[Spellyans] *gwruthyl and Glossary

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Aug 13 12:00:51 BST 2011

On 2011 Gor 31, at 09:22, Ray Chubb wrote:
> On 30 Gor 2011, at 15:38, nicholas williams wrote:
>> Notice incidentally that the rounded glide after g in gruthyl reappears when the initial is lenited. wruthyl is attested 18 times
> The normal way of restoring lenited forms in 'gwra' is simply to replace the 'g'.  I hardly think that Nance can be accused of using an unattested form when he did this.

Just so. Checking the paradigms for 'gul' in 'Kernewek Sempelhes' (Caradar), Nance 1938 and NJAW 2006, I note that ALL forms of the verb (save only some variants of the verb-noun)' begin with <gw->: every person, tense, voice and mood, without exception.

If a competent Kernewegor were to come across any of those words in lenited form, with initial <w->, s/he would naturally un-lenite it regularly to <gw->. And I daresay that not all those un-lenited forms are attested in the historical corpus. Yet, among all this swathe of perfect regularity, Nicholas asserts (for no stated reason) that 'wruthyl' is the sole exception.

Nance treated 'wruthyl' as any sensible grammarian would: lacking any reason to treat the word as being irregular, he interpolated it as regular. This is, for example, what is usual practice amongst Latin grammarians who, like their Celtic counterparts, fail to find an attestation for every word in the lexicon in every single one of its mutated and/or inflected forms. Like Nance, they interpolate. So, if they fail to find, say, the gerundive of 'vomitare' (since no Latin scribe perhaps has ever felt the need to write a sentence such as, "This putrid hot-dog is to be regurgitated immediately!")*, what are they to do?

Their sensible response, as competent linguists and grammarians, is to say, 
> "In all its attested forms, 'vomitare' behaves as a perfectly regular first-conjugation -ARE verb. Thus, we have no reason to assume that it would behave irregularly in forming its gerundive, and therefore we interpolate the unattested form to be 'vomitandum'."

And, for following this sensible approach—used as standard by competent classical linguists—he gets sniped at, yet again, by Nicholas, with an accusation of indulging in 'inventions'.

Eddie Climo

*with a little help from Google Translate, this might be rendered as, "Hic canis-calidus putris statim vomitandum est."
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