Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Tabm a Gernow 88 (clear skies)

Newher thera second rew an gwav ma. Moy yeyn o vel an nos kens. Moy gwydn o an gwels hedhyw vel an gwels de.

Ma gwask ûhel a’n ayr dhe nei e’n eur ma. Cler o an ebòrn, heb cloudys. Nag eus glaw ha nag eus bes bohes gwens. Rag hedna yeyn ew an nosow ha teg ew an dedhyow. 
En Tywar'n heyl ma tüs war an treth. Mowns o kerdhes, marhoga ha palas. An gover a wrüg movya y le moy ogas dhe'n vos.

Rag fra üjens o palas? Na ora vy. Martesen mowns o palas rag trosor, saw dres lycklod rag kenogas ew. Trig ew. Ma'n mor adhelergh dhe'n garrek henwys Carrek Chapel. Thera chapel warnedhy henwys Engarder ("An Gador") en termyn eus passyes. 

 En Tôwynblistra thew trig e'wedh. Nag eus nagonan war an treth ma bes ma nebes person war an glesin o sedha en benkys po kerdhes gen keun.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Taking a New Look at Cornish Grammar 20 (predicate adjectives)

So far we have been concentrating on the activities that our subjects have been doing.  Now it is time to have a look at what our subjects are like. 
In previous lessons we have seen the combination of a noun followed by an adjective as a subject or an object, e.g.
Benyn wheg a dheuth.
nice woman came.
Thesta o redya lever da.
You are reading a good book.
In some sentences an adjective or an adjective phrase can be the predicate itself. This requires a linking verb between the subject and the adjective. By far the most common and useful linking verb is boas to be. We have already used the locative form of the verb (also known as the long form) in relation to positions and activities, e.g.
Ma va obma.
He is here.
Ma hei o càna.
She is singing.
However, when boas is functioning as a linking verb between a subject and its description we must use another version, known as the descriptive form.  

In Late Cornish we use
Tho vy
SWFM Yth ov vy or
My yw
I am
Tho che
SWFM Yth os ta or
Ty yw
You are (familiar)
Thew ev
SWFM Yth yw ev or
Ev yw
He is
Thew hei
SWFM Yth yw hi or
Hi yw
She is
Tho nei
SWFM Yth on ni or
Ni yw
We are
Tho whei
SWFM Yth owgh hwi or
Hwi yw
You are (plural or formal)
SWFM Yth yns i or
I yw

They are
Here are some example uses:

Tho vy coth.
Coth o vy.

I am old
Tho che wheg.
Wheg o che.

You are kind.
Thew ev skentel.
Skentel ew ev.

He is clever.
Thew hei teg.
Teg ew hei.

She is beautiful.
Tho nei broas.
Broas o nei.

We are big.
Tho whei skith.
Skith o whei.

You are tired.
Thens yeyn.
Yeyn ens.
They are cold.

You will notice that there are two ways of saying the same thing. So, what is the difference?
In Cornish we put the most important idea first in the sentence. It is subtle. So “Thens yeyn” emphasises that they are cold (rather than not), whereas “Yeyn ens” emphasises that they are cold (rather than hot).
Why not “Yeyn thens”? Initial “th” is a verbal particle only needed when the verb comes first. Without it, the sentence becomes a question, e.g. “Ens yeyn?” means “Are they cold?” And if the “th” is replaced by the negative particle “nag” the sentence becomes negative, e.g. “Nag ens yeyn” means “They are not cold”. (More about questions and negatives will come later.)

You will also notice that Middle Cornish speakers have an extra version (they call the “short form”) which uses the third person singular verb with all of the personal pronouns. We can do this in Late Cornish as well but it tends to over emphasise the person, e.g. “Me ew” means “I am” (but you are not!).
In addition to linking subjects and adjectives, boas descriptive can also link subjects with names, nouns and noun phrases (identities, occupations, etc.), e.g.

Tho vy dama wydn.
I am a grandmother.
Deskybel o che.
You are a pupil.
Thew hei maw drog.
He is a bad boy.
Maria ew hei.
She is Mary.
Tho nei pescadors.
We are fishermen.
Tüs heb tecter o whei.
You are men without beauty.
Jowan ha Jory ens.
They are John and George.

Tabm a Gernow 87 (first frost)

Ottobma howldrevel et o lowarth. Yeyn o an nos eus passyes, yeyn ha rew. E veu an kensa rew gwav. Gwydn ew an gwelsednow.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Tabm a Gernow 86 (badgers)

Thera omweloryon dhen arta, saw na wrüga nei aga gweles. Anjei a dheuth en termyn nos. Fatel ella nei godhvos? Drefen bos tollow e'n glesinyow. Gwres gen broghas (dorgeun) ew an tollow. Mons o palas ha debry bulük ha bestas bian erel.

Tabm a Gernow 85 (Truro City of Lights)

Pow spladn ew Kernow rag golyow.  E veu gool en Truru de Merher en gordhûher.  "Cita a Wolowys" ew Truru en mis Dû ken Nadelek.  Oll an düs a wrüg degy lies lügarn en stretys ahes. Flehes keffres ha pobel cowldevys a gerras/gerdhas en procecyon gen aga creacyons. Ma rûth veur war an cauncys dhe viras ort anjei.

