[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Thu Jul 24 12:24:10 BST 2014


You say 'it is a mystery to me why Nance should have preferred the unattested borrowing'. It's really no mystery at all; ‹tastya› and other such loan words are borrowing from English, whereas it was very much the fashion of the day, or should I say the century, to aspire to "pure" languages, with few loan words. Note Romanian, which went through big changes in vocabulary by the attempt to re-romanise it, though it never ceased to be a Romance langage despite the large Slavic derived borrowed vocabulary. Or German, which suffered attempts to Germanise the many French loans, Faeroese which Old Norsifise and Icelandicises its standard vocabulary, which the many Danish loans live on colloquially. I could go on.... This, shall I call it, 19th century attitude is still very much alive in a large part of the Cornish revival who think it is absurd to revive a Celtic language riddled with English loan words - the aggressors' language, seeing English as the language that 'killed' Cornish. 


On Jul 24, 2014, at 12:53 PM, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> In Cornish, however, it never means 'taste'. The only word for 'taste, savour' is Lhuyd's sauarn AB: 105c.
> The only word for 'to taste' is tastya, which is attested no fewer than 18 times. Tastya is well attested
> largely because of the narrative of the fall in OM and CW where Eve and Adam taste the forbidden fruit.
> Given the prevalence of tastya, it is a mystery to me why Nance should have preferred the unattested borrowing
> *blasa. 
> Nance and later revivalists seem to have had no difficulties with ancombra 'to trouble', assoylya 'to resolve', crùllya 'to curl', dyghtya 'to treat',
> gordhya 'to worship', gwedhra 'to wither', gwetyas 'to hope', mellya 'to interfere', sconya 'to refuse', sewya 'to follow', sordya 'to rise up'
> and trailya 'to turn', yet all those verbs are borrowed from English.
> Presumably because they are not obviously borrowings. 
> Is is wise, I wonder, to select one's lexicon on the basis of ignorance? 
> Nance based much of the orthography and accidence of UC on the language of Pascon agan Arluth, the earliest long text to survive.
> Curiously PA contains a high proportion of borrowings from English, e.g. acordya 'to agree', blâmya 'to blame',
> comfortya 'to comfort', convyctya 'to convict', dampnya 'to condemn', decêvya 'to deceive', desîrya 'to desire', droppya 'to drop', dyscomfortya 'to discomfort', 
> grauntya 'to grant', grêvya 'to grieve', gwarnya 'to warn', jùjya 'to judge', onora 'to honour', praisya 'to praise', rebukya 'to rebuke', scolkya 'to skulk', scorjya 'to sourge', scornya 'to scorn', shakya 'to shake, sopya 'to sup', spêdya 'to succeed', strîvya 'to strive', temptya 'to tempt', tackya 'to nail', tormentya 'to pain', tùchya 'to touch' — to say nothing of the borrowed nouns,
> bason 'bason', box 'box, blow', box 'box, receptacle', cheryta 'charity', coveytys 'covetousness', dyscypyl 'disciple', gloteny 'gluttorny', payment 'payment', pryns 'prince', pryson 'prison', rêson 'reason', servys 'service', torment 'torment', traison 'treason', traitour 'traitor'.
> In the light of all these borrowings, and many more in PA and the other texts, it is difficult to see why Nance and his followers have been so reluctant to employ
> attested borrowing from English in use in traditional Cornish, but have been quite happy to use borrowings from Breton and Welsh that cannot be shown ever to have been part of the Cornish lexicon. Kenderow and *kenytherow are possible examples.
> Nicholas
> On 24 Jul 2014, at 11:08, Hewitt, Stephen <s.hewitt at unesco.org> wrote:
>> Blas also means ‘stink’ in Gwened (Vannetais) Breton J
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