Cornish notes for beginners by Neil Kennedy

Section 5
5.1 Pes? How many?
5.2 Mutation (letter changes) after numbers.
5.3 Pana prez ew? What time is it? (pana: also spelt puna)
5.4 Parts of the day & night.
5.5 More expressions of time.
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5.1 Pes? How many?

We can use pes with ez to ask how many are there?

Pes cader ez? How many chairs are there?
Note that we use the singular chair, not chairs.

Here are the numbers from 1 to 20:

1 onen, 2 deaw, 3 try, 4 pager, 5 pemp, 6 wheeh, 7 seith, 8 eath, 9 naw, 10 deeg, 11 ednak, 12 dowdhak, 13 tardhak, 14 puzwardhak, 15 pemdhak/pundhak, 16 whethak, 17 seithak, 18 eatack, 19 nawnjak, 20 igans.

There are special feminine forms of 2, 3 & 4: diw, tair, peder. (In practice there is little or no difference in pronunciation between deaw and diw.) There are three forms of 1: onen is used as a noun (there's one: ma onen), edn is used before a noun (there's one pub in town: ma edn tavarn en drea.), on is a contraction of onen which we use when counting.

Pes dean ez en scath? > ma wheeh dean en scath
How many people are there in the boat? > There are six people in the boat

Pes beuh ez en park? > ma tair beuh en park
How many cows are there in the field > There are three cows in the field

Pes pesk ez en moar? > Ah, ma lias pesk en moar
How many fish are there in the sea? > Ah, There are many fish in the sea

lias: many

Pes aval ez war an skoran? > ma pemp aval... onen, deaw, try, pager, pemp.
How many apples are there on the branch? > There are five apples, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Note: We follow numbers with a singular noun so instead of saying five apples we say five apple: pemp aval.

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5.2 Mutation (letter changes) after numbers.

edn (one) causes softening of the first letter of a feminine word, in the same way as an does.

deaw/diw (two) causes softening of the first letter of a following word whether it is masculine or feminine.

try/tair (three) causes breathed or apirate mutation (another kind of mutation) of the first letter of a following word, as follows:
c and k become h (although this is frequently ignored if the word starts with co-).
p sometimes becomes f (irregularly observed).
t is rarely changed to th.

The other numbers do not cause mutation.

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5.3 Pana prez ew? What time is it? (pana: also spelt puna)

onen ar gloh: 1 o’clock; deaw ar gloh: 2 o’clock; try ar gloh: 3 o’clock; pajer ar gloh: 4 o’clock; pemp ar gloh: 5 o’clock; wheeh ar gloh: 6 o’clock; seith ar gloh: 7 o’clock; eath ar gloh: 8 o’clock; naw ar gloh: 9 o’clock; deeg ar gloh: 10 o’clock; ednak ar gloh: 11 o’clock.
    hanterdeedh: noon
    hanternoaz (or hanternoze): midnight
    An prez ew hanterdeedh: the time is midday
    An prez ew hanternoaz: The time is midnight

Ouja: after
Use ouja to translate past, just as dialect speakers used to say five after three etc.

hanter ouja pemp ew: it's half past five. quarter ouja seith ew: it's quarter past seven.

(Note: ouja -after- is spelt ouga, udga or ugge in some older books.)

Dha or da: to

quarter dha seith: quarter to seven.
igans dha deaw ew: its twenty to two.
deeg dha deeg ew: its ten to ten

Note: Soft mutation is sometimes observed after dha/da although you can normally ignore it in Late Cornish.

Dro dha: about/appromimately
Dro dha wheeh ar gloh: about six o'clock

Other ways to ask questions:
Pana termen?: what time?
e.g. Pana termen wrig hy disquedhas? What time did she show up?
Ez gena why an prez?: Have you got the time?
You can tack on me a pejy/pedgy or mar pleag if you want to say please.

Note: Instead of ar gloh users of Unified and Kemmyn prefer ere (hour) and may ask P'ere ew? rather than pana prez ew?

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5.4 Parts of the day & night.

deedh: day; an jeedh / an deeth: the day; noaz / noze: night; deedhtarth: daybreak; metten: morning (until about 10:00); kenjoha: forenoon; dohojadh: afternoon; gothewhar: evening; tulgow: dusk; howldreval: sunrise; howlsedhas: sunset

en termen an noaz: at night en jeedh or en deedh: during the day

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5.5 More expressions of time.

avare/arvis: early, moy avare: earlier, dewedhas: late, moy dewedhas: later on, adhewedhas/adewedhas: lately, nanjew termen: it’s about time/ already, alebma: ago, kens lebmen: before now/ already adermen: on time

nehuer/newer: last night; de: yesterday; degenzete: the day before yesterday; hedhow: today; hedhow metten: this morning.

Dedhiow an seithan: Days of the week:

De Zeel: Sunday; De Leen: Monday; De Merh: Tuesday; De Marhar: Wednesday; Deow / De Yow: Thursday; De Gwenar: Friday; De Zadarn: Saturday.

Miziow an Vledhan: Months of the year:
We normall put miz (month) in front of the names of the months.

miz Genuar or miz Jenuar: January; miz Whevral: February; miz Merh: March; miz Ebral: April; miz Mea: May; miz Efan: June; miz Gorefan: July; miz East: August; miz Gwedngala: September; miz Hedra: October; miz Du: November; miz Kevardhu: December.

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