[Spellyans] rag an Piwasow Holyer an Gof

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Sun Jul 22 13:50:39 BST 2012

On the website of Gorseth Kernow one reads:

Profyansow yw gelwys rag an Piwasow Holyer an Gof 2012, hag yw ordenys pub bledhen gans Gorsedh Kernow.

The word for 'award, reward, retribution' is attested twice in the texts:

yn meth pylat worth an myns an pegh peuas ris yv ry 'said Pilate according to the crime the deserts must be given' PA 117c
Bounas heb dueth Eu poes karens wei Tha Pobl Bohodzhack Paull han Eglis nei 'Eternal life is the reward for your live to the poor of Paul and our church' Memorial to Captain Stephen Hutchens.

Since Middle Cornish pewas has become Late Cornish powas, the word is similar in vocalism to bewnans/bownans, clewes/clowes, etc.  In KS the word would be pêwas or pôwas. The spelling *piwas derives from KK and is without foundation.

But the spelling of *piwas, pewas is a side issue. The more important matter is this: the noun-phrase Holyer an Gof contains the definite article an and means literally 'the follower of the Smith'. Holyer an Gof is definite therefore and the inclusion of an before Piwasow is incorrect. The whole is already definite; it does not need to be rendered definite twice.  The whole should have read: Profyansow yw gelwys rag Piwasow Holyer an Gof 2012, hag yw ordenys pub bledhen gans Gorsedh Kernow.

Gorseth Kernow 'exists to maintain  the national Celtic spirit  of Cornwall.' It is a pity they do not seem to understand this simple point of Cornish syntax.

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