Sjheiss a dhysk Kernewek

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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Sean of the Dead
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Post by Sean of the Dead » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:56 pm

I am currently learning Cornish along with my boyfriend, and am making this thread in hopes that we could post attempts at writing in the language to be corrected, and to get help with grammar questions when needed. First off, we ran into a sentence in exercise 2 of KDL lesson 7, and aren't sure how it should be translated. The sentence is:

"Are you glad you read the letter?"

My attempt, guessing from the text before it, is: "Da yw genes y redsys an lyther?" Could someone correct it, mar pleg?

Also, is "Mar pleg, ewnewgh ow hammskrif" a correct translation for "Please correct my errors"?

Meur ras!

Gorvrywi
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Post by Gorvrywi » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:11 am

I hope I got this right, i'm afraid my Cornish seems to be going backwards at the moment!

Typically (Always?) Questions start with the verb (and the particle 'a', except for in front of Bos I think?) so

Yw da genes?… Do you like (Is it good with you)?

Yw cas genes?… Do you hate (Is it hate with you)?

Glad might be better translated with Lowen, or perhaps Heudh?

I think the last part of the sentence, is what is called a Indirect statement?

So I might suggest

Yw lowen genes lyther dhe redya?  

 However this does loose any sense of past?

 

(Your last sentence makes sense… )

 

Edit:  Perhaps that should be an lyther, - the letter!

Yw lowen genes an lyther dhe redya?

 

 

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factotum
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Post by factotum » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:12 pm

Cornish is quite a flexible language, so there's often not a single "right answer", and also because few of us are able to speak/hear Cornish on a regular basis, it's not always easy to say which of several alternatives sounds the most natural. However FWIW ...

I'd probably translate please correct my errors as :

gwra [gwrewgh] ewna ow hammskrifow [ow hammwriansow], mar pleg [plegyowgh]


Starting with "gwra" (or "gwrewgh" if you're asking a group, or being especially respectful) softens the force of the command, making it a request rather than an order. You follow it up with the verbal noun, which is the way the verb is listed in the dictionary. A "kammskrif" is something written wrongly, a "kammwrians" is literally a "misdeed" i.e. a mistake more generally. More often perhaps you'll hear "kammgemmeryans" which is a misunderstanding etc., something you've "taken the wrong way, mis-taken".

"Are you glad you read the letter" is a bit tricky, since I'm not sure how best to link the two parts of the sentence.

Os ta lowen? / Lowen os ta? is "are you happy" (to one person)

perhaps the best link is aban 'because, since' literally a + pan 'from when'. This goes right before the verb like 'pan'. So my best guess would be :

Os ta lowen aban retsys an lyther ?

but I wouldn't rule out the slightly vaguer

Lowen os tezy, an lyther dhe redya ? (this is really "are you happy to read/have read the letter")

Which is probably how it would come out in conversation, since the person first asks if you're pleased, and then tacks on the reference to the letter. Maybe pes da in place of lowen ?







 

 



Sean of the Dead
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Post by Sean of the Dead » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:01 pm

Thanks for the really fast replies, and of course the answers too!

One thing I've been wanting to know, but forgot to ask before, was: what is the difference between "py" and "pandra", both meaning "what"? And just curious, what is meaning of "tezy" in your sentence? The only ortography I know at all I'm afraid is Kernewek Kemmyn.

 

And your translations brings up another question, what is the difference between "drefenn" and "aban"? Many thanks in advance, I am very happy that I'll be able to get help with things while learning Cornish!

truru
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Post by truru » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:34 pm

factotum's "tezy" is "tejy" in KK and the SWF, the stressed form of "jy" meaning "you" (factotum prefers to use an orthography he developed himself)

"Pandra" literally means "what thing" so is used without nouns. "Py" can also mean "which" so is used with nouns. You can't say "What thing animal is that?", so you can only say "py" here, "py enyval yw henna?". There's also "pan(a)" and "pyth" which add to the confusion, but I'm not sure about those ones.

"Drefenn" mans "because" and "aban" (or "a-ban") means "since". My first guess at the difference is that because "a-ban" ("a pan", "from when") has a sense of time to it, it can be used in your sentence because being glad comes after reading the letter. My second guess would be that because "a-ban" carries the sense of time passed then there is no need to use the past tense to translate "read the letter". Am I right?

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factotum
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Post by factotum » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:51 am

Yes, py is really 'which' and generally gets used to make other more specific question words, like py le, ple 'where' (i.e. 'which place') py eur, p'eur 'when' ('which time') py lies 'how many' (lies = 'many'). There are two words for 'what' and afaik they're fairly interchangable, the choice usually comes down to which is easier to say. (1) pyth 'what' (probably originally py pyth 'what thing' with the two py's getting rolled into one). This works well with those forms of boz that don't take a before them. pyth yw henna 'what's that?' pyth eus genes 'what have you got?' (2) pandra, pandr' (probably py an dra 'what the thing') e.g. pandr'a vynnydh 'what do you want?' pandr'a retsys y'n lyver 'what did you read in the book?' Note you do also get pandr'yw beside pyth yw for 'what is'.

