[Spellyans] Lhuyd's Cornish

Jon Mills j.mills at email.com
Wed Jul 15 09:48:13 BST 2009

Lhuyd's "Mi a uon " follows Origo Mundi (595-6) "my ny won leuerel prak |
gans pup na vethaf lethys".Ol an gwellaJon

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: "nicholas williams"
  To: "Standard Cornish discussion list"
  Subject: [Spellyans] Lhuyd's Cornish
  Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 12:00:30 +0100

  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 lethis Welsh lead him
  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
  Note the following errors in Lhuyd's CornishMi 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 kuithaan 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
  Lhuyd may be useful for phonetic information about Cornish, but his
  Cornish morphology and syntax are not reliable.
  Spellyans mailing list
  Spellyans at kernowek.net

Dr. Jon Mills,
School of European Culture and Languages,
University of Kent

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