[Spellyans] cledh etc

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Sat Jan 12 12:40:03 GMT 2013

The short answer may be now, but there is a long answer too. I don't believe the examples Jan has provided us with all had the same root vowel. While attested in the textual corpus (cleath (CW), klêdh (Lhuyd), cledh (Pryce); (pl.) kledhioụ (Lhuyd), clediou (Pryce)) in a spelling that would suggest a front rounded vowel such as /œ/, there is at least a strong likelihood that this was the original vowel found in Cornish. For example we have the instance of the placename ‹Cargloth› "fort by a (small) ditch" (spelt ‹Cargluthan› in 1432) and I will trust Craig's expert judgment that -gloth, -gluthan are instances of cleudh or *cleudhyn. This example shows that until the 15th century at least the vowel was rounded. Other place name element spelling are -gluthe, -gloeth and -gleath. This suggests a regular development from /œ/ to [eː]. With these examples in mind I believe a phonological reconstruction */klœð/ for a conservative variety of Middle Cornish to be legitimate. This form is also supported by the Breton and Welsh cognates ‹kleuz› and ‹clawdd› respectively. These must be from an earlier British *klād- root, thus reflecting an old root noun with a lengthened grad of the root (Schrijver). 

On the other hand a root with a short *a in British *klad- is also attested in the descendant language (not the 0-grade, but probably analogical (Schrejver, Matasović)). B ‹klaz, klazañ, klazadur, klazer› W ‹cladd, claddu, claddfa, claddiad, claddle, claddogof, claddwr›. In Cornish the short root is attested ‹anclathva› (PC). 

The question is whether the long (noun) root *klād- (> C *cleudh-) was used in the formation of the verb or the short root *klad- (> C *cladh-, or *cledh- with i-mutation). Most of the attested forms of the verb in Cornish have ‹e› or ‹i/y› in the manuscript spellings which, in my opinion makes a verbal base derived from the short root *klad- more likely, despike Hawke's attestation ‹anclotha›. Pryce on the other hand has a third person singular ‹anclath›, but this is not corroborated by native writers. An informed guess would be that the verb is from *klad- and should thus be spelt ‹cledhy(a)›.

What seems to be the case in all three British languages is that each having both roots *klad- and *klād- lead to considerable analogical formations and derivations from both roots (B klaz- ~ kleuz-; W cladd- ~ clawdd, clodd-; C cladh-, cledh- ~ cleudh). 

My recommendation for the spellings in the SWF are:

- interpret the noun 'ditch, trench' as a reflex of *klād- and spell ‹cleudh›; 
- derived from the above ‹cleudhyn› 'small ditch'; and the verb ‹cleudhya› 'dig a trench' (cf. B ‹kleuziañ›, W ‹cloddio›); other modern formations to do with a secular type of digging, 'trench, ditch etc'; 

- the verb and noun ‹ancledhyas› 'bury(ing), inter(ment)' assumed to be derived from *klad-  and spelt: ‹ancledhyas› (3.sg.pres. ‹ancladh›); also ‹ancladhva› and other derivatives to do with a more sacred form of 'burying' and 'interring'.   

What do you all think?



On Jan 12, 2013, at 10:15 AM, njawilliams wrote:

> The short answer: NO. There are no attested examples of <eu> in any of these etyma anywhere in traditional Cornish. The <eu> spellings are from KK. 
> Sent from my iPhone
> On 2013 Gen 11, at 22:45, Janice Lobb <janicelobb at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dick has  clêdh for a ditch, dyke, trench, cutting, drain and meangledh for quarry
>> whereas SWF has mengleudh for quarry
>> and dowrgleudh for canal
>> Dick has ancledhi for to bury, to inter,
>> cledhez for buried, “ditched”
>> ancladhvah for burial place, cemetery
>> ancledhiaz for interment
>> while SWF has ynkleudhyas for to bury
>> ynkladhva for cemetery, graveyard
>> ynkleudhyans for burial, funeral
>> I prefer the look of Dick’s,  
>> but Q1 is the –eu- vowel justified in SWF?
>> and Q2 is there any connection with sword cledha/kledha?
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