 

pana means 'what sort of' and can be used in exclamations, pana syght 'what a sight!'

 

The ways that pronouns especially 'thou', get tacked on to verbs is not difficult to handle in practise, but it's more difficult to describe and indeed spell. When ty 'you' sing. gets tacked onto e.g. os 'thou art' it becomes part of that word, it has no stress of its own, it's a 'lean-to word'. In that situation you never get a -y at the very end of words, it weakens first to -e and later to -a. Also the -s- and the -t- tend to fight it out between them, so in the historic texts you'll find oste, osta, ote, ose etc. I would write oste but standard KK uses a slightly later form osta. (If that's wrong someone will soon tell you!) When, as often happens, yet another ty is added for emphasis, you get a double pronoun with the stress on the second part (just like Welsh tydi ). Anyway the second t mutates to a d, which in Cornish then goes on to become a z. So os + ty + ty > ostedy > ostezy. I'm not sure if this is best written osta zy or os tezy. The important thing is that the stress falls on the final zy. This came to be thought of as a separate word, and so in some of the later texts you get things like os zy (which in fact sounded like o-shy ). Anyway this zy which on it's own sounds like zhy gets written gy and sy in the texts. Nance (UC) wrote it jy as did KK to begin with but the official form now is sy. This is because KK hasn't yet got around to showing the difference between s and z, even though this has been recognised for more than a dozen years now. S always sounds like s, whereas z sounds like z but before an e, i, or y it tends to come out more like zh, hence the g's in the texts. But it can't have been a j because these are always spelled g in the texts, never with a mixture of g's and s's. Anyway the s/z distinction is no different from that between th/dh, which is why a I write it, and no doubt in a few more years the official spelling will catch up. Anyway to get from my spelling to KK change all the z's to s's but still try to remember which are which! [Sorry, you just happened to pick on the most confusing bit of Cornish spelling at present].

As Truru says, there isn't a lot of difference between aban and drefenn except the first also means 'since' whereas the second is just plain 'because' without any sense of one thing following after the other. Looking at how it's used in the texts, drefenn often comes before boz to refer to some existing condition :

drefenn dha voz-te mar deg 'because thou art so fair'

drefenn y voz men garow 'because it's a rough stone'

drefenn ow bonez benen 'because I'm a woman' (bonez is an alternative to boz)

or other verbal nouns :

drefenn gwelez mar nebez 'because of seeing so little / b. he(?) can hardly see'

drefenn ev dhe leverel 'because of him saying / b. he says/said'

drefenn ladha ow broder 'because of killing my brother / because I killed my b.'

 

 

 

Sean of the Dead
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Post by Sean of the Dead » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:36 am

Wow, thanks for that very in-depth post! That cleared up a lot for me. As we are following the KDL course, we will only know that orthography until we know Cornish at an intermediate or advanced level, to prevent confusion, as well as not having to buy another dictionary just to look up the correct spelling of words in SWF, which from what I've seen not many people adhere to, like KS for example. :P So, if anyone posting can use the KK orthography, or clear things up that might not be apparent, that would be quite helpful to us. Many thanks in advance! We really love learning Cornish, it is a very beautiful language.

One thing that I am a bit confused about is the use of jy/sy/zy. From what I understand, zy is no longer used, as it has been deemed incorrect. And I see that sy (should it correctly be zy, thus pronounced zh?) is the correct word for use with os, so os zy, and not os jy as the KDL course states. Is this all right?

This also raises a question, what is the mutation of dydh? The KDL course says it is jydh, is that still correct? And just curious, how does one tell whether an s in KK should really be pronounced as a z?

Does anyone happen to know of a full conjugation for boz? There seem to be a million different forms, and ones like eus and usi/uzi I am totally lost on. Pur veur ras!

pietercharles
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Post by pietercharles » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:08 am

sj, have you got a KDL tutor?  If you have, I really think you'd get less confused if you asked him or her the questions and got a single straight answer using one spelling system.  If you haven't got a tutor, you should consider paying whatever the miniscule fee is these days and getting one.  It'll be money well spent.

You really don't need to get hung up about minor issues like jy/sy/zy.  Honestly you don't.  If you get a C24 dissertation or two back every time you have a question I predict you'll never get past about lesson ten.

If you start to write 'os zy' that's fine.   You will have instantly increased the number of people that use 'os zy' by 100%, so it might be best to ask KDL whether factotum could be your tutor, since he'll be the only other person spelling as you do.

