[Spellyans] Introduction - new member

Herbie Blackburn kevin.blackburn1 at ntlworld.com
Thu Dec 10 20:48:16 GMT 2009


Thanks for your response.

Well - I must admit it seems like a never-ending task, and probably in truth is.

My modus operandi is to collect historical word translations (e.g. Old Welsh, Gaulish, Lepontic, Old Irish, Old Cornish, Tocharian, etc.) to add to the dictionary, and only then add an appropriate headword to the dictionary. Only then do I add all translations I can find for modern languages and any etymological references I find, and cross-reference similar words or words derived from the same root etc. It's this cross-referencing that I believe to be the 'value-add'!

It would be easy to create a massive dictionary by just piling in all modern translations from the dictionaries I have and other sources, and multiply the number of headwords by thousands - but that would be a pointless exercise as those are the very material that are readily available to everyone.

Even with this approach I have around 7,000 headwords, and the last time I squirted the database out into a tidy word format it covered 1,012 A4 sheets at 10pt Arial font back 2004.

It has been a very personal effort and helps me in my study - started originally when I picked up a second-hand copy of John Morris' The Age of Arthur back in 1978, and started keeping notes, which become a alphabetic notepad, then loose-leaf, and then went through various data storage tools, and then versions of MS excel. It would need a serious review before any publication, although it is constantly getting that from myself as I add and review continually - but I'm usually picking up material from what I think are reputable sources, but as an amateur I can be mislead. I made a start years ago adding material from an 1862 Welsh Manuscript Society publication that I thought was a great find - Barddas! Now of course I know all about Iolo Morganwg, and am a bit wiser, not trusting much from the internet, being cleverer about verifying sources etc. However, it might actually prove too big a task to bring it to a publishable level, though I think it probably has a lot more integrity than much you see on the web in Wikipedia and so on.

One day.....



Herbie Blackburn
58 Tormead Road
tel:     +44 (0)1483 823888
mob:  +44 (0)7791 193602
eMail: kevin.blackburn1 at ntlworld.com
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-----Original Message-----
From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of Craig Weatherhill
Sent: 10 December 2009 19:07
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Introduction - new member

That sounds like a real labour of love, Herbie, and I'd very much like  
to see this dictionary.  When do you think you will have enough  
content to go for publication?


On 10 Kev 2009, at 17:51, Herbie Blackburn wrote:

> Hello – my name is Kevin Blackburn, nickname Herbie.
> Since about 1982 I have studied all Celtic languages, as an amateur,  
> compiling a Comparative Celtic Dictionary of all extant, modern and  
> all extinct forms of Celtic languages. It is a passion, and a  
> consuming interest, taking up a lot of my time, especially in the  
> winter when the weather curtails my other main interest of cycling.  
> My interest in Celtic languages covers all modern forms of living  
> Celtic languages, historical forms, and related translations from  
> other languages which have a bearing on or are influenced by Celtic.  
> My bibliography for this study is pretty big, being in excess of 150  
> major works, with many waiting in my library to be added to this  
> tally.
> From a very early point in this growing study I had an affinity for  
> Cornish, and quickly acquired materials such as the 1978 edition of  
> R Morton Nance’s E-C – C-E dictionary, Cornish for Beginners (Pool –  
> 1979), A Concise guide to Cornish (Ken George), Lyver Lavarow  
> Kernewek (Bice 1987) – from the Cornish Language Board; and copies  
> of Jenkin’s Cornwall and It’s People, Carew’s Survey of Cornwall,  
> and many other incidental Cornish works. This lead me into some  
> valuable and interesting correspondences (before the days of email  
> and the internet) with the likes of: Wella Brown (1989),   
> ‘Cowetha’ (1989), John Robert King / ‘Jowan Byghan’; and later via  
> email: Matthew Spriggs, Marion Gunn, Michael Everson, Andrew Climo,  
> Nicholas Williams and Ray Chubb – all of whom have been a great help  
> to me in shaping my studies and the form of my Comparative Celtic  
> Dictionary, and a great encouragement of my interest.
> More recently I have followed with interest, and not a little  
> dismay, the debates on the proposed written form of modern Cornish.  
> I was starting to think written Cornish would be an ever moving  
> target, which of course all living languages are to some degree, but  
> in a far from productive way. Now reviewing where Cornish is today,  
> I look on with some excitement, hoping to witness a final resolution  
> to the recent flux and being able to study a written form of modern  
> Cornish with some greater certainty. Hence my interest in this  
> discussion group, and machinations of driving out the form of  
> Kernowak.
> I look forward to the discussions and progress that this group  
> represents,
> Regards
> Herbie
> eMail: kevin.blackburn1 at ntlworld.com
> P Please consider the environment before printing this eMail - thanks
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Craig Weatherhill

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