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The Cornish Accent
Transcript of The Cornish Accent
Historically an area of tin mining from the middle ages to the 19th century.
By mid 19th century china clay extraction had taken over from mining.
During the 20th century, new railway links opened up Cornwall to tourism and it is now known for its long coastline, mild climate and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Art – the Tate gallery at St Ives
Music – traditional home of folk music. Roger Taylor drummer for the band Queen, was born and still lives in the county.
Literature –J.K. Rowling set a few chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in Cornwall, as did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in the Sherlock Holmes mystery The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot and Daphne Du Maurier’s The Birds, which was turned into a film by Alfred Hitchcock, was set there. Comes under the West Counties accent of Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire and Avon.
Influenced by the Celtic language.
Has a long association with farming and, as an effect, with lack of education and rustic simplicity.
Linked with pirate speech because of the seafaring traditions and long coastline.
The accents of the area are typified by a particular “burr”.
The vowel sound /a:/ e.g. “aar” sound appears in an unusually high number of words in a West Country accent. Reversal - e.g. her aunt brought she up
Archaisms e.g. give 'un to me (“'un” is a descendant of Old English)
Retention of thou and ye - e.g. why doesn't thee have a fringe?
Irregular use of the definite article - e.g. he died right in the Christmas
Omission of prepositions - e.g. I went chapel
Frequent use of the word “up” as an adverb - e.g. I’m answering up
The use of “some” as an adverb of degree - e.g. she's some good maid to work
Many of these are influenced by the Cornish language such as saying “May month” instead of just “May”.
The use of the male gender instead of the neutral comes from Germanic influences.
Using past tense “writ” when Standard English uses “wrote”.
The use of “to” to denote location e.g. where's that to? ("where's that?"). The “r” is very distinctive and pronounced everywhere unlike Received Pronunciation where “r” is only pronounced before vowels.
It is similar to how “r” is pronounced in Ireland and in most of North America.
For example: park, herd and car. In Cornwall, they have their own language.
It is very similar to the Welsh language and slightly related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic and Manx.
In 2000, it was claimed that only around 300 people still spoke Cornish fluently.
It is has no legal status but around 12 primary schools still teach it and a Standard Written Form was agreed it 2008.
Examples of words taken from the Cornish language and still used today as mining terminology are:
Kieve http://www.uv.es/anglotic/accents_of_english/section_one/examples_of_cornish_english.html The Cornish Accent Cultural Associations Poetry – the poet Laurence Binyon wrote For the Fallen, while sitting on the cliffs at Cornwall.
Royalty – after the Norman conquest in 1066, William the Conqueror created the Earldom of Cornwall for his eldest son. In 1337 it became the Duchy of Cornwall. The current Duke of Cornwall is the Prince of Wales.
Sport – surfing and sailing are the most popular sports due to its long coastline and strong maritime links. There are also Cornish versions of wrestling and hurling, a Cornwall county cricket club and a rugby union in Cornwall.
Cuisine – Cornish pasties known locally as “oggies” and clotted cream. Television chefs Rick Stein, John Torode and Jamie Oliver all have restaurants in Cornwall. Delivery is slower than with more “clipped” English accents.
Using /i:/ e.g. “eee” sound instead of “it” for objects e.g. “Put’ee over there!”.
Using the infinitive “be” instead of “am”, “is” or “are” e.g. “I be going home!”.
Plural nouns ending in the /z/ sound e.g. “ponies” are pronounced as if these words end in an “uz” sound.
The final “y” sound is pronounced as /ei/ instead of /i:/.
In many cases where the “l” is towards the end of the word e.g. “gold”, it is not pronounced so becomes “goad”. Thank you for watching