Monday, 9 March 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 62 (A Bit About Pronunciation)

A Bit About Pronunciation
One thing that happened during the development of traditional Late Cornish from Middle Cornish was the loss of th, dh and gh after r in a number of words, possibly with a doubling of the r so that the vowel remains short. This is where the compromise SWF spelling gives Late Cornish speakers a problem. We have to remember that, even if th, dh or gh appear in the spelling, they may be “silent” (other silent graphs will be covered later), e.g.

fordh (for’)[1]                                   road, way
gortheby[2]                                      to answer
gorthyp[3]                                        answer
hordh (hor’)[4]                                 ram
kerdhes[5]                                       to walk
Meurth (Meur’)                                Mars (as in March and Tuesday)
perthy  cov[6]                                  to recall, remember, recollect
porth (por’)                                     harbour, landing place
Porthia[7]                                        St Ives

Ev a gerdhas[8] der an for’ dhe’n por’.
                                                        He walked along the road to the harbour.
Pandr’ew agas gorthyp?              What is your answer?
Ro dhebm gorthyp!                      Give me an answer!
Ma hor’ e’n gwel gen an deves.  There is a ram in the field with the ewes.
Ev a veu genys en Porthia.          He was born in St Ives.
Wrüssa whei perthy cov[9] an hor’?
                                                       Did you remember the ram?



[1] traditional Late Cornish vor, pronounced [vor]
[2] William Gwavas had gorriby
[3] pronunciation and RLC spelling gorrib
[4] As in Jowan Chei a Horr (John of Ramshouse)
[5] William Rowe had kerras
[6] Gendall has perri co
[7] Gendall gives Porîa
[8] pronounced like RLC gerraz
[9] pronounced [ko]

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