You'll hear 'jy', by the way, every time someone sings Happy Birthday to you in Cornish.  'jy' is still used.  It hasn't been deemed incorrect.  Stick to what KDL teaches you and you'll be just fine - lots of fluent speakers initially learnt through KDL.  I don't think any learnt through C24, although plenty of learners probably gave up learning after reading what gets written here.   

 

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factotum
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Post by factotum » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:19 am

Better put you out of your misery, an jydh, an jowl 'the devil' and when you come to them a'n jeves etc. all have 'real' j's in them (like in 'jam') so there's no problem there. nynz/nynj and nanz/nanj seem to swing both ways, depending on the writer, but the z forms are probably the best. These are of course still written 'nyns' and 'nans' even though we ought to know better.

And rest assured that on the whole we agree about most of the words in the dictionary. But since Cornish has had to be reconstructed from written records, which can't be taken at face value, contradict each other, belong to different times etc. We sometimes find that what we recommeded in the past is incorrect. Now if we want Revived Cornish to improve over time, then we need to teach beginners the 'state of the art' language, otherwise we'll get stuck in the past. And there are still a few grey areas, but much less than there used to be. So often the honest answer is "we don't know for sure, maybe it was this or maybe it was that" which is definitely not what a beginner wants to hear. However given the way Cornish is (a revived language) that's just the way things are, if you don't like it go and learn Breton or Welsh, but there you'll run into dialect differences ...

So zy. The old Gerlyver Meur has 'jy' like UC. However at some point people began writing 'sy' I'm sure. Was this from the G. Kres (which I don't have)? The Gerlyvrik has neither 'jy' nor 'sy'. The new G.M. has both, but suggests 'jy' as the main form, mentions that it may have had the 'zh' sound. It recommends the j pronunciation, even though this really belongs to Late Cornish, not Middle Cornish. The evidence for the 'zh' sound, becoming 'sh' after an s, which the  G.M. refers to, comes from CW at the very very end of Middle Cornish.

Sorry, this isn't your fault or mine either. It comes from dithering over whether to show z in the spelling, presumably someone thought it would frighten the horses. Although it's kind of acknowledged since the G.M. gives the 'zh' sound in the phonetics where z comes before an i, y, e mostly, which doesn't happen with s (it never sounds 'sh' which was a separate distinct sound). As presently written some KK 's's are real s's and some are z's, and I choose to show them so as I remember which is which, that's all there is to it. There's no rule to tell otherwise. And just to add to the muddle, zy can be written 'jy' or 'sy'. I'm afraid in this particular point I'm in agreement with Michael, although my solution is the opposite to his.

----

boz has several functions. When it's used to link two things, or assign a quality to something, it's the copula or 'short' form that's used. That is to say 'John is the teacher' or 'the bus is red'.

I am ov, oma, ov vy. The first 'bare' form must be used to say 'yes' or 'no' to a question, the last is probably the most used and puts some emphasis on the 'I'. This is the one you have to use it you need to stress the vy. And oma turns up occasionally, so just be aware of it.

You (thou) are os, osta, os tezy (os zy) Again 'bare' form, more or less usual form, emphatic form, and the last is probably not strictly grammatical but can be used.

Better have some examples as you need to learn this in context :

Ov vy gokki? 'Am I silly?' Os! 'Yes, (you are)' or Nag os! 'No (you're not)' Gokki osta (zy) 'you're silly' emphasis on 'silly' or Yth osta gokki emphasis on 'are' or Ty yw gokki emphsisi on 'you';

Nynz osta gokki 'You're not silly'.

Osta fur? 'Are you wise?' Ov! 'Yes (I am)' / Nag ov! 'No (I'm not)'. Fur ov vy 'I'm wise'

Fatell osta? 'How are you?' Skwith ov vy 'I'm tired'.

Piw yw skwith? 'Who is tired?' My yw skwith 'I'm tired'.

----

For 'he is' it goes in order of emphasis yw, ywa, ywe, yw ev

For 'she is' ditto yw, ywi, yw hi.

Piw yw an dyskador? 'who's the teacher?' Yowann yw an dyskador, Y. yw ev. 'John's the t., J. is'

Pyth yw Yowann? 'What is John?' Dyskador yw 'he's a teacher' Dyskador ywe / yw ev.

Yw Yowann an dyskador? 'Is J. the t.?' Yw! 'Yes' Nag yw! 'No', Yth yw Yowann an dyskador 'J. is the t.'

Nynz yw Y. an d. 'J. isn't the t.'

Enough for now!

