[Spellyans] adjectives

Hedley Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Apr 26 10:15:52 BST 2013

On 2013 Ebr 25, at 22:32, Pat Parry wrote:

> With apologies for having 'lurked' (and learnt) for so long ....
> Nicholas Williams would mutate the second adjective in 'yar rudh vian' but not with an intervening 'ha' (page 7 in Desky Kernowek).

Indeed, but by contrast, Caradar Smith in Cornish Simplified says only the the 1st adj. would lenite, and he gives the example 'bugh wyn tek' [CS1, §2.7, p.18]. I find Caradar to be very reliable on questions of both grammar and style.

> As to order, I suspect it depends on how the speaker regards the relative importance of the adjectives in question i.e. it's a personal thing to some extent. 

Agreed. One should aim to speak or write Cornish that 'sounds right', and the best way to improve one's stylistic judgement is to read or listen to lots of the language, both the historical texts and those written by best writers of Revived Cornish (such as Mordon Nance, Caradar Smith, Talek Hooper, and Perghyryn Palmer). These earlier writers had the advantage that they knew the language (and its historical corpus) using nothing but the Mark I human brain, instead of relying on computer searches (as some of the more recent 'experts' are wont to do).

> I would think of the hen in question as a red one which is little i.e.  yar rudh vian but others might think of it as a red-coloured little hen.

I've heard it put like this--that the adj nearest to the noun is the one that describes its most essential or intrinsic feature. Thus, the chicken is by nature red, while its size might change; it happens to be small just now. Similarly, the cow is a white one, which happens to be clean and beautiful just now (but might become unattractively bedaubed with muck). Thus 'yar ruth . . .', and 'bugh wyn . . .', with any less intrinsic adjs following on afterwards.

Eddie Climo
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