[Spellyans] vocabulary

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Tue Jun 22 18:56:22 BST 2010

I'm concerned over one or two views that have been expressed re.  
vocabulary.  On one hand I'm hearing support for tota Cornicitas, and  
on the other, I'm hearing that a word only attested in OCV and not in  
the MC/Tudor texts shouldn't be used (stevel being an example that  
immediately springs to mind; use rom instead is the advice).  I don't  
agree with this.  Here's an example to illustrate why I think this way.

Dyek (SWF: diek), 'lazy' occurs on OCV as 'dioc', and not in MC at  
all.  Until the 80s, when Dick Gendall was the first to look at Late  
Cornish in depth, it was being assumed that the word didn't survive  
into MC.  In fact, it must have survived into Late Cornish because it  
turns up in dialect as 'jack'.  So, if the word made it to Late  
Cornish and dialect, it follows that it must have existed in MC.  We  
just don't have a text that features it and, let's face it, we only  
have a fraction of the texts that must once have existed.  Attestation  
in MC texts supports the use of a word; absence from what survives of  
the MC texts is not a reason for rejection.  It only tells us that the  
word isn't found in those few texts; not that it didn't exist.

For me, tota Cornicitas is essential.

I'm afraid that some words being put forward will never find use with  
me.  I don't see the point of 'valy' for "valley", when so many  
Cornish words for different types of valley already exist. Nor am I  
minded to reject lyw/liw (or however we're spelling it) in favour of  
'color'.  I want to write Cornish.  I already know English.

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