[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'fisherman'

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Mon May 18 21:19:34 BST 2009

Indeed—but Lhuyd's deskadzher is itself his own invention, and is not  
supported by any writer of traditional Cornish. Lhuyd presumably  
thought that the OC Cornish agent suffix -adur would have assibilated.  
As a result he coined the word deskadzher. He also forgot (or perhaps  
had not learnt) that OC piscadur retained -d- in his own day. Moreover  
the very common word pehadur, pehador 'sinner' shows the same suffix  
without assibilation, as does the word sylwador.
In fact we would not expect assibilation in the suffix -ador, because  
the adjacent /r/ prevent the assibilation of intervocalic /d/. Think  
of Peder, Pedyr 'St Peter', peder 'four (feminine)'. Notice also that  
the personal name Cador occurs twice in BK. It is also interesting  
that the OC pridit 'poet' appears in BK as prydyth, where the  
preceding /r/ has prevented assibilation. The word for 'teacher' is  
not attested in traditional Cornish, but if it were, it would no doubt  
be descader, not descager.
There is a word related to puscador, namely the word for 'to fish',  
Lhuyd's pusgetsha. This does assibilate because there is no /r/ in the  
vicinity of the dental.


On 18 May 2009, at 18:28, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> I reckon he reconstructed it by way of analogy with UC dyscajor  
> which must be from Lhuyd’s deskadzher. I, too, can only find forms  
> of pyscador with <d> not with *j, *g or *dzh.

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