[Spellyans] how to do

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Dec 16 10:40:15 GMT 2010

Autonomous forms are finite but they lack an expressed logical subject.
Fatell might have been used with the autonomous—though there are no examples. 

The fact is that autonomous forms are far too common in revived Cornish. 
Nance wanted to believe that they were in general use, possibly because
he thought expressions like yth yw gwelys 'it is seen' to be too English.

There are no autonomous forms, as far as I can see, in Tregear.
Moreover autonomous forms are very rare indeed elsewhere and are going out of use.

OM begins: 
En tas a nef y'm gylwyr 'I am called the Father of heaven'

But BM starts:
Me yw gylwys duk bryten 'I am called the Duke of Brittany'

So the autonomous form y'm gylwyr has become me yw gylwys.

I have collected the following forms of the present autonomous:

y'm gylwyr x 3 (OM, PC, BK)
y hyller x 1 (PA)
may haller x 6 (all in Ordinalia)
y wrer, ny wrer (PC, RD)
mar mynner (BM)

may haller is a set phrase, just as is the personal form may halla.

gwrer 'is made, will be made' occurs twice, but bos + gwres occurs 5 times; bos + gwreys x 1; bos + grueys 22 times; bos + gureys x 8.
I can find no example of *gwelyr, *gweler 'is seen, let be seen' but bos + gwelys occur 15 times
I can find no example of *clewyr, *clewer 'is heard, let be heard' but bos + clewys occurs 5 times and bos + clowys 6 times.
I cannot find any example the autonomous forms of gothfos, gothvos, but bos + gothvethis, gothvethys occurs 10 times.
There do not seem to be any examples of the autonomous forms of leverel or scryfa, though bos + leverys and bos + scryfys are very well attested.

In short in Middle Cornish autonomous forms occur rarely and in set phrases. The passive is almost invariably expressed by
a collocation of the verb bos 'to be' and the verbal adjective.

It is perfectly possible to write good idiomatic Cornish without using any autonomous forms.


On 2010 Kev 15, at 18:14, Eddie Climo wrote:

>> Fatel yllyr danvon dhedhy / bos ethom mur dhym anedhy?

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