Sunday, 21 June 2015

Personal Descriptions 5 (age and gender)

At some point age and gender come into the conversation:
den                                   man
benyn                               woman
flogh                                child
yonk                                 young (Middle Cornish yowynk)
coth                                  old      
tevesik/tevesiges              adult (grownup)
Benyn yonk o vy.             I’m a young woman.
Tevesiges yonk o vy.        I’m a young adult (female).

In English I might say “I’m a woman with grey hair.” In Cornish we say the equivalent of “I’m a woman, grey my hair.” We do not translate the “with”, so:
Benyn o vy loos o blew.             I’m a woman with grey hair.
Den coth o vy gwydn o barv.     I’m an old man with a white beard.
Flogh yonk o vy crüllys o blew. I’m a young child with curly hair.
Pedn rous o vy gwer o lagajow.  I’m a redhead with green eyes.

When talking to some Cornish speakers you may find that instead of starting a sentence with “Tho vy…” for “I am …” they start a sentence with “My yw …” (RMC spelling) e.g.
My yw benyn goth.                    I am an old woman.

My yw tevesik.                           I am a grownup (m).

Personal Descriptions 4 (type of hair)

Other  hairy features you might need to describe:

abranjow (abransow in Middle Cornish). eyebrows
blew lagas                                              eyelashes
minvlew                                                 moustache

bar      (barv in Middle Cornish)               beard

Here are some other descriptions that might apply to hairy parts:

berr                                      short
compes                                straight
crüllys                                  curly (pronounced /krillez/)
hes cres                                mid-length
hir                                        long
tanow                                   thin/sparse
tew                                       thick
todnek                                  wavy

If you have no hair, of course, you may need the following:
mool                                   bald
pedn pilys                           a bald person
heb blew                             hairless (without hair)
Pedn pilys o vy.                   I’m a bald person.
Ma dhebm blew hir ha compes.             
                                            I have long and straight hair.

Personal descriptions 3 (hair and eyes)

Now for physical attributes. Translations between Cornish and English are not word for word.
To say “I have …,” you use the equivalent of  “There is to me …," 
i.e. Ma dhebm
Pe liw ew agas blew?                   What colour is your hair?
The word for hair is blew. The word for head is pedn. The adjective comes after the noun. Instead of saying I have coloured hair it may be simpler to say I am a coloured head.
Ma dhebm blew dû.                  I have black hair.
Pedn dû o vy.                            I am a brunette. 
                                                 (lit. I’m a blackhead)
Ma dhebm blew gwydn.           I have white hair.
Pedn gwydn o vy.                     I have white hair. 
                                                   (lit. I’m a whitehead)
Ma dhebm blew melyn.             I have yellow/fair/blonde hair.
Pedn melyn o vy.                       I’m a blonde. 
                                                   (lit. I’m a yellowhead)
Ma dhebm blew rous (or rüdh).  I have red hair. 
                                                   (rous is more ginger)
Pedn rous (or rüdh) o vy.           I’m a redhead.

The word for eyes is lagajow (lagasow in Middle Cornish). 
There are two ways of describing your eyes; either using <Ma dhebm … > or using <ew> the third person “is/are”.
Pe liw ew agas lagajow?               What colour are your eyes?
Blou ew o lagajow.                        My eyes are blue.
Ma dhebm lagajow blou.                I have blue eyes.
Here are some more possible hair colours and eye colours (some more natural than others).
arhans                                         silver
gell                                              light brown
glas[1]                                         blue/green/grey
gorm                                            dark brown
gwadnliwek                                 pale (weak coloured)
gwer                                             green
gwerwyn                                      light green
loos                                              grey
owryek                                         golden
tewal/tewl                                   dark/brown[2]

[1]  often used for describing the sea or natural vegetation, found in Cornish place names
[2]  Gendall also has donak for brown

Personal descriptions 2 (occupations)

