Friday, 19 May 2017

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment