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Cornish Language

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ant_18uk
37570.  Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:05 pm Reply with quote

In an episode of QI sorry dont remember which series. reference was made to the cornish language migrating to america i think with cornish tin miners (sorry i didnt manage to catch the full conversation with kids shouting in my ear) could you plz give me further information on the subject.....

 
gerontius grumpus
38416.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 12:43 pm Reply with quote

This looks slightly questionable.
Cornish miners settled all over the world, wherever their mining skills could be used but the Cornish language went out of common use before any of the great goldrushes.

The last Cornish monoglot was Dolly Pentreath of Musehole who died in 1777 and although a few words survived in the dialect the Cornish language quickly went out of use.

 
gruoch
39185.  Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:50 pm Reply with quote

There are still a few Cornish speakers extant - trying to get the language recognised by the European Parliament.

 
Frederick The Monk
39194.  Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:18 pm Reply with quote

Gaazy knows a lot about this. See post 17724

 
gerontius grumpus
39195.  Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:19 pm Reply with quote

A friend of mine in Cornwall was learning Cornish, she used to go to meetings where they spoke only Cornish and when her tutor phoned, he would start the telephone conversation in Cornish.
I borrowed some library books about it and found it too difficult for me.
There are two forms of modern Cornish, mainly differing in spelling.
The more recent from and is strongly influenced by Breton
and the older version is closer to Welsh.
Bilingual road signs mainly use the newer form.

 
Gaazy
39209.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:58 am Reply with quote

I have personal experience of this, in a cross-generational kind of way.

My great-grandfather, a lead miner, emigrated to America in the 1890s along with hundreds of other Welsh miners. In those days Welsh speakers were often almost completely monoglot in that language (even in the 1950s I remember people who only had a smattering of English), and naturally spoke Welsh to each other on the other side of the pond.

For some not adequately explored reason, the Americans lumped all British immigrant miners who weren't obviously "English" as Cornish - maybe because the first immigrants did, indeed, come from Cornwall - so a large percentage, possibly the great majority, of mentions of "Cornish" miners do in fact refer to Welsh[-speaking] ones.

I went to Idaho Springs in Colorado to follow up my ancestor's story, and was able to discuss the above in detail with a museum curator and with a newspaper editor, so it's more than mere conjecture.

 
Celebaelin
39353.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:07 pm Reply with quote

Do-de-do-do Do-de-do-do</Twighlight zone music>

Gaazy wrote:
My great-grandfather, a lead miner, emigrated to America in the 1890s along with hundreds of other Welsh miners. In those days Welsh speakers were often almost completely monoglot in that language (even in the 1950s I remember people who only had a smattering of English), and naturally spoke Welsh to each other on the other side of the pond.
//
I went to Idaho Springs in Colorado to follow up my ancestor's story, and was able to discuss the above in detail with a museum curator and with a newspaper editor, so it's more than mere conjecture.


My great-grandfather and one of his brothers emigrated to America in 1876 (that's 2 years after The Little Bighorn) and we have a bible in Welsh from Griffith dated "September 1876 Republic, Michigan".

Griffith returned home to farm but Dai went on to mine gold in Utah. He married the (first?) schoolteacher of Grand Junction, Colorado and is buried there. I would like to visit but have so-far only reached Florida and California.

 
gerontius grumpus
39446.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:56 pm Reply with quote

Gaazy's posting was more than quite interesting.
In Tudor times the Cornish were sometimes referred to as West Welsh and of course the 'wall' in the name Cornwall means Wales.
Welsh originally meant the Celtic Britons in Wales, Cornwall, England, Strathclyde and Lothian. It was the old English for foreigner.
John Morris in 'The Age of Arthur' claims that there were Welsh villages throughout England well into the middle ages.

There are also, of course Welsh villages in Patagonia.

 
Celebaelin
39456.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:56 pm Reply with quote

Gaazy

Can you help with Lloegr?

I've been told it means...visitor...maybe...foreigner perhaps?

At any rate the irony of Anglo-Saxons calling native Britons (OK Brigantes, but that's a Roman thing) foreign is, or should be, apparent.

<Edit>The Swiss around lake Geneva are known as the Welsh, 'apparently'. Seems possible with 'Celtic' European history.</Edit>


Last edited by Celebaelin on Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:57 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Gaazy
39471.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:06 am Reply with quote

The "wall" part of Cornwall, as cornelius rightly points out, is the same as the English name "Wales", and means foreigner[s].

"Lloegr" is more problematical. There are 2 ducks' quacks - 1. that it derives from Locrinus, the son of Brutus (this from the extravagantly unreliable Geoffrey of Monmouth); 2. that it means "lost lands" (though no-one seems to be able to furnish the etymology for this).

Some make a connection with the name Loire, and also Leicester, which means Fort of Llŷr (we call it Caerlŷr in Welsh); Llŷr corresponds to the English name Lear.

Some say that Lloegr means "border", but the truth is that no-one really knows. There is a theory that the name ultimately derives from Latin locus, meaning 'place', which also gives the Welsh "lloc" (an enclosure). The research continues; I've put my son on the case - his first language is Welsh, and he's doing a PhD in the Linguistics department of the University of Wales, having previously done a year's stint at the Placenames Research Centre in Bangor, so I think he might be reasonably qualified to nail something down.

Sais (pl. Saeson), meaning the English people, is no problemo - it means Saxons.

 
djgordy
39484.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:59 am Reply with quote

Les WEALAS ont désigné aussi les North Wealas = les Bretons du secteur nord-ouest par rapport à Leicester / Llogres, par différentiation d'avec les West Wealas = ceux de la péninsule domnonéenne (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset) après la coupure du territoire provoquée par la défaite de DEORHAM.

http://www.rezoweb.com/forum/histoire/istorbreizh/456.shtml

Deorham was a battle in 577 AD in which the West Saxons defeated the Britons and thus virtually completed their conquest of England.

The name 'Wales' means 'territory of alien race' or 'land of foreigners' and was given to any country that was adjacent to that ruled by Germanic people. Italy was known as 'Walschland' and of course there are the Walloons of Belgium.

'Llogres' is a name given to the the area now known as England as it was ruled by the Celts between the departure of the Romans and the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. It appears in loads of Arthurian literature.

 
Gaazy
39488.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:39 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
'Llogres' is a name given to the the area now known as England as it was ruled by the Celts between the departure of the Romans and the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. It appears in loads of Arthurian literature.

Yes, but it's relatively late Arthurian literature, and all commentators agree that Logres derives from the pre-existent Lloegr.

 
djgordy
39503.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:28 am Reply with quote

As there seems to be some association between Leicester and Llogres/LLoegr then the answer is easy (he says with fingers crossed).

'Leicester' is derived from the words 'castra' (camp) of the Ligore. 'Ligore' means 'dwellers on the River Legro', which was an early name for the River Soar.

 
Gaazy
39509.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:44 am Reply with quote

I'm glad I wrote "some make a connection..." in an earlier post - the 'Fort of Lear' derivation is another from the fantasist Geoffrey of Monmouth, who has a lot to answer for.

 
gerontius grumpus
39525.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:35 am Reply with quote

Was the Llyr whose fort Leicester was, the same as Llyr in the Mabinogion?

I think Austrian wines made from German grape varieties are called'welsch' because they are 'foreign'. Perhaps someone could confirm or refute this.

 

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