Heading - History of the Cornish language

1000 | 1100 | 1200 | 1300 | 1400 | 1500 | 1600 | 1700 | 1800 | 1900 | 2000 | 2010 | 2011| 2013

Kernewek yn Kynsistori

Kernewek yw an diyskynnyas didro a’n hen yeth kewsys gans an  anedhysi geltek hag a driga yn Kernow ha’n brassa rann a’n  enesow predennek termyn hir kyns an fethans romanek.

c.600 O.G.   

Omdhiskwedhans a Gernewek avel yeth dhiblans.

577 O.G.    

Kas Dyrham a dhiberthas an Geltyon ha’ga yethow yn Kembra ha Dunmonia.

1000  Kernewek Koth top

An Oos Kernewek Koth a dhurya  dhyworth 800AD bys yn 1200AD hag yw an a-varra Kernewek ha dhodho kovskrifow yn furv  a erlyver Kernewek-Latinek ha notennow   y’n emlow, skrifys yn po Latinek po Sowsnek.

c.1100         

Vocabularium Cornicum.

c.1200 – c.1575 Kernewek Kres top

1265 Fondyans Glasney.

1375 Pascon agan Arluth top

Pascon agan Arluth yw an a-varra tekst efan hag yw bardhonek a 259 gwers.

1400 Ordinalia top

An Ordinalia yw kuntell a dri gwari: Origo Mundi,  Passio Christi ha Resurrexio Domini, hag a veu skrifys rag bos performys yn Plen an Gwari, hag  yw kevys, lies anedha, hwath yn Kernow.

1497 Rebellyans An Gof erbynn an myghternses sowsnek

1504 Beunans Meriasek top

Dydhyas Beunans Meriasek yw 1504 mes y krysir nag yw an skrif derowel. An hirra skrif usi genen yw.

1548 Suppressyans Glasney

1549 Rebellyans an Lyver Pysadow

Gonisyow dhe vos synsys yn Sowsnek a‑der Kernewek.

1555 Pregothow Tregear

An Pregothow Tregear yw an a-varra yeth plen re  dreusvewas, hag yw kuntell a 12 pregoth treylys yn Kernewek. Dell hevel synsys ynna yma lies moy chevisyansow sowsnek ages  y’n  bardhonegow a’n  oos na.

c.1575 - 19ves Kansvledhen a-varr      

Mernans Kernewek avel yeth an gemeneth.

1602  Derivas Richard Carew a-dro dhe Gernowyon ow skonya kewsel Sownsek top

1611 Gwreans an Bys

Kehaval orth Origo Mundi yw an gwari ma ha synsys ynno yw liv Noah.

c.1624 – 1703 Nicholas Boson

1641 - c.1720 John Kegwin hag erel a dhallathas treylya tekstow

c.1650 Nicholas Boson a skrifas y vamm dhe dhifenn orth gwesyon an teylu a gewsel orto yn Kernewek, ma na alla dyski an yeth

1660 Wella Rowe

Genys veu Wella Rowe yn Eglosveryan y’n vledhen 1660. Tiek yn Eglossankres o. Kernewek diwedhes o y vammyeth ha Sowsnek y nessa yeth. Kernowegores o y wreg, Florence, ynwedh, mes ny gewsens Kernewek gans aga fleghes  drefen bos lies den ragvreusek  er-bynn (po yw hemma kepar ha ‘war-barth’ – heb strik lemmyn?) an yeth. Ni  a  aswon Wella Rowe  drefen ev dhe dreylya tekstow dhiworth an Bibel; Jenesis Chaptra 1, 1-24, Matthew Chaptra 2, 1-20, and Matthew Chaptra 4. Ev a skrifas gerva ynwedh, mes soweth kellys veu an skrif a neb 350 folenn dres an 19ves  kansvledhen.

