Saturday, 3 January 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 13 (Verbal particles 3)

Verbal particles 3

The letter a figures widely as a verbal particle, in tenses other than the present continuous tense[1]. The example given here is the preterite (simple past tense). The verbal particle follows a personal pronoun, such as ev he or hei she, or a name or noun. As you can see the verbal particle produces a soft mutation in some initial consonants[2]:

doas                                                   come
a dheuth                                            came
debry                                                 eat
a dhabras[3]                                      ate
gweles                                               see     
a welas                                              saw
sedha                                                sit
a sedhas                                           sat

Ev a dhabras tesen.                        He ate (a) cake.
Hei a dheuth tre.                             She came home.
Jory a dhabras o aval.                   George ate my apple.
An den a welas cok.                      The man saw a fishing boat.

[1] In Late Cornish <o> in the present continuous tense fell towards <a>, though it continued to produce the same mutations as <o>.
[2] See Table B for more examples.
[3] Most regular preterites end in <-as> (<-az> in RLC); dheuth came is not regular in that sense.

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