[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jul 29 13:13:21 BST 2014

Agreed, Clive.

When I was studying Welsh in evening classes at Bangor Uni, with an L1 native Gwynedd tutor, some of her students were 'Cymry Digymraeg', Welsh people who didn't speak a word of Welsh. From her many years of teaching the language, she was able to tell them that they had a great advantage over the other non-Welsh learners (like me, soweth!), inasmuch as they already had the accent, the lilt, and quite a lot of the phonemes. And from the evidence of my own ears as the course progressed, hearing them speak beginner's Welsh, she was dead right: the blighters sounded a lot more Welsh from Day 1 than I ever managed to! Hah!

In a similar way, when I listen to some Kernewegoryon who have been brought up in Cornwall, I find exactly the same thing—their Kernewek just sounds proper Cornish…no question! In this group, I would include Richard Gendall, Neil Kennedy, Ray Chubb, Matthi Clarke, Rod Lyon, and, perhaps my favourite, the late Jowann Pengelly, to name but a few. Their Kernewek has doubtless been given a head start by their familiarity with the accent, lilt and phonemes of Cornish English.

But amongst those of us who have not been brought up in Cornwall, there are not so many who have that authentic sound (to my ears, at least). I aspire to this 'blas' (as they say in Ireland), but I know I'm not there yet—but, equally, neither do those who are wont to denigrate the pronunciation of other Kernewegoryon.

To be blunt, the arguments of (self-styled) academic  'experts' on this issue would be much more convincing if they could speak Kernewek and sound like Kernowyon rather than foreigners. Lacking that, their pronouncements are as unconvincing as those of a deaf person laying down rules on the best way to play the flute.

Saw agas revrons, del wodher!

Eddie Climo

> On 29 Gor 2014, at 11:54, Clive Baker wrote:
> A bit like the Cornish dialect greeting, now that is a natural Cornish sound with nothing speculative about it.

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