[Spellyans] A breakdown of Cornish vocabulary.

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Sat Aug 25 12:30:32 BST 2018


I haven’t got any statistics on the size of the loan vocabulary in Cornish, but if memory serves, Ken George did an analysis, so maybe he might be the one to ask. 

While in overall size, the Germanic part of the English vocabulary seems small, it does not accurately reflect the truth of the situation. The 26% decribe the Germanic share of the whole vocabulary of a large dictionary, however, these 26% contain the most frequently used words of the English language, so on paper, and even more so in the mouths of its speakers, the Germanic share of English is much, much larger. 


> On 25.08.2018, at 11:33, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:
> Has anyone ever carried out a breakdown of the vocabulary of Cornish to determine the origins of each word?
> I ask this after seeing the results of a study of English with concludes that the current language consists of:
> 26% Germanic
> 29% French
> 29% Latin
> 6% Greek
> 10% Others
> Or, as someone remarked:  "English is not as English as the English think it is!"
> Although Cornish undeniably contains many loan words from other languages, I fancy that its Brythonic content will be rather higher than the surprisingly low Germanic content of modern English (I'd have estimated 40% Germanic), and might be a very good answer to those many people who persist in claiming that Cornish is "made up".
> Craig
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