[Spellyans] 'who' in Cornish

Hewitt, Stephen s.hewitt at unesco.org
Tue Jul 19 09:07:44 BST 2011

This is amazing. Can one not say chy pyw in Cornish for “whose house”? You can in Welsh and Breton, but of course CORNISH IS NOT BRETON/WELSH, etc.





From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of nicholas williams
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 10:04 AM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] 'who' in Cornish


There is no relative pronoun in Cornish. Thus there can be no word corresponding to relative whose.

Instead of such a pronoun one uses the relative particle a (or no particle before vowels in bos an mos)

If the antecedent is neither the object nor the subject in the relative clause, but is governed by a preposition in English,  a prepositional pronoun is used in Cornish.


tus benegas ha benenas in testament coth a rug vsia gwyska yscar ha canfas garow, an pith a vetha gwrys syehar anotha

'holy men and women in the old testament used to wear hessian and rough canvas, that which bags used to be made from' TH 6a


ny a yll bos sure, fatell ra eff in tyrmyn ay vicitacyon agan humbrag ny in ban then wlas vgy y vab Jhesus crist inhy tregys 'we can be sure, that he will in the time of his visitation lead us up to the kingdom in which his son Jesus Christ dwells' TH 11a


kepar ha in gweder why a yll gwelas ha percevia gas bewnans ha gothfas in pana danger esow why inna 'as in a glass you can see and perceive your life and know what kind of danger in which you are' TH 28a


Alas, pana cas vsy an rena inna neb a rug seperatya aga honyn ha naha an catholyk egglos 'Alas what a plight are those people in who separated themselves and denied the Catholic church' TH 32a


ha mar te ha gull an dra a ra an perill skynnya anotha wosa y bosa gwarnys y fowt ew the vrassa ha the voy 'and if he goes and does the thing from which the danger derives after he has been warned, his fault is the greater'  TH 4


hen o an gwryoneth an catholyk feith a rug eff cowse anotha 'that was the truth of the Catholic faith of which he spoke' TH 18a


ha in aga myske yth esa henna esa crist pub vr ow kull mer anotha, henn o S Johan 'and among them was he of whom Christ always made much, that is St John'  TH 43


kepar hag one ledys then folde the vos knevys y knew the veis 'like a lamb lead to the fold whose fleece is to be cut off' TH 23


I can at present find no exact parallels to your sentence with relative whose in them, though the last is perhaps the closest. Your sentences in Cornish would use a similar syntax:


This is the man whose house you viewed: Hèm yw an den a wrussowgh why miras orth y jy.


This is the man whose house fell down: Hèm yw an den a wrug y jy codha dhe'n dor.


He is the man on whose shoulder the pigeon landed: Ev yw an den a wrug an golom lôndya wàr y scoodh. 


John is the man whose shoulders sagged under the weight: Jowan yw an den a wre y scodhow plegya in dàn an poos.




Your first three sentences are not relative, but interrogative. Here one can use the defective verb pew 'owns'; cf.


Ne ren vry pew a’s pewa, kyn fe va arluth mar vras 'We don't care whose it is, be he a so great lord' BK 100-01.




Whose house fell down? Pyw a bew an chy a godhas?


Whose house did you view? Pyw a bew an chy a wrussowgh why miras orto?


>From whose phone were you calling? Pyw a bew an pellgowser esewgh why ow kelwel dhyworto?


For the first two you might also say: Pyw eus tregys i'n chy a godhas? and Pyw eus tregys i'n chy a wrussowgh why miras orto?


For the last one might also say Pyw a ros dhywgh y bellgowser dhe elwel dhyworto?












On 2011 Gor 18, at 20:04, ewan wilson wrote:

Whose house fell down?

Whose house did you view?

>From whose phone were you calling?

The man whose house you viewed.

The man whose house fell down.

The man on whose shoulder the pigeon landed.

The man whose shoulders sagged.



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