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THEORY: [Celticonlang] Re: THEORY: Browsing at Borders Public Library

From:Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>
Date:Monday, October 11, 1999, 17:48
On Mon, 11 Oct 1999, andrew wrote:

> Bengwenid/Benlligad: twin greetings, well-come and well-found. The > importance of hospitality.
Hospitality is important everywhere in Kemr. Bednweneth is what you'll get in the South. The usual welcome is "bednweneth de ce casille", meaning welcome (to you) from our poor hut. The usual answer is "bendicien forry bhues, y llanttes e le ndomme!", meaning blessings showered on the cows the children and the house. If your host is a bit pretentious (or, if rich, eccentric) you might get "dosforet condeco le mbednweneth li rigi! dos foront la pociu e la wechtiala achy dhoni maboun achyn mbednweneth math!", meaning Let there be unto thee the welcome fit for a king! Let there be unto to thee drink and food and excellent gifts and a warm welcome!
> ill bethisad: the universe, literally meaning 'the baptised', a hint of > the understanding that the physical reality is itself sacramental.
Kernu has bethes, meaning world and by extension universe; but not the interesting connection with baptism (undoubtedly from a different root). It's a word infrequently met with anymore, having been supplanted by mundes (world, earth) and unewers (universe). Some other interesting words: The most obvious is the name of the language itself and its speakers as well. The real (i.e. official) name of the language is Bretadnecca which like Brithenig and apparently Breathanach as well means "British". The ideals of the last century - nation within a nation and the equality of British cultures - and the struggles that ensued gave birth to "Kernu" (the language) and "Kernow" (the speakers thereof), which had hitherto referred only to the westernmost parts of the Province. "urus" was once a kind of ferocious wild bovine that roamed the land. In the west it has been extinct for centuries and centuries, and has thus been relegated to legend and story. It is now the "Cattle of the Otherworld". "kenams" means an old bone sucked dry of its marrow. Some strange quirk of folkloristic fate has given it another meaning: Christmas Feast. "Combrow" and "Chermen": The Kernow are firm believers in Us vs. Them. Us in this case is y Chermen, derived from germanus, and is used specifically for Kernu speakers. Them in this case is ils Ystranni, the strangers or Bloody Foreigners. That's neat and simple, you might think; but the Kernow are schizophrenic in one very important way. That is, there's another kind of Us, y Combrow, which means fellow countrymen. Fellow countrymen includes Brithenig speakers (who are, strictly speaking, Foreigners, though not really Bloody) and the people of Little Britain (who, though they don't speak Kernu (and are therefore not Chermen), are really Chermen at heart), but the term still manages to exclude Bloody Foreigners. Which kind of Us any given Kernow is at the moment will depend upon prevalent economic and political conditions, who's winning at the rugby tourney and the direction the conversation is headed. "festa" vs. "festals": derived from the same Latin word, but with radically different meanings. Festa is a religious feast, in particular a Holy Day of Obligation. Festals is a kind of all-you-can-eat feast, often held by one of the local kings. It's not a fair and there are no races or games, but there is music and song and a good time is had by all. Kind of like Oktoberfest (at least in parts of the US) where folks get together for eating, drinking and general merrimaking. Padraic. PS for the terminally curious: following is an approximation of how to pronounce all the Kernu words. I think it might be of interest, reason being, the spelling isn't a reliable guide to pronunciation. bednweneth ['bE~dnwEnET] or ['bE~dwEnET] bednweneth de ce casille ['bE~dnwEnET dEs kas'i] bendicien forry bhues, y llanttes e le ndomme [bEndIsi'En foRi 'vuEs i 'hlant e l@~'dom] dosforet condeco le mbednweneth li rigi! dos foront la pociu e la wechtiala achy dhoni maboun achyn mbednweneth math [dos'foREt kon'deko l@~'mE~dnwEnET li 'Rizhi - dos'foRont la posi'u e la wektj'ala axi'Doni ma'bun axI~'mE~dwEnET maT] bethes ['bETEs] mundes ['mundEs] unewers [unEw'ers] Bretadnecca [bRE'tadnEka] urus ['uRus] kenams ['kEnam] Combrow ['kombRow] Chermen [xerm'En] ils Ystranni [sIstR'ani] festa ['festa] festals [fEst'as] or [fEst'ais]
> - andrew.