 

 

 

 

truru
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Post by truru » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:04 pm

factotum's "nynz" is "nyns" in KK, KDL and the SWF.

truru
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Post by truru » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:17 pm

sjheiss said:



One thing that I am a bit confused about is the use of jy/sy/zy. From what I understand, zy is no longer used, as it has been deemed incorrect. And I see that sy (should it correctly be zy, thus pronounced zh?) is the correct word for use with os, so os zy, and not os jy as the KDL course states. Is this all right?


The current and most used form in KK and therefore KDL is "jy", that's all you should worry about. It's also the SWF form.

"os jy" and "os ta" is fine, and the most used forms. Again factotum is using his own orthography he developed himself.



This also raises a question, what is the mutation of dydh? The KDL course says it is jydh, is that still correct?


"dydh" becomes "an jydh", it's an irregular mutation. Don't worry there's only a few of them.



Does anyone happen to know of a full conjugation for boz? There seem to be a million different forms, and ones like eus and usi/uzi I am totally lost on. Pur veur ras!



 

Forms of "bos": (the six lines go: 1. I, 2. you (sg), 3. he/she, 4. we, 5. you (pl), 6. they)

 

Present tense, short form

ov
os
yw
on
owgh
yns

Present tense, long form

esov
esos
yma, eus, usi
eson
esowgh
ymons, esons, usons

Imperfect tense, short form

en
es
o
en
ewgh
ens

Imperfect tense, long form

esen
eses
esa
esen
esewgh
esens

Future tense

bydhav
bydhys, bydhydh
bydh
bydhyn
bydhowgh
bydhons

Preterite tense

beuv
beus
beu
beun
bewgh
bons

Now you'll be asking when to use the long form and when to use the short form, and when to use yma, usi and eus! There is a good tutorial on this subject that should clear some things up, it's in the SWF but is very close to KK, you shouldn't have any trouble with it:  http://www.kernewegva.com/PDFs.....a_berr.pdf

It takes a while to grasp but you'll soon get your head around it!

pietercharles
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Post by pietercharles » Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:27 pm

The line that reads 'ymons, esons, usons' should really be 'ymons, esons/usons' because there are only two forms of the verb here -  'ymons' and then a choice between 'esons' and 'usons' - you choose.

The line that reads 'bydhys, bydhydh' should really be 'bydhys/bydhydh' because there is only one form of the verb here and it's either 'bydhys' or 'bydhydh' - you choose. 

KDL will only teach you 'esons', not 'usons' and 'bydhydh' not 'bydhys' and my advice would be to stick to them - I believe only one living writer uses 'usons' and 'bydhys' but someone will soon let you know if I'm wrong.

sj, truru is being as helpful as he/she can be, but I think you're asking the wrong questions at this stage.  As far as I can see from the index of lesssons, KDL gives you a summary of 'bos' (or 'boz', to make it clear to you and factotum what I'm talking about) in lesson 33.  And that's where it belongs - it's way too early to start listing out verb forms, which are useless in isolation.   Given that you are currently on lesson 7, a complete listing of the verb without any details about when to use, and how to use, certain forms and when not to use, and how not to use, certain forms is really of little use at all.  And even with those details you are inevitably going to produce bad Cornish until all the pieces start to fall into place.  I think I can almost guarantee that jumping ahead like this will prove to be unhelpful and possibly a disaster.  

Don't try to run before you can crawl.  And if you haven't got one, get a KDL tutor!

 

 

truru
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Post by truru » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:13 pm

On the contrary Pieter, some learners like to have the inner workings of a language laid out before them before they start to put it together, I know I do.

Everyone has their own style of learning, there isn't a right way or a wrong way.

Based on my own experience, learning the differences between yma/usi/eus and knowing where each form of 'bos' came in the verb tables actually made things a lot clearer.

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Taran
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Post by Taran » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:11 pm

Put simply:

The short form of 'bos' is used when you wish to describe what someone or something is like:

Sqwyth ov vy - I am tired
Yeyn yns y - They are cold

The long form is used when describing what someone or something is doing:

Yth esos ta ow redya - You are reading
Yth eson ny ow ponya - We are running

pietercharles
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Post by pietercharles » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:21 pm

truru said:

On the contrary Pieter, some learners like to have the inner workings of a language laid out before them before they start to put it together, I know I do.

Everyone has their own style of learning, there isn't a right way or a wrong way.

Based on my own experience, learning the differences between yma/usi/eus and knowing where each form of 'bos' came in the verb tables actually made things a lot clearer.



 

truru said:

On the contrary Pieter, some learners like to have the inner workings of a language laid out before them before they start to put it together, I know I do.



Everyone has their own style of learning, there isn't a right way or a wrong way.

Based on my own experience, learning the differences between yma/usi/eus and knowing where each form of 'bos' came in the verb tables actually made things a lot clearer.



I don't dispute any of that.  I agree with the first two observations, and I'm sure the third is true.

So no 'contrary' about it, truru. 

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