Thursday, 8 January 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 19 (adjectives)


As we have seen in Verbs I and II, adjectives can be used with the descriptive form of <boas> to be,[1] e.g.

Da ew.                                               It’s good.                     
Hager ew ev.                                    He is ugly.
Thew hei wheg.                               She is nice.
Drog o.                                             It was bad.
Tho teg.                                           It was lovely.
Tho vy yonk.                                   I am/was young.

But it is the job of adjectives to describe nouns, e.g.

den                                                  a man            
da                                                     good  
den da                                             a good man 

benyn                                              a woman
wheg                                                nice/kind
benyn wheg                                    a nice/kind woman

kei                                                    a dog
drog                                                  bad
kei drog                                            a bad dog

chei                                                   a house
teg                                                     lovely
chei teg                                             a lovely house

flogh[2]                                             a child
yonk                                                  young
flogh yonk                                        a young child

bord                                                   a table
isel                                                     low
bord isel                                            a low table

You have more examples in Section 1 above, using a noun as an adjective, e.g.

pot mel                                              a honey pot

As you can see, the adjective normally follows the noun. A few adjectives, however, (often “loan words”) go in front of the noun, e.g.

awel[3]                                               weather
hager                                                 ugly, bad
hager awel                                        ugly weather, bad weather, stormy weather

kist                                                     a chest
hujes                                                 huge
hujes kist                                          a huge chest

When the adjective follows a feminine noun it may mutate (more about this later), e.g.

benyn                                               a woman
coth                                                  old
benyn goth                                      an old woman

teg                                                    beautiful
benyn deg                                        a beautiful woman

We can combine any of the above with an appropriate version of <boas> to be, e.g.

Den da ew ev.                                  He is a good man.   
Benyn wheg ew hei.                       She is a kind woman.
Chei teg ew.                                     It’s a lovely house.
Flogh yonk o vy.                             I was a young child.
Hager awel o.                                   It was bad weather.
Ma den coth ena.                            There is an old man there.

[1]  Pronounced /bozz/. Middle Cornish <bos>.
[2] Pronounced like English [flow] with a slightly breathy end. The <g> is silent. Also written <floh>
[3] Pronounced rather like English [owl] 

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