1665 - c.1720 John Boson

1676 - 1741 William Gwavas

1700 Edward Lhuyd a dhrehedhas Kernow top

1707 Archaeologica Brittannica – Edward Lhuyd

1735 William Pryce

Genys veu William Pryce yn Resrudh, mab Samuel, leuvvedhek.   Kenerthys veu gans William Borlase dhe guntell y notennow a-dro dhe valweyth yn lyver. Pryce a wrug devnydh a vammskrifow a-dro dhe istori balweyth yn Kernow, y notennow y honan, ha derivadow  dhyworth tus  erel, ha’y Mineralogia Cornubiensis a veu dyllys yn 1778. Yn y Archaeologia Cornu-Britannica, dyllys yn 1790, ev a guntellas an oberow a Tonkin, Hals ha tus  erel, hag a geworras dhedha derivadow re guntellas ev dre gewsel orth tus koth a leveris i dhe gewsel an yeth. Price a verwis  mis Kevardhu 1790 hag a veu ynkleudhys yn Resrudh.

1750-1890 Difyk
Erbynn an nownsegves  kansvledhen, !! Kernewek re varwsa avel yeth kewsys  kemenethek, kynth  eus kovskrifow a’n yeth ow pos kewsys, yn  arbennek (war  vor) war an mor gans pyskadoryon  dhyworth Lulynn. Byttegyns yth esa dastardh a vern y’n gonisogeth keltek y’n termyn ma ha Kernewek a dennas tamm attendyans akademek.

1776 William Bodinar

“Nyns eus moy ages 4 po 5 y’gan treveglos a wor kewsel Kernewek lemmyn, tus koth peswar-ugens bloodh aga os, ankevys yn tien yw Kernewek gans tus yowynk”

1777 Mernans Dolly Pentreath, diwettha kowser an yeth herwydh derivasow

1859 Edwin Norris a guntellas ha treylya oberow koth kernewek yn Sowsnek  top

Ynwedh ev a gevernyas A Sketch of the Cornish Language.

1865 Georg Sauerwein, liesyeth almaynek, a skrifas dew vardhonek yn Kernewek

1865 Lexicon Cornu-Britannicum gans Robert Morris

1887 Gerlyver Sowsnek-Kernewek - F.W.P. Jago.

1891 Mernans John Davey, diwettha kowser Kernewek hengovek derivys

1904 Henry Jenner - A Handbook of the Cornish Language top

“medrys yn chyf orth an dus a genedhlogeth gernewek a garsa dyski tamm aswonvos a’ga hen daves ha martesen hwath y gewsel”. An lyver o selys war an yeth devnydhys yn Kernow Est y'n etegves kansvledhen.

Henry Jenner o skoler keltek, gweythresor gonisogethek kernewek, ha dallethor dasserghyans an yeth kernewek. Kyns ev dhe verwel, ev a leveris: “ Kosten ow  bewnans dien re beu sordya yn Kernowyon  aswonvos a’ga gnas  kernewek."

1920 Fondyans Kesunyans Kowethasow Kernow Goth

c.1920 - 1940 Morton Nance hag A.S.D.Smith a dhevnydhyas oberow Lhuyd (1707), Stokes (1872) ha gramasek bretonek rag asssaya digelmi an kaletter a ramasek ha syntaks

1928 Fondyans An Orsedh

Hengov an Orsedh, po kuntellyans a Verdh, a veu dasserghys yn Boskawen-un, pan veu ynstallys kynsa Bardh Meur Kernow, Henry Jenner ha 12 Bardh gans an Arghdrewydh a Gembra. Avonsyer krev a’n yeth re beu an Orsedh dres an  bledhynnyow hag a  dhegemeras an FSS a-gynsow.

Gorsedh Kernow a synsi ena kesstrifow bledhynnyek rag oberow derowel skrifys yn Kernewek.

1929-1938 Robert Morton Nance

Robert Morton Nance a dhellos y ‘Cornish for All’;  versyon a’n yeth selys war an tekstow a’n  osow kres, hag yn arbennik an Ordinalia, aswonys avel Kernewek Unys, hag ena yn 1938 gerlyver Kernewek-Sowsnek.

1934 Gerlyver Sowsnek-Kernewek – Nance ha Smith

2a hanter an 20ves Kansvledhen.  Fondyans Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek a dhewisas Kemmyn avel y lytherennans sodhogel

Agan Tavas a dhewisas Kernewek Unys ha Cussel an Tavas Kernuak a avonsyas Kernewek Diwedhes.

