[Spellyans] a vry

ewan wilson butlerdunnit at ntlworld.com
Thu Nov 7 11:12:21 GMT 2013

Nicolas' observations on Nance's UC grammar as compsred with what's in the actual texts is extremely useful.
I realise it'd be a major task to expand this but if you went through the grammar- syntax and morphology- systematically, noting such disjunctions I reckon you'd be doing us an immense favour, Nicholas! We'd owe you an even more immense debt of gratitude!
What sayest thou?!

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Nicholas Williams 
  To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
  Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 9:40 PM
  Subject: Re: [Spellyans] a vry

  I don't think we have. Gendall thought the choice was between UC and the Later Cornish of Rowe, Boson and the eighteenth century scholars. Lhuyd is unreliable, because he didn't know Cornish and never really understood parts of the syntax, for example he writes me a vev 'I was', etc. instead of the correct me a ve, etc.
  Gendall has since revised his position and is now prepared to use Tregear as a source, though TH is Middle Cornish, not Late Cornish in orthography. 
  The choice was not between Middle Cornish and Late Cornish, but between Nance's purist construct i.e. UC, and the actual Cornish of the texts.
  Nance was in my view quite culpable here.

  It is obvious from the texts and from Lhuyd's express statement on the matter, that the ordinary and neutral way of making the future was with the auxiliary
  mynnes. I will go in the texts is me a vyn mos, but Nance used my a wra mos or my a.
  It is also obvious that with conditionals the auxiliary verb in the texts is dos: mar tema disquethas theugh SA 60; mones the vyras deffry
  mar a tueth ha dasserhy RD 682-3. Nance didn't allow this, or perhaps he hadn't noticed it.
  Negative unreal conditions in the texts are made with na ve: na ve bos fals an denma
  nyn drossen ny bys deso PA 99b; na ve creya warnogh why kellys ol y fyen ny BM 2169-70
  It is clear that the ordinary way of making the 1st sg and plural imperative was with gas/gesowgh: gas vy lemmyn th'y hure
  yn queth kyns ys y vayle RD 3196-97; Gesow ny the wull den TH 1a.
  Nance does not seem to have noticed that indirect speech could be expressed after dell or fatel in the earliest texts:
  a tus vas why re welas 
  fetel formyas dev an tas
  nef ha nor war lergh y vrys 'good people you have seen that God the Father created heaven and earth according to his will' OM 2825-27.
  Pre-occlusion occurs in BM CW and Lhuyd. Nance based much of his phonology on Lhuyd but he wouldn't countenance pre-occlusion.
  The rhotacisation of -s- in gerys < gesys and nag eran ny < nag eson ny occurs in TH and SA, but Nance didn't allow it.
  3rd plural prepositional pronouns are well attested in TH and SA, but are not countenanced in UC.

  Nance thought that the reflexive had to be made with om-, which is not true. y honen is commoner; verbs in om- are often different in sense from the simplex.

  I could continue. In so many ways Nance went for the archaic and the purist, when the actual language of the MC texts from PA onwards
  was much more racy, more colloquial than he allowed.

  Gendall saw that UC was unworkable, but made, I believe, the wrong choice. Instead of following the texts and producing a workable version of revived
  Middle Cornish while it was still written in the traditional way and was still a full language, Gendall attempt to base his system on the fragmentary remains of 17th and 18th century Cornish.

  It is for this reason that I constantly stress the continuity between Middle and Late Cornish, which Nance's UC regrettably tends to disguise.
  Of course Gendall got bogged down in orthography because his sources lacked a standard, unlike the authors of the sixteenth century.


  On 6 Nov 2013, at 19:54, Chris Parkinson wrote:

    I think we have already covered this ground in a discussion in May. Late Cornish as I understand it was  the spoken Cornish which Lhuyd and many contemporaries attempted to collect and record before the language was lost. 


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