Deskanz Deaw - 2
Naming what you see, a, the and gender
|Pandreu hebma? or Dreu hebma?||What is this?|
|Pandreu hedda? or Dreu hedda?||What is that?|
|Cathe eu||It is a cat.|
In Cornish there is no word for "a". Hence "a cat" is translated as "cathe" and the word "a" is not translated. notice also that here "eu" means "it is" and the word "it" is not translated. Elsewhere you will find that it simply means "is".
Every Cornish noun must belong to one of two genders, masculine... guraw or feminine benaw. If we arrange guraw to the left and benaw to the right it will help you remember which gender applies. It is important to know the gender of each word for several reasons. Here is the first:.
The definite article
the = an (A may also be used, specially before a v- ). If an/a is placed before a feminine word beginning with any of the letters shown below the first letter of the word must be softened. The list of words used is arranged with guraw to the left and benaw to the right. You will see how an/a does not affect the guraw words, but does affect the benaw words. This is called mutation.
|B||bord||a table||B -> V||benen||a woman|
|an bord||the table||an venen, a venen||the woman|
|C||cok||a fishing boat||C -> G||cathe||a cat|
|an cok||the fishing boat||an gathe||the cat|
|D||darraz||a door||D -> ŢH||davaz||a sheep, an ewe|
|an darraz||the door||an thavaz||the sheep, the ewe|
|GL||glaun||wool||GL -> L||gladn||a bank|
|an glaun||the wool||an ladn||the bank|
|GO||gove||a smith||GO -> W(O)||gooth||a goose|
|an gove||the smith||an wooth or an ooth||the goose|
|GW||gwille||a bed||GW -> W||gwethan||a tree|
|an gwille||the bed||an / a wethan||the tree|
|K||ky||a dog||K -> G||kilhi||a grove|
|an ky||the dog||an gilhi||the grove|
|M||maw||a boy||M -> V||moaz||a girl|
|an maw||the boy||an voaz||the girl|
|P||pedn||a head||P -> B||powz||a dress|
|an pedn||the head||an bowz||the dress|
|T||tane||a fire||T -> D||tezan||a cake|
|an tane||the fire||an dezan||the cake|
All nouns that begin with the letters listed above must be treated as shown. Only the feminine nouns are affected by the softening (mutation) rule and this is only when they are singular. The plural is not affected. Masculine nouns are not affected if singluar. The plural of nouns and further rules will be introduced in lesson 6.
If any noun begins with a letter not listed above it will not be affected by the rules.