[Spellyans] ha versus hag

Mike R mremic01 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 19:41:23 BST 2016

Hi Nicholas,

It must certainly be easier for learners to use either *ha* or *hag*
consistently rather than choosing a form based on its environment. We tend
to think in terms of hard and fast rules, as we come from a time when our
languages are standardized and we learn 'correct' and 'incorrect' grammar
in schools. When dealing with medieval texts, we might do better to think
in terms of tendencies. A similar tendency exists in Middle Welsh for *a*
and *ac*, for example, but it's hardly consistent between manuscripts.

I would definitely agree that, if we were to settle on one form or another,
it should be the one that most closely reflects the tendencies of the
traditional corpus. But we also need to keep in mind that historical events
shape language, and the revival itself is a historical event. If this is
how speakers are speaking today, maybe the best course of action would be
to simply make note of their shifting tendencies in grammars and let each
learner decide based on their own preferences.

On Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 5:26 AM, Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>

> In spoken revived Cornish the default word for ‘and’ seems to be *hag*.
> On Radyo an Gernewegva, for example, speakers seem to use *hag* to join
> words and clauses rather than *ha* irrespective of whether a vowel
> follows or not. In traditional Cornish, however, *ha* is commonly used
> not only before consonants but also before vowels as well. I have listed a
> few examples from the texts in *Geryow Gwir.* The examples are found in the
> earliest texts, e.g. *ha ynno* PA 233a, *ha y ny wozyens* PA 254c, *ha yn
> dour* OM 2790,* ha ene *RD 1267, *ha a vo lel vygythys* RD 1143. Tregear
> writes *Adam ha Eva* TH 3, *adam ha eve* TH 4 and in JCH one finds *ha ev
> a uelaz golou* §26 and *Ha ev a dhêth a mes arta* §41.
> *ha ow* where *ow* is the preverbal particle is attested 13 times in TH
> and SA whereas *hag ow* is attested twice only in TH and not at all in SA.
> In Sacrament an Alter *ha eva* ‘and to drink’ occurs twice. Sacrament an
> Alter even writes *hef* for ‘and he’: *mas Dew ascendias then neff, hef
> asas vmma e kig theny* ‘God ascended into heaven, and he left his flesh
> here for us’ SA 60.
> What does this mean? Is the rule that *hag* precedes a vowel invalid? Are
> *ha* and *hag* before vowels in free variation? Should learners be
> encouraged to use *ha* before vowels?
> Nicholas
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