[Spellyans] horseman

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Wed Oct 31 15:33:16 GMT 2012

In Cornish the word for 'horseman' ends either in -ek or -ak:

marrak PA 246, BK 1514, 1632, 1648, marrack NBoson

marrek PA 241d, 242a, 244a, 245a, OM 2004, 2139, 2150, 2204, 2226, 2338, BM 350, 2444.
marreg PA 190b, 190c, 217a, 218b.

The voicing of the final stop in marreg is probably to be explained by dissimilation. The reduction of the medial -rx- to -rh- (and thus a devoiced r)
probably led to the voicing of the final segment by dissimilation of the sequence voiceless + voiceless > voiceless + voiced.

The original shape of the word was probably *marhek < *marxâko- cf. Welsh marchog < earlier marchawc.

The expected plural with o (cf. bohosek, but bohosogyon) is seen in 

marrogyon BM 221, BK 1946, 2381, marrogyan BK 2252
marogyan  OM 1876, marogyen BM 1742, marogyon BM 294, 815, 4359, BK 3286.

There is, however, an analogical plural in -egyon:

marregyon PC 1613, 2347, RD 657, marregion RD 607.

I think the revived language should allow both, and spell them marhogyon, marhegyon.


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