss of -r- (evidently from  
> "gorthiuar").
> Gendall gives: "gydhiuhar": [gəˈðiuhəŕ] citing Lhuyd  
> "gẏdhiuhar", "gothuhar" and "gothewhar" William Gwavas, "gothewer"  
> John Boson. He gives "en nehwer g gydhiuhar", 'late last night'.
> George gives "gorthugher" and says of this form only that it  
> contains "gorth" and that it is not found in Breton or Welsh.
> We've got general agreement on gorth- and Lhuyd shows that the final  
> element is -wher. Nicholas and I discussed this some time ago and  
> taking the OCV settled on "gorthuwher" for this word. KD  
> interestingly suggested "gorthuwer".
> BM 103 then is "bys in newher gorthuwher" [bɪz ɪn ˈnɛʍəɹ gɔɹ 
> ˈθɪʍɐɹ].
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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Craig Weatherhill

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