[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

ewan wilson butlerdunnit at ntlworld.com
Tue Jul 29 20:27:14 BST 2014

Eddie's point about the 'headstart' that the Cymry Digymraeg had is exactly 
what I had in mind but rather more clumsily expressed. Perhaps I should have 
said that at some instinctual level, having internalised so much of the 
syntax and vocabulary of the old language, these present day 'native' 
speakers are able to mimic with greater accuracy the prerevived rhythyms and 
lilts , even if the pronunciation and lexicon is not 100% exactly right!
I'm not sure I had Chomsky in mind at all with this observation as I cannot 
say his 'transformational-generative' theory entirely convinces me- as much 
of it as I ever properly understood, admittedly! Sydney Lamb's approach and 
his successors seemed to me to capture the actual linguistic processes of 
the brain more interestingly- though just as mind numbingly horrendous for 
ordinary mortals like myself to grasp as Chomsky! Think I'll stick to 'old 
fashioned' practical grammar- verbs, nouns, conjugations, declensions, 
parsing and word order- that sort of thing!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eddie Climo" <eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk>
To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 1:13 PM
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

> 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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