[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Tue Jul 22 18:44:10 BST 2014

We're back to the knotty problem.  Sources of attestation on Cornish are so limited.  However, if Lhuyd included <kenderu>, then that must mean that he, or his colleagues, heard it here in Cornwall.  If A. stands for Armorican, it need not mean that the word is exclusive to Brittany, but is also a feature of that language.

Where Nance got the plural of the word from is a mystery.  His 1938 dictionary usually indicates where a word has been reconstructed or assumed, but his entry for that does not do so.  It may have been a guess on his part but - as we know from BK - several of his guesses have turned out to have been very good ones.

I suggest that <kenderow> and <cosyn> both be accepted into revived Cornish, to be used according to personal preference.


On 2014 Gor 22, at 17:33, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> I wonder about that, Jon. 
> Of the two sources Borlase (1758) is earlier than Pryce (1790).
> Borlase gives:
> Kendereu, A. a Cousin-german.
> I assume that A. here is for Ar[morican].
> This looks as though it has been taken from the following two entries in Lhuyd:
> Consobrinus…A Cousin-German; A. Kenderu AB: 50c-51a
> Patruelis…A Cousin-german, brother's children. Ar. Kenderu, kompes AB: 114c
> Pryce's
> HANDERU (ACB Q 2 b verso) is, as you say, likely to be a misreading for Lhuyd's Kenderu from Lhuyd himself or from Borlase.
> If these two points are valid, then Kenderu is Breton, not Cornish.
> Handeru is a misreading of the Breton word.
> There is no attested Cornish word for 'cousin' apart from cosyn. 
> Nicholas
> On 22 Jul 2014, at 13:32, Jon Mills <j.mills at email.com> wrote:
>> Pryce's HANDERU is most probably from Tonkin's vocabulary in the Bilbao Library. I take the <H> to be copying error of an original handwritten <K>. Cornish cosyn is borrowed from Old Norman French, as is English cousin. I see nothing wrong with using cosyn.
>> Ol an gwella,
>> Jon
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