When asked about what I do:
Pandr’ew agas soodh?                What is your occupation?
I might answer:
Descadores o vy.                         I’m a teacher
Here are some more occupations with which to start your answer. Where there are two options for a word,< -es> is the feminine ending.
artydh/artydhes                           artist
clavjior/clavjiores                       nurse
den whel                                     workman
gwicor/gwicores                          trader
gwrety                                         housewife/housekeeper
leveryas/leveryades                     librarian
lowarther/lowarthores                 gardener
lymner/lymnores                         painter (art)
magores                                       nanny (originally wet nurse)
mammeth                                     foster mother (wet nurse)
medhek dens/medhoges dhens    dentist
medhek/medhoges                       doctor
payntyer/payntyores                    painter (house)
scrifa/scrifores                             writer
scrifednyas/scrifenyades              secretary
studhyer/studhyores                     student

tiek/tioges                                    farmer

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Personal Descriptions 1 (who you are and what you do)

Now we are going to concentrate for a while on talking about ourselves and answering questions about ourselves.

Personal Descriptions 1
In a new situation, meeting new people, you need to introduce yourself. If you are not meeting face to face you may need to describe yourself as well. You may want to respond to a number of questions. (Of course you can ask them too.) The part of the verb “to be” that you need is <o vy>; or <Tho vy> if it starts the sentence. Remember that whatever starts a sentence is the most important thing (it saves stressing it vocally).
Piw o whei?                                  Who are you?
In speaking to a child you may use the more familiar question:
Piw os ta?                                     Who are you?
Ellama presentya o honen?         May I introduce myself?
Jan Lobb o vy.                              I’m Jan Lobb.
You, of course, substitute your own name.
Someone may be looking for me in a crowd. Notice the difference in word order:
Piw ew Jan Lobb?                        Who is Jan Lobb?
Tho vy Jan Lobb. (or Me ew Jan Lobb.)   I am Jan Lobb.         
A slightly more complicated question about identity (what name) involves a slightly longer answer (I’m called):
Pe hanow o whei?                         What name are you?
Jan Lobb henwys o vy.                  I’m named/called Jan Lobb.
Obviously, I might be asked about what I do:
Pandr’ew agas soodh?                  What is your occupation?
I might answer:
Descadores/Descajores o vy.        I’m a teacher. (m. descador/ descajor))
Omdednys/Aneylys o vy.               I’m retired.
Descadores omdednys o vy.          I’m a retired teacher.

Descores o vy.                               I’m a learner. (m. desker)

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 93 (Reporting Speech)

A Bit About Reporting Speech

If you want to say what somebody said you use e’medh[1], e.g.:

“Tho che wheg,” e’medh hei.      “You are nice,” she said.
“Nag ew hedna da genam,” e’medh ev.          
                                                       “I don’t like that,” he said.

(In old fashioned English we might say quoth he, quoth she, etc.)

There are examples in Jowan Chei A Hor’ and in the Bible, e.g.:

“Pana whel ellesta gwil?” e’medh an tiek       
                                                     “What work can you do?” said the farmer
“Pub whel oll,” e’medh Jowan  “All types of work,” said John

E’medh el an Arludh dhedhi, “Ke tre hag obeya dhe’th vestres.”[2] 
                An angel of the Lord said to her, “Go home and obey thy mistress.”

And here’s a nonsense rhyme:

E’medh gwiwer rous dhe gwiwer loos, Said a red squirrel to a grey squirrel,
“Me a venja moas e’n coos.”                  “I would like to go into the wood.”
’Medh an gwiwer loos dh’y gothman rous,    
                                                                  Said the grey squirrel to his red friend,
“Wren nei whilas know rag boos?”       “Shall we look for nuts for food?”
An dhew a labmas dres an branchys   The two leapt through the branches
Saw nag era knofen veth,                       But there weren’t any nuts,
Rag nag era gwedhen gompes              For there wasn’t a correct tree
Ha cabm o an seson e’wedh.                  And the season was wrong as well.

[1]  Middle Cornish y medh or yn medh. In Late Cornish it was often reduced to medh
[2]  Jenesys 16:9

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 92 (More About Giving Instructions)

A Bit More About Giving Instructions

For extra emphasis when giving an instruction, add the personal pronoun, e.g.:

Spladn![1]                                          Shine!
Spladn che!                                      Shine thou! You shine!

