[Spellyans] loan words

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Sat Feb 19 09:13:45 GMT 2011

Over the past few months, I've been talking to Cornish users (of all  
varieties) about the subject of loan words, particularly ones from  
English and largely introduced in 16th century manuscripts, notably by  
Tregear.  Do they prefer "ryver" to "awon"; "remembra" to "perthy cof/ 
cov"; "onderstondya" to "convedhes"?

The consensus is overwhelming.  They prefer to use the Cornish word  
and see the loan words as useful only to provide variety in a textual  
work, or lengthy speech, to avoid repetition.

One made the point that to use the sg. imperative of "onderstondya",  
would make the speaker sound like Ian Paisley!

It's been said somewhere that imperatives can't be formed from "perthy  
cof/cov" - to bear memory - but surely they can.  Perth cof/cov (sg.);  
perthyewgh cof/cov (pl.).  Nance gives per' co' as a Late sg. imp.   
These have to be better Cornish than "Remember!"

In France, they campaign against "Franglais"; in Russia, against  
"Russlish".  I think Cornish needs to minimise "Cornglish".

Craig Weatherhill

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