Monday, 12 January 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 32 (This and That)

This and That

Two little words ma and na allow us to deal with all aspects of this and that, or these and those. The definite article an goes in front of a noun and ma or na goes after it, e.g.:

an  …  ma                                    this … (these … )
an  …  na                                     that … (those … )

an kei ma                                     this dog
an gath na                                   that cat

Lowen ew an maw ma.               This boy is happy.
Nag ew an vowes[1] na serrys.  That girl is not angry.

This also works for the plurals:
an treven ma                            these buildings, these houses
an düs na                                  those people, those men

Teg ew an treven ma.              These houses are beautiful.
Nag ew an düs[2]  na für[3].    Those men are not wise.

These little words are seen again in the pronouns for this (one) and that (one):[4]

hedna (m)                                    that
hodna (f)                                      that
hebma (m)                                   this
hobma (f)                                     this

Hedna ew kei dü.                        That is a black dog.
Hodna ew an gath dü vy.           That is my black cat.
Hebma ew maw lowen.              This is a happy boy.
Hobma ew mowes serrys.         This is an angry girl.

Plural pronouns these (ones) and those (ones) also have ma and na at the end:

an re na                                        those
an re ma                                       these

An re na ew cath ha kei.             Those are a cat and a dog.
An re ma ew maw ha mowes.    These are a boy and a girl.

The sentences above could be in answer to the following (very useful) question forms: 

Pandr’ew[5] hedna? (m)             What is that?
Pandr’ew hodna? (f)                   What is that?
Pandr’ew hebma? (m)                What is this?
Pandr’ew hobma? (f)                  What is this?
Pandr’ew an re na?                    What are those?
Pandr’ew an re ma?                   What are these?

For questions about people you use piw who instead of pandra what.
Piw ew hedna? (m)                     Who is that?
Piw ew hodna? (f)                       Who is that?
Piw ew hebma? (m)                    Who is this?
Piw ew hobma? (f)                      Who is this?
Piw ew an re na?                         Who are those?
Piw ew an re ma?                        Who are these?

[1]   RLC <mos> mutates to <an vos>
[2]  pronounced  [deez]
[3]  pronounced [feer]
[4]  In Middle Cornish these lack pre-occlusion: henna, honna, hemma, homma
[5]  In Middle Cornish this is usually Pyth yw…?which we would spell Peth ew…?

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