As in this rim rag flehes:

Spladn che steren vian, spladn!      Shine thou little star, shine!
War an mor ha’n tir en dadn.            On the sea and the land beneath.
Dres an cloudys, otta che                 Beyond the clouds, there you are
’Car ha jowel terlentry.                      Sparkling like a jewel.
Spladn che steren vian, spladn!       Shine thou little star, shine!
War an mor ha’n tir en dadn.             On the sea and the land beneath.

You will have noticed the use of Spladn! rather than Gwra spladna!
Spladn! is the second person singular (familiar) imperative of the verb spladna.

Here are a few more examples, some of them irregular:
doas > deus![2]                    come!
e.g. Deus chei!                     Come in!

drei  > dro!                           bring! (may be doroy before a vowel)
e.g. Dro dhebm golow!       Bring me a light!

kemeres  > kebmer!            take!
e.g. Kebmer with!               Take care!

leverel  > lavar!                   say!
e.g. Lavar dhen!                 Tell us!

moas  > ke! Ke tre!             go! Go home!
e.g. Ke tre!                           Go home!
 e.g. Ke dhe ves!                 Go away!

gwertha[3]  > gwerth!         sell!
e.g. Gwerth an chei!           Sell the house!

rei  > ro!                                give! (roy before a vowel)
e.g. Gwerth a vo dhis, ha roy an mona dhe’n vohosogyon.[4]
                    Sell what you have, and give the money to the poor.

[1]  spladn is also an adjective, meaning “brilliant
[2]  Pronounced [deez]. Gendall spells this dîz
[3]  do not pronounce th: Gendall has gwerra
[4]  Luk 18:22

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 91 (Objects)

A Bit About Objects

We have already come across direct and indirect objects, e.g.:

Ro dhebm tabm.                             Give (to) me a bit.

Ro give is the verb, tabm a bit is the direct object that is given and dhebm to me incorporates the indirect object me, the recipient of the direct object. This is a fairly straightforward sentence. (Some idioms are less so.)
Other examples of direct objects are in the following sentences. Notice that the noun object comes after the verb:

Ro dhebm mona!                         Give me money!
Me a venja eva gwedren a win.   I would like to drink a glass of wine.
Me a vedn cawas tabm moy.       I want to have a bit more.
Grewgh sewya an vownder.        Follow the lane.
Gwra maga o deves vy.[1]           Feed my sheep.

If we want to use a pronoun as an object when giving an instruction or order we can use the possessive adjective, with a change of word order, e.g.:

Ro/Roy  e’ dhebm.                         Give him (it) to me.
Grewgh hy sewya.                         Follow her (it). lit. Do her (its) following.
Nena deus, gwra o sewya.[2]        Then come, follow me.
Gwra aga maga.                              Feed them.

Where there is a verbal noun (such as sewya) the pronoun comes in front of it.
The same applies if you use the compound preterite (the past tense using gwil to do, to make as an auxiliary verb), e.g.:

Me a wrüg debry an desen.         I ate the cake.
Me a wrüg hy debry.                     I ate it. (I did its eating.)

You can also replace the noun with the ordinary personal pronoun, e.g.:

Me a wrüg debry hei.                     I ate it.
Me a wrüg hy debry hei.               I ate it. (more emphatic)

[1]  Jowan 21: 16
[2] Luk 18: 22

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 90 (More About Verbs)

A Bit More About Verbs

There is a very short, simple, version of the verb boas to be, being, which can be used in a positive descriptive statement, as long as you start with the subject.  It can be any subject, singular or plural, first or second person as well as the third person you might expect. It cannot be used in questions or negative statements. The emphasis is on the subject of the verb. It is widely used by those who favour Middle Cornish[1]:

Me ew skith.                                     I am tired.
Te ew wheg.                                     You are nice.
Ev ew tiek diek.                               He is a lazy farmer.
Hei ew skentel.                                She is clever.
Nei ew diwysyk.                              We are industrious.
Whei ew re holergh.                       You are too late.
Anjei ew gwenen.                           They are bees.
An maw ew an flogh vy.                The boy is my child.
An düs na ew drog.                        Those men are bad.
Jowan ew gocky.                            John is silly.

O’vy skith?                                       Am I tired?
Nag os ta wheg.                              You are not nice.
O’nei diwysyk?                               Are we industrious?
Nag o’whei re holergh.                  You are not too late.

