Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Taking a new look at Cornish grammar 39 (Interrogative Adjectives)

Interrogative Adjectives

The combination of pe/py which/what and ehen kind as pehen can also be used with a noun to ask what something or someone is like. Instead of asking Pehen ew an den? What is the man like?” you could ask Pehen den ew ev? What kind of man is he?”
Here are examples from old texts:
pahan pleyt yma pilat yn le may ma ha pan semlant vs ganso? 
in what shape is Pilate where he is and what does he look like?
(RD 2058-60)
Pehan tectar!  What beauty! (BK 1711)

Here are some more examples:
Pehên ew an venyn ma?
What is this woman like?
Pehên benyn ew hobma?
What kind of woman is this one?
Pehên benyn o hei?
What kind of woman was she?
Pehên kei ew hedna?
What kind of dog is that one?
Pehên kei ew ev?
What kind of dog is he?

   There is no reason why speakers of Middle Cornish should not use pehen, though they seem to choose not to. It is possible to use py and eghen separately. However, the combination of py which/what and ehen kind combined with a of also gave rise to another contraction pana meaning what kind of. Pana can be used with a noun in the same way as pehen. Instead of asking Pehen den ew ev? What kind of man is he?” you could ask Pana dhen ew ev? However, notice that a meaning of causes a soft mutation (lenition), even when it is not standing alone.
(Affects b>v, c>g, d>dh, k>g, m>v, p>b, t>d)

Here are some examples of comparisons:

Pehên benyn ew hobma?
SWFM Py eghen benyn yw homma?
What kind of woman is this one?

Pana venyn ew hobma?
SWFM Pana venyn yw homma?
Pehên benyn o hei?
SWFM Py eghen benyn o hi?
What kind of woman was she?
Pana venyn o hei?
SWFM Pana venyn o hi?
Pehên kei ew hedna?
SWFM Py eghen ki yw henna?
What kind of dog is that one?
Pana gei ew hedna?
SWFM Pana gi yw henna?
Pehên kei ew ev?
SWFM Py eghen ki yw ev?
What kind of dog is it?
Pana gei ew ev?
SWFM Pana gi yw ev?
Pehên tesen ew?
SWFM Py eghen tesen yw?
What kind of cake is it?
Pana desen ew?
SWFM Pana desen yw?

Friday, 19 May 2017

Tabm a Gernow 102 (wall building)

 En mis Hedra warlena thera dhen caletter e'n lowarth. Vos men o discarys. Gwres o an vos avel ke a Gernow, gen meyn ha heb cement. Thera an meyn o codha ales. 

 Thera odhom dhen a drehy an planjow: reden, idhyow, dreys ha linas dres ehen. Nena nei a alja gweles an keheja (extent) a dhamach.

Nei a dednas mes an meyn ha palas oll an dor lows. Gweres awoles (subsoil) o adheler dhe'n vos; prei calish ha meyn. Nag o gweres da.

Na wrüga nei gwil tra veth e'n gwav. Re dhrog o an gewer. Nei a wortas bys e'n mis Me. Nena me a byldyas an vos arta. Thera meyn en lies broster. Nebes o broas ha poos; pur vroas ha pur boos. Re boos ens raga vy. Nei (o gour ha me) a worras an brassa meyn war an leur warbarth. Nena, tabm ha tabm, me a worras meyn behatna warnodhans, en pil posys warbedn an dor. Ha war diwedh todnow (turfs) awartha. A wra an vos domhel arta? Piw a wor? 

Taking a new look at Cornish grammar 38 (Interrogative idiom)

An Interrogative Idiom

We have used pe (SWFM py) which or what in interrogative pronouns peth (SWFM pyth) and pandra. If we combine pe with ehen (SWFM eghen) kind or sort we produce pehên (pre-SWF RLC pehane). This is used, with the descriptive form of boas to be, to ask what something or somebody is like, so the answer will be adjectival rather than an identification. It is idiomatic because there is no corresponding interrogative pronoun in English. The subject can be any pronoun, noun or name.
Here are some examples (with appropriate answers).
Pehên ew?
Pehên ewa?
What’s it like?
Drog ew. (subject implied)
Drog ewa.
It’s bad.
Pehên ew Jowan?
What is John like?
Pehên ew ev?
What is he like?
Den coth ew ev.
He is an old man.
Pehên ew Maria?
What is Mary like?
Pehên ew hei?
What is she like?
Pur wheg ew hei.
She is very nice.
Pehên ew hebma?
What is this like?
Hebma ew re vroas.
This is too big.
Pehên ew hedna?
What is that like?
Hedna a vedh perfyth.
That will be perfect.
Pehên ew an kei?
What is the dog like?
Kei gwydn ew.
It is a white dog.
Pehên ew an den na?
What is that man like?
An den na ew crowsek.
That man is grumpy.
Pehên ew an venyn ma?
What is this woman like?
Nag ew an venyn ma vas.
This woman is not suitable.
Pehên ew peth whei?
What is yours like?
Ma blas drog dhodho.
It has a bad taste.
Pehên o an gewer de?
What was the weather like yesterday?
Teg o hei.
It was lovely.
Pehên a veu agas li?
What was your breakfast like?
Na veu boos lowr dhebm.
I did not have enough food.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Tabm a Gernow 101 (Goodbye Ponsmere Hotel)

Ma’n fâss Tywarnheyl o treylya. En termyn eus passyes thera ostel meurgerys henwys Ponsmere Hotel. Teller o rag lies gool Lowender Peran. Saw coth ew an derevyans ha skith. Nag o herwydh an gis ha nag o erbisüs. War diwedh an ostel a veu gwerthys (òja eth bledhen "dhe wertha").

