[Spellyans] Lhuyd's Cornish

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Tue Jul 14 12:19:53 BST 2009

Quite probably, Ray, among the Late Cornish users.  Many revivalists  
are using *traow instead of taclow, and I have seen prederyans used,  


On 14 Gor 2009, at 12:12, Ray Chubb wrote:

> Are there Cornish speakers using his morphology and syntax?
> On 14 Gor 2009, at 12:00, nicholas williams wrote:
>> Although Edward Lhuyd's description of Cornish is of the greatest  
>> value,
>> one should always be wary of accepting his own written Cornish as  
>> authoritative in any sense.
>> He was not a native speaker, he spent only a short time in Cornwall  
>> and was prone to let
>> his Welsh lead him astray.
>> Lhuyd begins the last paragraph of the preface to his Cornish  
>> grammar in AB as follows:
>> Mi a uon en ta boz lîaz tîz (pôrletrys ha pôrskientek en traou  
>> erel) a akiuzya ha damnya peb prediryanz adro kuitha am'àn an koth  
>> Davazo-ma.
>> In KS we could write this:
>> My a *wòn yn tâ bos lies *tus (pòr letrys ha pòr *skientek in  
>> *traow erel) ow acûsya ha dampnya pùb prederyans *adro qwitha in  
>> màn an *coth davasow-ma
>> 'I know well that there many people, very learned and wise in other  
>> things, are condemning and damning every thought of preserving  
>> these old languages.'
>> Note the following errors in Lhuyd's Cornish
>> Mi a uon for Mi a uor [Lhuyd frequently makes the mistaking of  
>> inflecting the monoform, because the Cornish/Breton syntax was  
>> absent from Welsh]
>> lies tus for lies huny/den. Lies is always followed by the singular.
>> skientek is unknown. The word in the texts is skentyl, skyntyl,  
>> though the word is in PA only. Otherwise the word fur could have  
>> been used..
>> Traow for taclow. Lhuyd has invented this plural, probably on the  
>> basis of Breton traou. It is unknown in Cornish, being replaced by  
>> taclow, tacklow. It does not belong in the revived language.
>> adro kuitha for adro dho kuitha
>> an coth davasow. Because Welsh hen 'old' precedes its noun and is  
>> followed by lenition, Lhuyd writes the incorrect coth davazo for  
>> tavasow coth.
>> Notice also that prediryanz is Lhuyd's own coinage. The word for  
>> 'thought' in Cornish is preder, prederow; cf. oll an prederow  
>> preveth a vab den 'all mankind's secret thoughts' TH28.
>> Lhuyd could perhaps have written:
>> Mi a uor en ta bos lîaz den (pôrletrys ha pôrskentil en taklou  
>> erel) a akiuzya ha damnya peb preder adro dho kuitha am'àn an  
>> tavazo koth-ma.
>> Lhuyd may be useful for phonetic information about Cornish, but his  
>> Cornish morphology and syntax are not reliable.
>> Nicholas
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> Ray Chubb
> Portreth
> Kernow
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Craig Weatherhill

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