Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 7 (Verbal particles 2)

Verbal particles 2

The locative form of boas is used with secondary verbs (as in English “He is buying”.). An additional verbal particle is used with this locative form of boas. In English we form the present participle by adding “-ing”  to the end of the verb. In Late Cornish we put o[1] in front of it. e.g.

perna                                       buy
o perna[2]                                buying
Ma va o perna.                        He is buying.
kelly                                         lose
o kelly                                      losing
Ma hei o kelly.                         She is losing.
moas[3]                                    go
o moas                                     going
Ma hei o moas.                       She is going.

Middle Cornish biased SWF uses owth in front of vowels, to make pronunciation smoother[4], e.g.

eva                                           drink
owth eva                                 drinking
Ma va owth eva.                     He is drinking.

The presence of the verbal particle causes the initial letter of some following verbs to mutate. Instead of the softening we have seen before, this time they harden, so different letters are involved. A full list will be given later, but here are some examples:

doas                                         come
o toas                                       coming
Ma hei o toas.                         She is coming.
Ma hei o toas tre.                    She is coming home.

debry                                       eat
o tebry                                     eating
Ma va o tebry tesen.               He is eating a cake.

[1] RMC <ow>.  In RLC, if used at all, this was spelt <a>. Pronunciation is schwa - in other words just an unformed, neutral vowel. Don’t make it rhyme with [cow].  In conversation it is frequently omitted anyway.
[2] However, the <o> is not needed if you use the present participle as a verbal noun (gerund in English), as in “I like buying shoes.”
[3] Single syllable without pronouncing the <a> component separately. Middle Cornish <mos>. Pronounced /mozz/ rather broadly. The same vowel combination is seen in only a few other words.
[4] RLC can get round the problem by leaving it out, especially when speaking! e.g.  Mava eva.  

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