[Spellyans] fleece

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Wed Nov 25 16:52:15 GMT 2009

As far as I can see, there are three forms in Cornish alternate final - 
w with internal -v- or -f-.

The first is "fleece", which is spelt <knew> by Tregear. The verb  
knyvya 'to shear', however, he spells <knevys> in the verbal adjective:
kepar hag one ledys then folde the vos knevys y knew the veis  'like a  
lamb led to the fold to have his fleece shorn away' TH 23.

The second such item is the word for "nut", which Jon has mentioned in  
another posting today.
This Lhuyd writes as <kynyfan>, <kynyphan>, where the y is dotten to  
render a short mid-high rounded vowel. The simplex *know is not  
attested in the texts, but does occur in some early forms of the place- 
name Callenowth < kelly know "nut grove".

The third item is the word for "flood", which is attested in the  
singular as <lyf> seven times in OM, and as <lew> in the expression  
lew Noye "Noah's flood" at TH 7.
The plural form, however, is <lyvyow>, which occurs twice in CW.

The singular lyf in OM, in KS should probably be written <liv>, with a  
long vowel [i:] and a final [v]. The plural, then, would be <livyow>  
in KS, by the rule that <i> in the singular is retained in the plural,  
cf. tir, tiryow.I prefer, however, to write "flood" in the singular as  
<lyw> but the plural as <livyow>, keeping the alternation w/v, with  
final <w> in the monosyllabic form. I am not bothered that lyw "flood"  
and lyw "colour" are written and pronounced the same.
Similarly I should write <knofen> and <know> and <knevya> and <knew>  
or possibly <knyvya> and <knyw>. There is no difference in  
pronunciation between <knew> and <knyw>.


On 25 Du 2009, at 16:11, j.mills at email.com wrote:

> Lhuyd (1707: 170c) gives the form "knêu" for English 'fleece'.  
> George (GKK) gives this word as "knyv". Should we write this word  
> with final <-w> or <-v>?
> Jon
> _____________________________________
> Dr. Jon Mills,
> School of European Culture and Languages,
> University of Kent
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