1952 Gerlyver Kernewek-Sowsnek – Nance.

1954 Derivas Studh an Yeth a venegas bos Kernewek dyskys yn 7 skol

1955 Gerlyver Kernewek-Sowsnek Amendys – Nance

1967 Kesva an Taves Kernewek a veu fondys rag restra ha governya apposyansow yn Kernewek

1979 Tim Saunders a gablas Nance ha gwruthyl lytherenieth nowydh selys war Lhuyd

1979 Dalleth a veu fondys rag teri adhyskans diwyethek.

1980s/90s Displegyans arnowydh

Dres an 1980ow ha 1990ow yth omdhiskwedhas nebes furvow dihaval a’n yeth: (Richard Gendall – Kernûak Nowedga; Ken George – Kernewek Kemmyn; Nicholas Williams – Kernowek Unys Amendys).

1983 Kernewek dre Lyther eth warlinen gans 750 studhyer top

1988  6 skol a dherivas nebes gwriansow yeth yn mysk a-dro dhe 150 studhyer 3a ha 4a bledhen

c.1990 Ken George a wrug lytherenieth nowydh, Kernewek Kemmyn

An lytherenieth o selys war leveryans dismygys Kernewek Kres.  Homma eth ha bos an lytherenieth an moyha kerys hag a veu degemerys gans Kesva an Taves Kernewek.

1991 Richard Gendall a askorras lytherenieth dhyffrans - Nowedga po Kernewek Diwettha hag A Student’s Dictionary of Modern Cornish

1993  Gerlyver Kernewek Kemmyn – Ken George

1999 Beunans Ke

Beunans Ke a veu dyskudhys y'n paperyow Caerwyn Williams ha dyllys. Kepar ha Beunans Meriasek, an gwari a veu skryfys y'n 16ves kansvledhen.

2000  Aswonvos top

Aswonys avel yeth nebes kewsys gans an UE, arghasans eth ha bos kavadow rag ri chons dhe dhisplegya lytherennans savonek rag an yeth.

2000 Studhyans anserghek a’n yeth kernewek gwrys gans G.O.S.W. a aswonis 40 kowethas owth avonsya Kernewek yn klassys dyffrans

A-dro dhe 300 kowser freth hag a-dro dhe 3000 a wodhya synsi keskows sempel yn Kernewek. – Sgrùd.

Governans an R.U. a sinas Chartour an Konsel Europek a-barth Yethow Minorita.
36 klassow gorthugher ow tyski 365 studhyer tevesik, ha bagasow yn Louncres hag Ostrali.  80 studhyer moy yn bagasow anfurvus hag omweresek.

2002 Governans an R.U. a aswonis Kernewek avel Yeth Vinorita Predennek yn-dann Jartour Europek rag Yethow Ranndiryel ha Minorita 

Hemma a aswonis bos Kernewek synsys yn Rann II a’n chartour – tamm studh sodhogel, mes heb bos aswonys avel yeth sodhogel Kernow.

2004 Strateji rag an Yeth Kernewek devisys

12 skol gynsa ha 4 skol nessa a brovias dyskansow y’n yeth kernewek dres an vledhen skol 2000-2001 owth omviska 120 studhyer skol kynsa ha 70 studhyer skol nessa.

2005 Keskowethyans an Taves Kernewek (CLP) a veu fondys (MAGA)

2007 Hwithrans PFA

Ow skodhya avonsyans a Gernewek, 9.9% owth y skodhya yn krev ha 20% er y bynn.  Brassa rann a’n bobel diduek.

2008 FSS – Furv Skrifys Savonek top

Linennans a’n FSS a veu skrifys gans Albert Boch ha Benjamin Bruch.  “An Furv Skrifys Savonek (FSS) rag Kernewek yw tir kemmyn rag devnydhyoryon a bub lytherenieth yw yn fyw ha rag kowsoryon a bub eghen a Gernewek Dasserghys”.

