[Spellyans] a vry

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Nov 7 18:35:30 GMT 2013

Of course I don't think the spoken language is substandard.
I do, however, think that Lhuyd's own Cornish is a very poor model indeed. Have you ever read his preface in AB from beginning to end?
Would any teacher really use the following as a text from which to learn for example?

MI a uôr por-dha (Pednzhivìkio Skientek) bôz mêr an gyndan uarnav, dho’ îl dheugh en le kenzama
neb Apolog py esgyzianz, rag kemeraz uarnav dho Skrefa ha gora ’mêz Gramatek ha ger-levran
Kernûak, pan nag ou vi na genez en Pou Kernou, na huâth tregyez en an ’Ulâz-ma mûi vel padzhar
mîz. An guirioneth yu hemma. Mi a vev Kelmez heruedh Gorhemmen neb Arlodho ha pednzhivìkio
Kembra, ha nepre erel dre ol an G’làskor-ma, dho skrefa ketella kalzha vi, uar an Tavaz Brethonek
(po kotha Lavar an Enez-ma) nèpeth moy try veva skrefyz arâg, gen an mêr-fyr ha’n mêr-skientek
A’hro an Deskadzher Davies, ha nepre erel abar’h Brethonek Kembrîan.

The sentences which Lhuyd records from other people are quite a different matter, e.g.

Me a vedn gàs gweles arta gordhuwher AB: 244c
Ujy gàs tas byw? AB 246a
Yw an vowes-na gàs whor? AB: 246
Yw hodna gàs whor why? AB 244c
Yma ev pòr haval dhis AB 242b,

etc. etc.

The point about such sentences from the spoken language, however, is that they are not Lhuyd's; they were merely recorded by him.
We are also grateful to Lhuyd for preserving the whole of Jowan Chy an Hordh. In several cases, however, Lhuyd did not understand what he heard in the tale.

The fact is that the plays are full of colloquial language, they were after all composed to be heard, not read.

Te falge horsen [n]am brag vy
avond tellek theth cregy 
You false son of a bitch, don't threaten me.
Buzz off, you ragamuffin, hang you!
BM 3491-9

is a good example. 

It is a canard to suggest that Middle Cornish is literary while Late Cornish is colloquial. Gendall has made such a claim, but it is not supported by the evidence.


On 7 Nov 2013, at 17:51, Chris Parkinson wrote:

> Do you think he failed to an extent that makes his material too suspect to use as a model? 

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