Saturday, 3 January 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 15 (Possessive adjectives 2)

Possessive adjectives 2

Another letter which you may see sprinkled through a text is <y> or <e>. In RLC his and her are both represented by the letter <e>. The mutations that follow them help to show which is which[1]. SWF gives a bit more help, distinguishing between <y> his and <hy> her.

y                                his
hy[2]                         her

cath                           a cat
y gath  [3]                 his cat
hy hath[4]                  her cat
o hath                        my cat
cota                           a coat
y gota                        his coat
hy hota                      her coat
o hota                        my coat

pocket                      a pocket
y bocket                   his pocket
hy focket                  her pocket
o focket[5]                my pocket

Of course, you can still use the personal pronoun after the noun to indicate possession, e.g.

an gath ev                 his cat (feminine noun)
an gath hei                her cat
an gath vy                 my cat
an cota ev                 his coat (masculine noun)
an cota hei                her coat
an cota vy                 my coat

an pocket ev            his pocket (masculine noun)
an pocket hei           her pocket
an pocket vy            my pocket

Or, for emphasis, you can combine both!

o hota vy                  my coat
y bocket e’               his pocket
hy hath hei               her cat

[1]Revived Middle Cornish (Nance’s rules) is much stricter about mutating. It was not always observed in Middle or Late Cornish texts.
[2] though the <h> in <hy> can be silent
[3] (soft mutation)
[4] (spirant mutation)
[5] Nicholas Boson, wrote <et a fokkat> for in my pocket  

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