[1]  except that they use the spelling yw

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 89 (Asking Questions)

A Bit About Asking Questions

In the same way that most of our English question words have a similar beginning (who, what, why, where, when, etc.), so too do most Cornish question words.
The basic word for what is pe (Middle Cornish py). This can be used on its own or incorporated into longer terms, e.g.:

pe le[1]                                           where

This takes the positive form of boas locative. If you start with a positive statement involving a place, remove the place and put pe le at the beginning you arrive at the correct form of the question, e.g.:

Ma’n den o moas dhe’n dre.        The man is going to the town.
Ma’n den o moas ...                      The man is going ...
Pe le ma’n den o moas?              Where is the man going?
Pe le ma dha gath?                      Where is your cat?
                                        (literally; What place your cat is?)
Pe le thero’whei o moas?[2]        Where are you going?
                                         (literally; What place you are going?)
Pe le thera Jory owth eva newher?      
                                                       Where was George drinking last night?                                            (literally; What place George was drinking last night?)

pandra[3]                                       what

Pandr’ew hebma war an bord?   What is this on the table?
Pandr’ewa?                                   What is he? What is it?                   
Pandra wra hei gwil?                    What will she do?

peth[4]                                            what

Peth esta o pobas?                       What are you baking?
Peth ew hei?                                  What is she? What is it?
Peth a wrüssa whei  gweles?      What did you see?

pana[5]                                           what

Pana dhedh ew hedhyw?             What day is it today?
Pana bres ew?                               What time is it?
Pana bres ero’whei longya dhe eva te?
                                                         What time do you normally drink tea?
Pana bris ew an cota?                   What price is the coat?
Pana dermyn a wra agas noy doas?
                                                         What time will your nephew come?
Pana sort losowen  a venja’ma?   What sort of plant would I like?

pe eur[6]                                          what hour, what time, when

Pe eur ew hei lebmyn?                  What time is it now?
Pe eur üjy an düs o toas obma?   When are the people coming here?

piw[7]                                               who

Piw ew an den na?                         Who is that man?
Piw ew an venyn ma?                    Who is this woman?
Piw ens?                                          Who are they?
Piw a vedn gonis an hasen?         Who will plant the seed?

There are several ways of saying “How many?” or “How much?”

pe lies[8]                                         how many

Pe lies flogh eus e’n class?         How many children are there in the class?
Pe lies den a wrüss’ta gweles ena?      
                                                        How many people did you see there?

pes (followed by a singular noun – probably the most widely used way)

Pes bloodh o’whei?                     How many years of age (How old) are you?
Pes mildir eus dhe Loundres?   How many miles are there to London?
Pes bord eus ena?                      How many tables are there there?

peseul[9] (a)                                  how much (of)

Peseul eus obma?                        How many are there here?
                                                       How much is there here?
Peseul ew hedna?                        How much is that?
Peseul broas ew ev?                    How (much) big is it?
Peseul buhes eus dhis?               How many cows do you have?
Peseul leth eus fowt dhe nei?     How much milk do we need?

pegebmys (can stand alone)         how many

Pegebmys eus genes?                 How many have you?
Pegebmys pris a wrüg hei pea? How much (What price) did she pay?

[1]  Ple in Middle Cornish; may be  pleth before a vowel in some tenses.
[2]  Later writers missed out the verbal particle: Pe le ero’whei o moas? Middle Cornish Pleth esowgh hwi ow mos? Also Pleth esos ta ow mos? Whither goest thou?
[3]  contraction of py an dra or pe an dra, meaning what the thing
[4]  contraction of py peth or pe peth meaning what thing. Less used in Late Cornish.
[5]  contraction of pe ehen a what kind of.  Causes soft mutation because of a. e.g. pres>bres, dedh>dhedh, etc.
[6]  Middle Cornish py eur or peur
[7]  Used in respect of people (or anthropomorphic animals!).
[8]  May also be pana lies. Since lies is followed by a singular noun in a statement, also use a singular noun after  pe lies or pana lies.
[9]  Late Cornish pezeal, Middle Cornish pyseul. Or Late Cornish combined with a it becomes pezealla (sometimes used before a noun but not before an adjective).