Cornish love poem
Dha ymach y’n gweder
Yu ow han decca
Mes fysk, yma ow vansya
Ow "my a’th car" dewetha yu.
→ French poem ←
Love poem translated into Cornish (Curnoack, Kernowek, Autonym : Kernewek); for all the women of Cornwall, cousins of Breton!
They are half of the 3,500 speakers, that count this language.
This British language becomes a little alive after having disappeared a little. In its old state, Cornish is close to Breton and Welsh.
Until the 15th century, the Tamar River marks the border between English and Cornish. The history of the language is divided into 3 periods: Old (9-13), Middle (13-16), and Modern Cornish.
We find in Cornish as in all Celtic languages in their modern state a completely original character, the consonantal mutation (lenition), ie a weakening of certain consonants according to the old phonic form of the word that precedes them. For example in Breton the word "head" may be penn or benn (ho penn or da benn = your head), fenn (o fenn = their head).
If today, we find works published in Cornish, it is in the Middle Cornish period that most of the literature is found (Ordinalia, Beunans Meriask, Greans an Bys, Beunans Ke).
In its old state, the Cornish is close to Breton and Welsh. The Cornish gives birth to a literature of bards who participate in the development of Arthur and Tristan myths and then to a Christian literature in dialect, such as the 259 stanzas of the "Apocrypha of Nicomedes", "the creation of the world" by William Jordan of Helston which are the first signed works.
The last person who had Cornish as mother tongue died in 1777. At the 19th H. Jenner Cornish poet, relaunched oral and written poetry in dialect, followed by Caradar (Trystan ag Ysolt).