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'Why should Cornishmen learn Cornish?' asked Henry Jenner (1848–1934) in the preface to this 1904 publication, dating from the beginnings of the Cornish revival. Jenner admits that 'the reason ... is sentimental and not in the least practical'. Born in Cornwall, but raised in south-east England, Jenner worked at the British Museum from 1870 to 1909 and was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He eventually retired to Cornwall where he became a leading figure in establishing the Old Cornwall Societies and the Gorseth Kernow. The Handbook begins by marshalling the evidence for the use of the Cornish language from the middle ages to the eighteenth century, and listing the manuscripts and books in which it is preserved. It describes the uncertainties surrounding spelling and pronunciation, and the complex system of initial consonant mutations, before explaining the parts of speech. It also includes a fascinating chapter on names.
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- Date Published: August 2012
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108047029
- length: 230 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.29kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. The History of the Cornish Language and Literature:
1. The story of the Cornish language
2. The literature and other remains of Cornish
Part II. The Grammar of the Cornish Language: Introductory note
1. Spelling and pronunciation
2. The initial mutations
3. The articles
4. The noun
5. The adjective
6. The numerals
7. The pronouns
8. The verb in general
9. The auxiliary verbs
10. Paradigm of a regular verb
11. The irregular verb
12. Prepositions, conjunctions, and adverbs
13. Swear-words and expletives
14. The construction of sentences, idioms, etc.
16. On the interpretation of Cornish names
Appendix: days, months, and seasons in Cornish
Some modern books and articles on Cornish.
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