An ‘Furv Skrifys Savonek’ a veu unnverhes  mis Me 2008, rag devnydh yn skolyow ha’n  bewnans poblek

2009 An Gerlyver Meur

Nessa dyllans An Gerlyver Meur a veu dyllys yn 2009, an leunna gerlyver Kernewek-Sowsnek / Sowsnek-Kernewek bys y’n   dedhyow ma, ow synsi ynno etymologiethow manylys ha menegesow istorek.

2009 Konsel Kernow a dhegemeras polisi yeth nowydh owth aswon an yeth avel pyth gonisogethel unik hag a aswonnis omgemeryans rag y witha ha’y avonsya herwydh pennrewlow an Chartour 

Yma aswonvos y’n furvow dell sew:
1. Arwodhow diwyethek.
2. Komprehendya an yeth yn dylansow devedhek oll an Konsel ha lien avonsyans.
3. Surhe an bobel dhe allos kavos askoransow an yeth kernewek
4. Prederi a-dro dhe fordhow keworansek may hallo bos Kernewek devnydhys yn asrannow an Konsel.

2010 An English-Cornish Glossary y’n FSS – Boch et al. top

Dan Rogerson ES, Andrew George ES, Stephen Gilbert ES ha Sarah Newton ES a lias aga Li a Lelder yn Kernewek: “My a li re Dhuw Ollgalojek del vedhav len ha perthi lelder gwir dhe HY BRASTER AN VYTERNES ELISABETH, hy Erys ha’y Henedh, herwyth an laha.  Yndella re’m gweresso Duw.”  George Eustice o an unn ES kernewek a skonyas devnydhya Kernewek.

Lyther-Nowodhow MAGA a gomendyas igerans a Skol Dy Sadorn yn Pol.  (Lemmyn Skol Veythrin).

2011 Niveryans an Bobel a rekordyas 600 person ha dhedha Kernewek avel yeth chyf

Yth esa 500 anedha ow triga yn Kernow (h.y. 1/1000 a’n poblans).

2013 Klassow Kernewek a dhallathas yn Chi an Gemynnyon, restrys gans Dan Rogerson

2013 Daswel SS top

Kesva Daswel an FSS a gollenwas aga derivas diwettha ha’n Keskowethyans a dhegemeras an komendyansow ynno.

Heading - History of the Cornish language

1000 | 1100 | 1200 | 1300 | 1400 | 1500 | 1600 | 1700 | 1800 | 1900 | 2000 | 2010 | 2011 | 2013

Cornish in prehistory

The Cornish language (Kernewek) is the direct descendant of the ancient language spoken by the Celtic settlers who inhabited Cornwall (Kernow) and most of the British Isles long before the Roman conquest.

c.600 A.D. 

Appearance of Cornish as a distinct language.

577 A.D. 

Battle of Dyrham separated Celts and their languages into Wales and Dunmonia.

1000 Old Cornish top

The Old Cornish period lasted from around 800-1200AD and is the earliest Cornish for which records exist in the form of a Cornish-Latin dictionary and marginal notes in otherwise Latin or English documents.

c.1100         

Vocabularium Cornicum.

1265 Founding of Glasney

1375 Pascon agan Arluth top

Pascon agan Arluth (The Passion of Our Lord) is the earliest extensive Middle Cornish text and is a poem of 259 stanzas.

1400 Ordinalia top

The Ordinalia is a collection of three plays: Origo Mundi, Passio Christi and Resurrexio Domini, and was written to be performed in a Plen an Gwari (a 'playing place' or outside theatre in the round), several of which still exist in Cornwall.

1497 An Gof Rebellion against the English monarchy

1504 Beunans Meriasek top

Beunans Meriasek is dated 1504 but is not thought to be the original document. It is the longest single extant work.

1548 Suppression of Glasney

1549 Prayer Book Rebellion

Services to be held in English not Cornish.

1555 Tregear Homilies

The Tregear Homilies are the earliest surviving Cornish prose, and are a collection of 12 sermons translated into Cornish. They appear to contain many more English borrowings than the poetry plays of this time.

c.1575 - early 19th Century

Death of Cornish as a community language.

