Saturday, 10 January 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 25 (Possessive adjectives 3)

Possessive adjectives 3

We have seen the singular possessive adjectives used in front of nouns:

o                                            my
y                                            his
hy                                          her
o hanow                                my name
y hanow                                his name
hy hanow                              her name

As in

Jan ew o hanow.                 Jan is my name.[1]My name is Jan.
Jowan ew y hanow ev.[2]    His name is John.

And we have seen that some nouns mutate after possessive adjectives.[3] e.g.

poll                                      a pool
o foll                                    my pool
tesen                                   a cake
y desen                               his cake
carr                                     a car
hy harr                                her car

For extra emphasis these can be combined with the personal pronouns, e.g.

o foll vy                                 my pool
y desen ev                            his cake
hy harr hei                            her car

Now we can add some plural possessive adjectives[4]:
agan                                      our
agas                                      your

agan poll                              our pool
agan tesedn ow                   our cakes
agan carr                              our car

agas tasow                          your fathers
agas kei                               your dog
agas treven                         your houses

The Lord’s Prayer combines agan and nei:

Agan Tas nei eus en Nev…                                 
                                             Our Father that there is in Heaven…

Nag eus moy vel pajar po pemp en drev nei ’ell clappya Kernowek lebmen…[5]
There are not more than four or five in our town that can speak Cornish now

William Bodinar was a Cornish fisherman. In 1776 he wrote a letter about himself. Here are a few snippets of the things he wrote, in his own, rather inconsistent, spelling:

Bluth vee eue try egence a pemp…
…gen seara vee a pemp dean moy en cock…
Nag es moye vel pager po pemp…
…poble coath pager egance blouth…

Here is the same in SWF/Lt

Bloodh[6] vy ew trei ügens ha pemp…    My years of age are 65 ...
…gen sira vy ha pemp den moy               ... with my father and five more men
en cok…                                                       in a fishing boat ...        
Nag eus moy vel                                         There are not more than
pajar po pemp…                                         four or five ...
…pobel coth                                               ... old people
pajar ügens bloodh…                               80 years of age ...

[1] The usual way of saying <I’m called Jan.> would be <Jan henwys o vy.>.
[2] In the Bible, Luke 1:63
[3] See Table E for more examples.
[4] Fortunately agan and agas do not cause any mutation.
[5] William Bodinar was bemoaning the decline of the Cornish language.
[6] <bloodh> years of age is derived from the regular word for a year <bledhen> , though  bloodh is masculine whereas  bledhen is feminine, so 4 years old is pajar bloodh and 4 years is peder bledhen.

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