Sunday, 22 February 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 47 (Adding Bits to Words)

Adding Bits to Words

Some nouns and adjectives which are one syllable are turned into verbs by adding a short ending, such as  -a,  -ya, -as, e.g.:

glas                                               green
glassa                                           to become green

gras[1]                                           thanks, thankfulness, grace
grassa                                           to thank, to give thanks

Notice that the monosyllable, ending in a single consonant, has a long vowel. Doubling the consonant before adding the ending makes the vowel short. Even without doubling the consonant, the vowel in the penultimate syllable is shorter.

has[2]                                              seed
hasa                                                to scatter seed, to sow

crib[3] [4]                                         a comb, a crest, a reef[5]
cribas[6]                                          to comb, to rake

gleb[7]                                             damp, wet
glybya                                              to dampen, to get wet

park                                                 a park
parkya                                             to park (or to enclose a field)

leun                                                  full
lenel                                                 to fill    

Where the monosyllable ends in two consonants the vowel is already short, so there is no need to further double it.
gwask                                               a press, pressure
gwasca                                             to press

   Some other nouns and adjectives which are one syllable are turned into verbs by adding
–he on the end, e.g.:

glan                                                   clean
glanhe                                               to clean

gocky                                                silly
gockihe                                             to be silly

gwadn                                               weak
gwadnhe                                           to weaken

crev                                                    strong
crefhe                                                to strengthen

lowen                                                 happy
lowenhe                                             to make happy

nes                                                     closer, nearer
neshe                                                 to draw nearer, to approach

pell                                                     far, distant
pellhe                                                 to send away, to distance

tewal                                                  dark
tewlhe                                                to darken (something)

Somewhere between 1660 and 1700 Nicholas Boson wrote “Nebbaz Gerriau dro tho Carnoack”. This starts “Gun Tavas Carnoack eu mar pell gwadn hez, uz na ellen skant quatiez tho ewellaz crefhe arta…”, which he translated as “Our Cornish tongue hath been so long in the Wane, that We can hardly hope to see it increase (rally) again, …”

In SWFL this would be:

’Gan tavas Kernowek ew mar bell gwadnhes es na ellen scant qwaytyas dh’y weles crefhe arta, …

Here are examples using some of the words above:

E’n Gwenton, Yar Rous Vian a gavas has.      
                                               In the Spring, Little Red Hen found some seed.
Nena, hei a hasas an gwaneth.  
                                               Then, she sowed the wheat.                                  
Ma loor leun haneth.             There is a full moon this evening.
Ma Whevrel o lenel an creunyow[8] rag Meurth.                      
                                                February fills the dams for March.
E’n mettin avarr tho whath tewal.
                                                In the early morning it was still dark.

And here are some related Bible bits:

… ha thera tewlder[9] war vejeth an downder,
                                                    and darkness was upon the face of the deep
… ha Düw a dhiberthas an golow dorth an tewlder.
                                                    and God divided the light from the darkness
… ha’n tewlder ev a greias Nos and the darkness he called Night
… losow o ton has                     the herb yielding seed

[1] this can also be spelt <grâss> with double ss to show it is unvoiced and a circumflex to  show that it is a long vowel
[2] pronounced [haze] – but not with the standard English diphthong!
[3] pronounced [kreeb]
[4] Gendall has crîb and crîban
[5] Surfers off Fistral Beach at Newquay wait eagerly for the arrival of the large wave called the “Cribba” caused when the right conditions occur at a reef off the coast (O.S. maps have wrong spelling).
[6] Gendall also has crîba
[7] pronounced approximately as [glabe], RMC spelling (different pronunciation) glyb
[8] pronounced [CRANEyow]  
[9] notice that the noun has been made by adding –der to the shortened adjective

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