Thursday, 30 April 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 71 (A Bit About Days)

A Bit About Days

Some of the following are terms we have already met involving days and days of the week:

dedh (f)                                             a day
dedhyow                                          days
hanter dedh                                     midday (half day)
dohajedh                                          afternoon
trei threveth en dedh                       three times in a day
pub dedh                                          every day, daily
Dedh da dhe whei.                          Good day to you. (greeting)
Me eth dhe’n shoppys De Sadorn. I went to the shops on Saturday.
De Gwener an Grows                      Good Friday
Du Nadelik                                        Christmas Day

What do we make of this? You can see that the ordinary word for day is dedh[1], sometimes mutated when incorporated in longer terms. The mutation is unusual:

dohajedh                                            afternoon
an jedh                                                the day
üdn jedh                                              one day, a certain day
terry an jedh                                       daybreak
e’n jedh hedhyw                                 this (very) day

The version used for days of the week is De[2].

De Sül                                                   Sunday
De Lün                                                  Monday
De Meurth, De Meur’                           Tuesday
De Merher                                             Wednesday
De Yow[3]                                              Thursday
De Gwener                                            Friday
De Sadorn                                             Saturday

The word for special days of the year is Du.

Du Nadelik                                             Christmas Day
Du Halan an Vledhan                            New Year’s Day
Du Pask                                                  Easter Day
Du Pencost                                            Pentecost, Whitsunday
Du Halan Gwav[4]                                  All Saints’ Day

They say there are more saints in Cornwall than there are in Heaven! Not surprisingly, there have been plenty of saint’s feast days or holy days. We have extra words for feast days or festivals, e.g.:

gool                                                          feast, festival
golyow                                                      feasts, festivals
de’gol                                                        feast day, holy day, holiday
de’golyow                                                 feast days, holy days, holidays
de’gol hav[5]                                             summer holiday
De’gol Stefan                                            the Feast of Stephen (Boxing Day)
De’gol Mihal                                              Michaelmas
Golowan                                                   the Feast of St John the Baptist
                                                                   Midsummer’s Day
Golandeys                                                harvest festival, feast of the ricks

There are festival place names:

Golant (Golenance 1454)                           festival valley
Goldsithney (Golsythny 1410)                  St Sithni’s feast

Even the verb to celebrate seems to be related:
golyas                                                        to celebrate

Ma Golowan en mis Efen.                        Midsummer’s Day is in June.         
Ma’n düs en Pensans o colyas Golowan.
                                                   The people in Penzance celebrate Midsummer.
Ma de’golyow dhe Stefan.                        Stephen is on holiday/ has holidays.

We have additional words for such things as the working day, e.g.:

jorna[6] (pl. jorneow)                                 day(s)
jorna whel (pl. jorneow whel)                   work day(s), week day(s)
neb jorna                                                    some day
keniver jorna                                              everyday (alternative to pub dedh)
dhe’n jorna ma                                           to this day
an jorna ma war seythen                          a week today

Here is a line, using two words for day, from the Lord’s Prayer:

Ro dhe nei an jorna ma ’gan bara pub dedh
                                                                   Give us this day our daily bread …

Here is a quotation from the Bible, also using two words for day[7]:

Ha Düw a elwys[8] an golow dedh ha’n tewlder ev a elwys nos, hag y veu gorthüher ha mettin an kensa jorna.
And God called the light day and the darkness he called night, and it was evening and morning of the first day.

[1] RMC dydh
[2] not an abbreviation so you don’t have to use an apostrophe
[3] Market Jew Street in Penzance is so called because there was a Thursday Market there, i.e.  Marhas Yow..
[4] First day of the Celtic NewYear
[5] havyas can also be used for summer holiday
[6]  Gendall spells this jurna or jyrna
[7] Jenesys 1,5
[8] past tense of the verb gelwel to call

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 70 (More About Plurals)

A Bit More About Plurals

We have already seen a variety of methods of forming plurals. Don’t forget you can often avoid using plurals by putting a number in front of the noun! Unfortunately it is easier to spot a plural than it is to remember which words use which method. Here is a reminder of some plurals, plus a few extras useful ones (obviously not an exhaustive list):

addition of –ow or –yow[1]:

bes (m) > besow                             world(s)
dama (f) damyow                         mother(s)
for’ (f) > for’ow                                road(s), way(s)
gwel (m) > gwelyow                        field(s)
lost (m) > lostow[2]                         tail(s)
oy (m) > oyow                                  egg(s)
pedn (m) > pednow                         head(s)
pel (f) > pelyow                                ball(s)
tas (m) > tasow                                father(s)