1602  Richard Carew’s account of Cornish people refusing to speak English top

1611 Creation of the World

This play is similar to Origo Mundi, and includes Noah's flood.

c.1624 – 1703 Nicholas Boson

1641 - c.1720 John Kegwin & others began to translate texts

c.1650 Nicholas Boson wrote that his mother had forbidden the family’s servants to address him in Cornish, so that he could not learn the language

1660 Wella Rowe

Wella Rowe was born in St Buryan in the year 1660. He was a farmer in Sancreed. Late Cornish was his first language, and English his second. His wife, Florence, was also a Cornish speaker, but they did not speak Cornish with their children because many people were prejudiced against the language. We know Wella Rowe because he translated texts from the Bible; Genesis Chapter 1, 1-24, Matthew Chapter 2, 1-20, and Matthew Chapter 4. He also wrote a vocabulary but unfortunately the document of some 350 pages was lost during the 19th Century.

1665 -c.1720 John Boson

1676 - 1741 William Gwavas

1700 Edward Lhuyd arrived in Cornwall top

1707  Archaeologica Brittannica – Edward Lhuyd

1735 William Pryce

William Pryce was born in Redruth the son of Samuel, a surgeon. He became a surgeon himself, working in Redruth. He was encouraged by William Borlase to gather his notes about mining in a book. Pryce used manuscripts about the history of mining in Cornwall, his own notes and information from other people, and his Mineralogia Cornubiensis was published in 1778. In his Archaeologia Cornu-Britannica, published in 1790, he collected the works of Tonkin, Hals and others, and added to them information that he had gathered by speaking to old people who claimed that they spoke the language. Price died in December 1790 and was buried in Redruth.

1750-1890 Decline of the language

By the nineteenth century, Cornish had died as a spoken community language, although there are records of the language being spoken particularly at sea by Newlyn fishermen. There was, however, a resurgence of interest in Celtic culture at this time and Cornish attracted some academic attention.

1776 William Bodinar

“There are no more than 4 or 5 in our village who can speak Cornish now, old folk of fourscore years. Cornish is all forgotten by young people”

1777 Death of Dolly Pentreath, last reported monoglot speaker

1859 Edwin Norris collected and translated old Cornish works into English top

He also compiled A Sketch of the Cornish Language.

1865 Georg Sauerwein, a German polyglot, wrote 2 poems in Cornish

He also compiled A Sketch of the Cornish Language.

1865 Lexicon Cornu-Britannicum by Robert Morris

1887  English-Cornish Dictionary -  F.W.P. Jago

1891 Death of John Davey, last reported speaker of traditional Cornish

1904 Henry Jenner - A Handbook of the Cornish Language top

“principally intended for those persons of Cornish Nationality who wish to acquire some knowledge of their ancient tongue and perhaps even speak it”. The book was based on the language used in West Cornwall in the eighteenth century.

Henry Jenner was a Celtic scholar, Cornish cultural activist, and chief originator of the Cornish language revival. Before he died, he said: "The whole object of my life has been to inculcate into Cornish people a sense of their Cornishness."

1920   Formation of the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies

c.1920 - 1940 Morton Nance and A.S.D.Smith used the works of Lhuyd (1707), Stokes (1872) and Breton grammar to attempt to resolve the issue of grammar and syntax

1928 Foundation of the Gorsedh

The tradition of the Gorsedh, or meeting of Bards, was revived at Boscawen-un, when Cornwall's first Grand Bard, Henry Jenner and 12 Bards were initiated by the Archdruid of Wales. The Gorsedd has been a staunch promoter of the language through the years and recently adopted the SWF.

Gorsedh Kernow then held annual competitionsfor original works written in Cornish. 

1929-1938 Robert Morton Nance

Robert Morton Nance published his ‘Cornish for All’; a version of the language based on the medieval texts, particularly the Ordinalia,known as Unified Cornish, and then in 1938 a Cornish-English dictionary.

1934 English-Cornish Dictionary – Nance and Smith

2nd half of 20th Century. Creation of Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek which chose Kemmyn as its official spelling

Agan Tavas chose Kernewek Unys and Cussel an Tavas Kernuak promoted Late Cornish.

