[Spellyans] Tregear's Cornish

j.mills at email.com j.mills at email.com
Tue Aug 24 13:37:44 BST 2010

I presume 'coltrebyn' is a reflex of Old Cornish 'cantulbren' [Vocabularium Cornicum: 756].
Ol an gwella

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

-----Original Message-----
From: nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>
To: Standard Cornish discussion list <spellyans at kernowek.net>
Sent: Tue, Aug 24, 2010 12:21 pm
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Tregear's Cornish

Some words in TH have been adapted to Cornish phonetic type, like spryngya, lyftya. These can surely be used.
Interestingly <spryngya, speringya, springya> was confined to Tregear until BK was discovered. Now we have

A Christ, re be benegas!
Attomma fyntan spryngys BK 785-86.

Decevya 'deceive' is used by both TH and SA, but the first attestation is in Pascon agan Arluth: Pehadoryon rag perna
o desevijs dre satnas 'to redeem sinners who had been deceived by Satan' PA 5c. Rebukya is used frequently by TH but the first attestation again is in PA: ena y an rebukyas 'then they rebuked him' PA 112a and ef a ve veyll rebukis 'he was vilely rebuked' PA 156a.
I have not done a thorough word count, but it always seems to me that PA has proportionally more borrowed verbs than any other
text apart from TH and SA; yet in date of composition PA is the oldest MC text. 
And when it comes to adverbs BK takes the biscuit with ha sekretly bew hedre vy ow ro theso a vyth clere 'and secretly as long as you live my gift to you will be clear' BK 638-40.

Again forsakya 'forsake' looks like one of Tregear's words; oddly enough it is used three times in BM, once by Nicholas Boson in JCH and only twice by TH.

The word attendya 'attend, pay attention to' occurs 14 times:
PA x 1
BM x 7
BK x 3
CW x 1
and twice in TH. So this word, though obviously a borrowing, is well established long before TH.

For 'disciple' we all learnt dyskybel, plural dyskyblon. I have been criticised for using the plural dyscyplys, as though the word came from TH.
It does of course, but the first attestations are zyscyplys PA 52a; PA 55c and dysciplys PC 391.
Moreover TH has some excellent native words not found elsewhere in MC:

coltrebyn 'candlestick'; denlath 'murderers'; an hollsens 'all saints'.

We should perhaps not be too quick to condemn TH's vocabulary out of hand. 


On 24 Est 2010, at 11:16, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

I think we have to take great care which we adopt into Cornish, and why we do so.


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