[Spellyans] -ek > -og- in the SWF dictionary

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Fri Mar 30 18:46:12 BST 2018

I made a fool of myself on spellyans recently when I questioned medhogyon and medhoges in the SWF dictionary. I had forgotten vethogyan BK 795.

The SWF dictionary seems to have a rule that -ek in plurals and other derived forms become -og-. Thus they write boghosek poor and boghosogyon poor people. They do not, however, mention voghesegyon PC 538 and boxesègion AB: 242c.

Similarly they give marhek knight and pl. marghogyon. They do not mention marregyon OM 1613, PC 1613, 2347, RD 657; marreggyon RD 361; marregion RD 607 and marrègion AB: 242c.

The dictionary cites odhommek needy and odhomogyon needy people. The do not seem to mention othomegyon PC 2635.

They respell genesek BM 2287 as genesik and derive from it genesigeth. This latter agrees with genesygeth BM 4387 and enegegath SA 61a. Inconsistently, however, they take Nance’s coinage *gonesygeth ‘culture’ and respell it *gonisogeth.

The attested forms for the word for ‘mendacious’ are: gouhoc OCV; gowak TH 8; gowek RD 55 and  gûek AB: 88c. One might therefore expect the plural in the SWF to be *gowogyon. In fact it is gowygyon. This agrees with the attested form gowygyon RD 1478, 1510 and gouìgion AB: 242c.

Another etymon which may belong here is the dialect word bothak ‘hunchback’. Nance gives bothogyon as the plural. Yet vothygyon ‘goblins’ occurs at BK 1767. These items do not seem to be in the SWF dictionary.

To return to the word for ‘doctor.’ The attested forms of the singular are: medhec OCV; methek RD 1632, 1648, BM 731, 2528, 4394; medhek AB: 47c, 87c, 240c; medhik 240c; methak BK 1012 and methag TH 25a. The derived forms are medhecnaid OCV and methegyeth BM 1487. These the SWF dictionary cites as medhegneth and and medhegieth.

Since -ek > -og- is not a rule in traditional Cornish, there is no need to apply it in the revived language.

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