Gwres ew an lanterns a helyk ha sort a baper, gen flehes ha tüs awenek.

Scolyow, bagasow, shoppys, institûcyons keffres ha persons üdnek a gevrennas.  Thera lies best e'n procecyon; an Gwithty Kernow Riel a wras sperys (po bucka) o marhoga war vulhorn. (An procecyon a dhalathas en park kerry.)

Artiss ew o howethes. Hei a wras lowarn, hir y lost. "Lostek" henwys ew ev. Ma va o sewya steren.

An whedhel a Alys en Pow an Anethow ew aswonys gen oll an bes. Otta an Cònin Gwydn en bolla te gans y euryer ha scavel cronek prev del. Mantolys ew oll an tacklow war debot.

Goroures ew Alys en lever fügieth screfys rag flehes. Bes otta goroures goth dhort istory po henwedhel.  Ew hei Britannia po Boudicca? Na ora vy. Ma dhedhy bocler ha gew en hy diwla, ha ma hei o tegy basnet war hy fedn. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

Taking a new look at Cornish grammar 19 (object pronouns)

We have seen that personal pronouns can be used as the subject of a sentence, whether the verb is transitive or intransitive. And we have seen that the form of some pronouns varies depending on whether they come before or after the verb. Since there is no neutral pronoun in Cornish ev/va and hei can both mean “it” according to context. Here is a reminder:

Me a welas kei gwydn y vlew.
I saw a dog with white hair.
Thera vy o scrifa en üskis.
I am writing quickly.
Che a dheuth de.
You came yesterday.
Thesta o redya lever da.
You are reading a good book.
Ev a wra danon lether.
He will send a letter
Ma va o moas lebmyn.
He/it is going now.
Hei a wrüg scrifa an lever na.
She wrote that book.
Ma hei o toas tre.
She/it is coming home.
Nei a wary peldroos war an Sadorn.
We play football on Saturdays.
Thera nei o madra Kernowek.
We are studying Cornish.
Whei a wra desky an tavas.
You will learn the language (tongue)
Thero whei o redya geryow.
You are reading words.
Anjei eth tre de.
They went home yesterday.
Ma anjei (Mons) ena lebmyn.
They are there now.

We have seen that personal pronouns can be indirect objects when allied to a preposition. Here is a reminder of some:

Ev a wras tesen ragam.
(or Ev a wras tesen dhebm.)[1]
He made (for) me a cake.
(He made (to) me a cake.)
Ev a wrüg danon lether dhis.
He sent (to) you a letter.
Ma hei o scrifa carten dhodho.
She is writing (to) him a card.
Ma hei o tanon frauk dhedhy.
She is sending (to) her a jumper.
Anjei a wras neppeth ragon.
(or Anjei a wras neppeth dhen.)
They made (for) us something. (They made (to) us something.)
Thero vy o cül hebma ragowgh.
(or Thero vy o cül hebma dhewgh.)
I am making (for) you this.
I am making (to) you this.
Whei a wra gwil hedna ragtans.
You will do that for them.

[1]  Gendall recommends using “dhe” with indirect objects.

Personal pronouns can also be used as direct objects of transitive verbs. There are two versions, depending on where they come in relation to the verb. They also vary in emphasis. Unlike English, where we tend to stress words with the power of our voice (or underline them in text), in Cornish we have the luxury of choosing which form to use.
First let’s look at the more emphatic, more familiar forms:

An gwenen a wrüg pigas vy.
The bee stung me.
Otta che! (exclamation)[1]
Behold you. (There you are!)
Me a welas ev de.
I saw him/it yesterday.
Ma va o liftya hei.[2]
He/it is lifting her.
Anjei a wrüg dowes nei.
They chose us.
Thero nei o whilas whei.[3]
We are seeking (looking for) you.
Ma limner o liwya anjei.[4]
An artist is painting them.

Here are the new forms, mostly used with simple verb tense which have the verbal particle a (e.g. the preterite, the present-future). They are described as “infixed” because they slot in between the particle and the verb. (Sometimes the apostrophe may be left out.) There are lots of examples from the old texts (some more useful than others!).

Whei a’m gwel arta.
You’ll see me again.
Me a’th car.
I love you.
Whei oll a’n gwel scon.
You’ll all see him soon.
Me a’s danon.
I’ll send her.
Ev a’gan kebmer.
He takes us.
Me a’gas clout...
I’ll hit you...
Hei a’s cav.
She’ll have them.

There are some more versions but we will come to them later.

[1]  Any of the personal pronouns can be used with otta, as an exclamation. Similar to French “Me voici”, “Te voila”, etc.
[2] Williams has an alternative construction: Ma va orth hy liftya. (He is at her lifting). This will be explained later.
[3] Similarly: Thero nei orth agas whilas. (We are at your seeking.)
[4] Also: Ma limner orth aga liwya. (An artist is at their painting.)