1952 Cornish-English Dictionary – Nance

1954 State of the Language Report noted that Cornish was being taught in 7 schools

1955 Revised Cornish-English Dictionary – Nance

1967  Kesva an Taves Kernewek formed to organise and supervise examinations in Cornish

1979 Tim Saunders criticised Nance and created another spelling system based on Lhuyd

1979 Dalleth was established to press for bi-lingual education

1980s/90s Modern developments

During the 1980s and 1990s a number of other variants of the language were developed (Richard Gendall: Late Cornish; Ken George: Kernewek Kemmyn; Nicholas Williams: Unified Cornish Revised).

1983 Kernewek dre Lyther went online with 750 students top

1988 6 schools reported some language activity among about 150 3rd and 4th year students

c.1990 Ken George created a new orthography, Kernewek Kemmyn

The orthography was based on the supposed pronunciation of Middle Cornish.  This became the most popular spelling system and was adopted by Kesva an Taves Kernewek.

1991 Richard Gendall produced a different spelling system – Nowedga or Late Cornish and A Student’s Dictionary of Modern Cornish

1993 Gerlyver Kernewek Kemmyn – Ken George

1999 Beunans Ke

Beunans Ke was discovered in the papers of Caerwyn Williams and published. Like Beunans Meriasek, the play was written in the sixteenth century.

2000 Recognition top

Recognised as a minority language by the EU, funding became available to allow the development of a standard spelling system for the language.

2000 An independent Cornish language study undertaken by G.O.S.W. identified 40 organisations promoting Cornish in different categories

C.300 fluent speakers and c.3000 able to hold a simple conversation in Cornish – Sgrùd.

UK Govt. signed Council of Europe Charter on Regional and Minority Languages.
36 evening classes teaching 365 adult students, also groups in London and Australia.  Additional 80 learners in informal or self-help groups.

2002  UK Govt. recognised Cornish as a British Minority Language under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages

This recognised Cornish as falling under Part II of the Charter – some official status, but not recognised as the official language of Cornwall.

2004 Strategy for the Cornish Language devised

12 primary and 4 secondary schools provided Cornish language teaching during school year 2000-2001 involving 120 primary students and 70 secondary students.

2005 Keskowethyans an Taves Kernewek (CLP) formed (MAGA)

2007 PFA research

31.8% in favour of the promotion of Cornish, 9.9% strongly support this and 20% against.  Majority of the population indifferent.

2008 SWF – Furv Skrifys Savonek  top

Outline of the SWF written by Albert Boch and Benjamin Bruch.  “The Standard Written Form (SWF) for Cornish represents a common ground for users of all existing orthographies and for speakers of all varieties of Revived Cornish”.

The ‘Standard Written Form’ was agreed in May 2008, for use in schools and in public life.

2009 An Gerlyver Meur

The second edition of An Gerlyver Meur was published in 2009, the most comprehensive Cornish-English / English-Cornish dictionary to date, containing detailed etymologies and historical references.

2009 Cornwall Council adopted a new language policy recognising the language as a unique cultural asset and accepted responsibility for safeguarding and promoting it in accordance with the principles of the Charter

Recognition takes the following forms:
1. Bi-lingual street signs.
2. Including the language in all future Council publications and promotional literature.
3.  Ensuring the availability of Cornish language material to the public.
4. Considering additional ways to incorporate Cornish in the different departments of the Council.

2010 An English-Cornish Glossary in SWF – Boch et al. top

Dan Rogerson MP, Andrew George MP, Stephen Gilbert MP and Sarah Newton MP swore their Oath of Allegiance in Cornish:
“My a li re Dhuw Ollgalojek del vedhav len ha perthi lelder gwir dhe HY BRASTER AN VYTERNES ELISABETH, hy Erys ha’y Henedh, herwyth an laha.  Yndella re’m gweresso Duw.”  The only Cornish MP who failed to use Cornish was George Eustice.

Maga’s Lyther-Nowodhow announced the opening of Skol Dy Sadorn Kernewek in Pool.  (Now Skol Veythrin).

2011 Census recorded 600 people whose main language is Cornish

500 of them were living in Cornwall (i.e. 1/1000 of the population).

2013 Cornish classes start in the House of Commons organised by Dan Rogerson

2013 SWF Review top

The SWF Review Board produced their final report and the Partnership approved its recommendations.