addition of –s, -es  or –ies:

benyn (f) > benenes                         woman(women)
bes (m) > besies                               finger(s)
bugh (f) > buhes                               cow(s)
chambour (m) > chambours           bedroom(s)
hordh, hor’ (m) > hordhes, hor’es  ram(s)
cath (f) > cathes                               cat(s)
conin (m) > conines                         rabbit(s)
cota (m) > cotys                               coat(s)
cothman (m) > cothmans                friend(s)
pesk (m) > puskes                            fish(es)

addition of  a vowel –a or –y (in SWFM)

coweth (m) > cowetha                      friend(s)
gast (f) > gesty                                  bitch(es)
tarow (m) > terewy                            bull(s)
mantel (f) > mentylly                         cloak(s), overcoat(s)
mowes, mos (f) > mowysy, mosy    girl(s), maid(s)
porhel (m) > porhelly                         pig(s)

addition of  –yon (These are usually male people, and mutation occurs after an)

gevel (m) > gevellyon                         twin(s)
gwerther (m) > gwerthoryon              salesman(salesmen)
caner (m) > canoryon                          singer(s)
Kernoweger (m) > Kernowegoryon   Cornish speaker(s)
mab (m) > mebyon                               son(s)
souder (m) > soudoryon                     soldier(s)
tyek (m) > tiogyon                                farmer(s)

changes of internal vowels (you will already have spotted some – highlighted in green - in the examples above)

broder (m) > breder                              brother(s)
dans (m)  > dens                                   tooth (teeth)
davas (f) > deves                                   ewe(s), sheep
gavar (f) > gever                                    goat(s)
lowarn (m) lewern                                 fox(es)
margh (m) > mergh[3]                           horse(s)
on (m) > eyn                                           lamb(s)
troos  (m) > treys                                   foot(feet)

An open vowel at the end of a noun may be dropped or altered before adding a plural ending, e.g.:

dama (f) > damyow                               mother(s)
sira (m) > sirys                                      father(s)

Some consonants and consonant clusters are modified before adding a plural ending, e.g.:

flogh (m) > flehes                                  child(ren)
golo(f) > gologow                               sight(s), view(s)
hogh (m) > hohes                                  pig(s), hog(s)
hogh (m) > mogh                                   pig(s), hog(s)
laga(m) > lagajow                               eye(s)
logh (f) > lohow                                      inlet(s)
mergh (f) > merhes                                daughter(s)
olifan(m) > olifanjes                            elephant(s)
pellwolo(f) > pellwologow                   television(s)
pluve(f) > pluvogow                             pillow(s)
seythen (f) > seythednow                       week(s)
stevel  (m) > stevellow                            room(s)
tese(f) > tesednow                                cake(s)
tigen (f) > tigednow                                  wallet(s)

Some body parts go in pairs, e.g.:

leuv[4] (f) > diwleuv, dowla                     hand(s)
lagas (m) > dewlagas, dowlagas            eye(s)

Some plurals are just plain irregular!

chei (m) > treven                                     house(s), building(s)
den (m) > tus                                           man(men)
kei (m) > keun                                         dog(s)
maw (m) > mebyon                                 boy(s)
tra (f) > taclow                                         thing(s)
whor (f) > wheredh                                 sister(s)

Here are a few place names which incorporate plurals:

Mawla (Mola 960)                                      pigs’ place
Tremough (Tremogh 1366-1590)             pigs’ farm
Ventonveth (Vyntonvergh 1370)              horses’ spring
Kilmarth (Kylmergh 1329)                        horses’ ridge
Millewarne (Maenlewern 1289)                foxes’ stone

Here’s a rhyme[5] (also a riddle[6]) containing some of what we have learnt recently:

Ha me o moas en goon las                  As I went on a green plain (sea)    
Me a glowas tros an buskes münys   I heard the sound of little fishes
Mes me a drouvias üdn pesk broas, naw y lostyow;
                                               But I found one great fish, with nine tails;
Oll an bobel en Porthia ha Marhas Yow           
                                                        All the people in St Ives and Marazion
Nevra na wor dh’y gensenjy.               Could (not) never get hold of it.

[1]  in pronunciation, <yow> counts as a single syllable whereas <iow> counts as two
[2]  or <losyow> because sometimes the final <t> was dropped
[3]  an vergh : Unusually, mergh mutates after an – perhaps because riders thought of their horses as people!
[4] Using leuv for hand is very archaic usage, rare even in Middle Cornish. The usual singular hand is dorn, even though the plural is dowla or diwla
[5] Originally collected in 1698 by Thomas Tonkin of Trevaunance
[6] an octopus