[Spellyans] taste

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sat Nov 22 14:10:52 GMT 2014

On 22 Nov 2014, at 13:53, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:

> But isn't it true, Nicholas, that over the years, some words change or extend their meaning, sometimes considerably?  English has numerous examples, where a word's use and meaning is rather different from their past ones.  While you are perfectly correct in your historical analysis, we are now aiming for a language to be used for the modern era.

Why, exactly, should one prefer an unattested loanword from Welsh or Breton “blasa” when there is a perfectly suitable loanword  from English “tastya” which is used frequently in the corpus? “Blasa” didn’t “extend its meaning” from the traditional Cornish vocabulary; it was introduced after the beginning of the revival, and the question is, “Why?” Is there something wrong with a borrowing from English? Ken George thought so, and so many revivalists seem to think that English loanwords are “defective”. But Cornish would not be Cornish without these loanwords, and nobody ever gives any real justification for avoiding some and not avoiding others. 

If “blasa” filled a needed gap for ’to taste', it would be great. But there wasn’t a gap: Nicholas’ citations from the Garden of Eden show this quite clearly. 

What Nicholas suggests is that “blas” is ‘a stench’ in traditional Cornish; so “blasa” might be used for ‘to stink’. Might this not be the best use of this word, since “tastya” exists already for ‘to taste’?

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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