[Spellyans] holergh

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Sat Nov 9 13:43:19 GMT 2013

I've never seen this spelt: "helergh".  Who does that, and why?


On 2013 Du 9, at 11:58, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> I have been criticised for writing holergh rather than helergh 'late'. As far as I am aware the word is attested once only:
> Pan o pur holergh an gyth
> y tefenas vn marrek
> del deth an nef war y fyth
> ef a welas golow tek
> han meyn vmhelys yn weth
> ese a vgh Ihesus whek
> ha warnozo a yseth
> ell benegas lowenek 
> When the day was very late
> a soldier awoke
> as it came from heaven onto his face
> he saw a beautiful light
> and the stone overturned also
> which had been above sweet Jesus
> and upon it sitting
> a blessed joyful angel (PA 244).
> The criticism is invalid, but there is an interesting point here.
> Holergh is from a Celtic form *so-lerg- 'well advanced'.
> The vowel of so- when unstressed was reduced to schwa
> and then might have been expected to appear as eu. And this should
> later have unrounded to e. As it is the attested vowel is o.
> This is similar to the vowel in solabrys and solathyth, where
> the expected eu has retained its rounding before l.
> I think we may have a rule here. Where in Cornish unstressed eu from
> earlier o appears before l, it does not unround to e but 
> falls together with o from other sources: solabrys, solathyth, holergh.
> Nicholas
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