Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 65 (A Bit About Place)

A Bit About Place

We have already met some questions asking about place.

Pe le ero whei?                    Where are you?
Pe le ero whei o moas?      Where are you going?
Pele[1] ma an desen?         Where is the cake?

All of which might receive the answer:
Obma!                                   Here!
Whether you write pe le as two words or pele[2] as one word it means the same. Pe means what or which and le means place. It can be used with static location and with verbs involving location, e.g.:

Pele ero whei o triga?          Where do you live?
Pele veu che mar bel?[3]     Where have you been so long?
Pele ma e ew genys Mytern an Edhewon?[4]    
                                                Where is he who is born King of the Jews?

Pele can also be used for indirect questions, e.g.:

Worow’whei[5] pele ma hei?                      
                                                Do you know where she is?
Me a wor[6] pele ma hei.       I know where she is.
Na worama pele ma va.        I don’t know where he is/where it is.

By putting the little word a meaning of or from at the beginning (followed by the usual soft mutation) it becomes
abele                                      whence, from where, e.g.:

Abele es’ta devedhys?       }         {Where did you come from?
Abele ero whei devedhys?}         {Where did you originate?

The little word le is found in a number of other set phrases for “places”, e.g.:
et y le                                     in its place, instead
an le na                                  that place (which then contracts to)
ena                                         there, that place
Eus gwin ena?                      Is there any wine there?
Nag eus. Ma dowr et y le.    There isn’t. There’s water instead.
Ma’n gath dhû ena.              The black cat is there.
Hei a gerdhas ena.               She walked there.

By putting a meaning of or from before le and na it becomes alena, e.g.:

alena                                      from that place, thence
Voyd alena!                           Get out of there! Get out from there!

Similarly a of/from plus le place and ma this or obma here can be contracted to alebma:

alebma                                   from this place, hence
Voyd alebma!                        Get out of here! Get out from here!

In a statement, lebma can be used on its own, to mean where, e.g.:
Na wrewgh whei ostya en chei lebma vo den coth demedhys dhe venyn yonk.[7]
Don’t stay in a house where be an old man married to a young woman.

Another little bit of a word (not used on its own) is va. Joined on to the end of a noun or a verb it indicates where things are found or where something happens. Here are just a few examples:

dillas[8]                                   clothes
dilasva                                    a wardrobe (i.e. place for clothes)
ger                                           a word
gerva                                       vocabulary (i.e. place for words)
gweyth                                    work
gweythva                                factory (i.e. place for work)
prei                                          clay
priweythva                              a pottery
keun[9]                                    dogs
keunva                                    kennel
lever                                        a book
leverva                                    library
medhek                                   a doctor
medhegva                               doctor’s surgery
gwary                                       to play
gwariva                                    theatre, stage (i.e. playing place)
gwia                                          to weave
gwiasva                                    website
gwisca                                      to dress
gwiscva                                    changing room

The usual, everyday word for place is teller[10]:
En termyn eus passyes thera trigys en St Levan den ha benyn en teller creiys Chei a Hor’.

In a time that is past (Once upon a time) there (was) lived in St Levan a man and a woman in a place called Ramshouse.

[1] Gendall spells this peleh
[2] Some people even shorten it to ple
[3] From John of Ramshouse
[4] in Matthew II verse 2. Can also be Mitern.  Stressed final syllable. RMC for King is Myghtern
[5] silent [w]; RG writes this as ora whei
[6] silent [w], sounds like English [oar]
[7]  proverb from John of Ramshouse
[8]  stressed first syllable short because of double ll; double ll not needed when stress changes
[9]  pronounced more like [cane] than [coon]
[10] This is the start of Nicholas Boson’s C17 tale. Gendall has telhar. The use of lh is a feature of Late Cornish.

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