"Pandr'a wher?" nei a wrüg omwofen. Thera towlow rag eth ranjy warn ügens, üdnek chei ha dew ranjy a ûgh carrjyow. Magata e vedh üdn restaurant ha parkyans. En mis Ebrel 2015 an ostel a veu gwastys. Thera crana broas a ûgh an treven reb an glesin. Thera pal oll adro. Nag era ostel na fella. Düw geno whei Ponsmere.

Ma hanow nowydh, "The Dunes". Nag ew hanow Kernowek. Hedna via "An Tewednow". A vedh an anedhow rag teylüyow tüs whel a Gernow? Na vedh, heb dout a'n dra. An prisyow a vedh tredh dew gans mil pens ha hanter milvil pens. Tüs rych dhort Pow an Sowson a wra doas rag perna havosow teg, me a sòpposya.

En kensa thera men leur, nessa thera leur awoles. Ha òja hedna, tabm ha tabm, ma'n drehevyans o cressya. Whath ma'n crana obma. Ma odhom dhen a wortos bys dhe'n vledhen diw mil ha etek rag diwedh an treven nowydh.  

Monday, 15 May 2017

Taking a new look at Cornish grammar 37 (Interrogative pronouns)

We have used peth (SWFM pyth) for thing/stuff, etc. in connection with indefinite pronouns and possession. We can also use it in questions with pe which or what. <Pe peth> meaning What thing(s) stuff, etc. is shortened to <Peth>. Alternatively, tra can be used with pe in the same way. In this context <tra> is treated as feminine and mutates after the definite article. <Pe an dra> meaning What thing(s), etc. is shortened to <Pandra> (<Pandr’> before a vowel.) In Late Cornish texts (e.g. JCH) it was frequently combined with the verb, e.g. as <Pandrew> and further shortened to <Drew>.
Peth and pandra are frequently used as subjects with the demonstrative pronouns hedna and hebma (the masculine versions, since we do not know if the answer will be masculine or feminine), though we can also use the plurals. In JCH, Jowan asks, “Drew hedna?” and “Pandrew hedna?” “What is that?”
In practice “pyth” tends to be favoured by Middle Cornish speakers while “pandra” tends to be favoured by Late Cornish speakers, though the choice is yours! Here are some examples using the descriptive present tense of boas to be (more tenses and other verbs later):

Peth ew hedna?
SWFM Pyth yw henna?
What (thing/stuff, etc.) is that?
Pandr’ew hedna?
SWFM Pandr’yw henna?
Peth ew hebma?
SWFM Pyth yw hemma?
What is this?
Pandr’ew hebma?
SWFM Pandr’yw hemma?
Pandr’ew hedna war an bord?
SWFM Pyth yw henna war an voos? (different choice of vocabulary)
What is that on the table?
Pandr’ew hebma en dha sagh? (pre-SWF RLC was “zah”)
SWFM Pyth yw hemma yn dha sagh?
What is this in your bag?
Peth ew an re na?
SWFM Pyth yw an re na?
What are those?
Pandr’ew an re na?
SWFM Pandr’yw an re na?
Peth ew an re ma?
SWFM Pyth yw an re ma?
What are these?
Pandr’ew an re ma?
SWFM Pandr’yw an re ma?
Pandr’ew an re na war an styllen na?
SWFM Pyth yw an re na war an estyllen na?
What are those on that shelf?
Pandr’ew an re ma e’n gisten?
SWFM Pyth yw an re ma y’n gisten?
What are these in the box?

If you are asking about a person(s) rather than a thing(s), the pronoun to use is piw who rather than peth/pandra what. Again these examples use the descriptive present tense of boas to be (more tenses and other verbs later):
Piw ew hedna?
SWFM Piw yw henna?
Who is that? (m)
Piw ew an den na?
SWFM Piw yw an den na?
Who is that man?
Piw ew hodna/hodda?
SWFM Piw yw honna?
Who is that? (f)
Piw ew an venyn na?
SWFM Piw yw an venyn na?
Who is that woman?
Piw ew hebma?
SWFM Piw yw hemma?
Who is this? (m)
Piw ew an maw ma?
SWFM Piw yw an maw ma?
Who is this boy?
Piw ew hobma/holma?
SWFM Piw yw homma?
Who is this? (f)
Piw ew an vos ma?
SWFM Piw yw an vowes ma?
Who is this girl?