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Language Families of Britain and Ireland

Kerno is related to Brithenig and Breathanach. It is spoken in the western third of Kemr's province of Dûnein, in the French department of Bretagne and in several Kemrese dominions oversea. A large population inhabit the Republic of Louisiana and also the regions around Hong Kong.


There are two principal registers found in Dumnonian literature written in Kerno. The so-called Common Register is really identical to the spoken language. Texts in this register are marked "CR" in the page indicated below. There is also a more elevated, more Latinesque register called the Literary Register. It was in use from the medieval period up till about the early XX century. The use of the two registers has been described somewhat as an Englishman speaking the dialect of Kent in his everyday life, but when writing resorts to the parlance and particulars of the Chaucerian language. Texts in the Literary Register are marked "LR".

The Grammar Precis can be found here. It contains some historical and social background and proceeds into the basic paradigms. The Precis treats only of the Common Register. For a description of the Literary Register, kindly refer to Ferrar's Concise Tabulation of the Cornovian Dialect.

The Lexicon is pretty large and is thus divided into shorter sections: A-B-C, D-E-F, G-H-I-J-K, L-LL-M-N, O-P-Q-Qu, R-Rh-S-T, & U-V-W-X-Y-Z.

See texts for a number of text examples in Kerno. Most are short excerpts from folklore and the Bible. The longer texts of Guimier and the Contest should be of interest for the advanced student.

There is also a short Phrasebook which might be of some interest to the traveller in southern Britain.

Indo-European - Italic languages
Latin / Romance Languages Faliscan †
Oscan †
Umbrian †
Western Romance Lessinu
South-Central Romance
North-Central Romance
Eastern Romance
Britanno-Romance Gallo-Romance Northern Italian Ibero-Romance Jovian
Langues d'Oil Langues d'Oua Langues d'Oc

Some Questions and Answers

Note that the Pages regarding the people that speak Kerno have not been reworked as of yet, so you might not be able to find anything without considerable expense in quantum-dimensional mining equipment.

Where in the IB timeline is Kerno spoken?

Kerno is spoken móstly in the Duché de Cornouaille (the Breton region) in France, the NAL province of Ter Mair and parts of Oz (Australasia). Its homeland is the southern Kemrese province of Dûnein, corresponding to here's Duchy of Cornwall and the English counties of Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, and parts of Gloucester. Fewer than 45% of the province's population are L1 speakers of Kerno anymore.

What does Kerno look like?

La Newes l' Ayre. -- ‘Ny miz samotempeor sezevont y vineg le Sang Dreuand en l' echluys, sezement po is sew deliberacièn. Et couant condfablavont, gouezont ys yan newe trasnafigant l' ayre soer y sew phednes. Couant gouezont y h-ommen la newe y vinegges po is sew deliberacièn; l' ancheor ys iazeisont. Et cazus l' ancheor do miz parcouet l' echluys; ound coenrapuont-el y vineg l' ancheor. Gouenis ce yen om desal nagouea, ninathament tras l' ayre coueomo sis foryas l' acoua. Couant nitraiyuont-el ce l' omen, doandfasot-lis: "Per amur le Dé! -- esliberaz- me; per que vez ‘us me sumergeont!" Saldis-els l' om y vinegges syrprednes et-z-y sew deliberacièn, trasennathament ‘nal ayre. Bouasot il chapetíns et doentraiyuont-el l' ancheor; et desnauasont desal echluys.

To see this correctly, you will need to install the Bunchló GC font, which you can acquire free for personal use here.

What does Kerno sound like?

Kerno is without a doubt the absolute loveliest sounding of all the Romance languages.

What is the present status of Kerno, given the 45% figure?

At present, a form of the Paesan dialect of Brithenig has just about gobbled up the whole province. Conservative estimates (from 1995 or so) indicate that by 2025 the whole Province will be L1 Brithenig speakers. The sad reality is that the education system in the Province has been in the toilet the last half century (and wasn't far away from the toilet in the decades previous) -- most kids are learning Brithenig on the street and via radio & television. Business is done in Brithenig and any kind of interaction with the rest of the country or educated foreign travellers is also done in Brithenig. Even the august faculties of linguistics at the chief universities in the Province agree that Kerno is moribund at home. A few, in 2000 studies, gave it no more than five or ten years at most.

Studies as late as 2005 indicate by 2010 the whole Province will be basically L1 Brithenig speakers -- basically shifting the date by 15 years. Most of the blame can be honestly laid on the Language Boards -- those august bodies of the XIX and XX centuries that were charged with choosing a standard dialect and formulating a standardised orthography and grammar. In short, the promised Standard Cornish Language was not forthcoming, and in the rapidly growing post-GW world Brithenig was on the rise. The need for speaking Kerno anywhere but at home was not seen as an imperative and thus its home territory has slowly been receding.

What is the prognosis?

Of course, there will always be out of the way locales like north of the Moors and the Islands where it will last longest. Kerno is quite strong in the overseas territories, but even there it is a home language not the language of powerful colonies or provinces. It is kind of funny in that the language of the colonies is basically Kerno with considerable sprinklings of French, Brithenig and English, while the language of the motherland that sent them out into the world is basically Brithenig with liberal sprinklings of Kerno and French.

Is it analogous to Cornish here?

Yes. In more ways than one. Kerno has all the advantages of being the historical language of a once independent kingdom and now semi-autonomous province of a major power that speaks a related language, and also has a sizeable literature spanning many centuries. It has all the same disadvantages of multiple competing dialects, forms, orthographies and Language Boards each of which have proposed its own favourite as the standard form. In the end the Dumnonian Senate did what the Cornish Senate here has not done. It was an eleventh hour action to be sure, and the High King's fierce will probably had not a little to do with the Senate's almost surprise action, but at long last, the Language Boards were abolished and a standard dialect and orthography was chosen. It will remain to be seen which way the few remaining Kerno speakers in the province will go.

To be honest, the answer is pretty much forordained: most jowenckez (youngsters) in the street, when confronted by a confused foreigner trying to speak Kerno will say "Oh yeah, the sendo (old people) talk that way".

Is it a Graftlang?

No. A graftlang (in some quarters also called a bogolang) is where you take the historical sound changes of one particular L2 language and apply them, diachronically, to the L1 language. For example, taking the known sound changes of English, from modern times all the way back to Common West Germanic, and applying those to ancient Greek will net you a Teuto-Helladic graftlang. Some conlangers have done this in order to create a "historically plausible" conlang.

The design of Kerno did indeed take into account some historical sound changes of (Vulgar) Latin, as it meandered its way into Romance, and it also took into account the overall form and accent of insular Celtic (in specific Cornish); but to say that Kerno is the product of such a mechanically and precisely applied system is well beyond the pale. It is perhaps more of a mozaiclang -- where the conlanger takes seemingly ill-fitting and incongruous bits of this and that and creates a "plausibly artistic" conlang.

Brithenig v. Kerno

Commentators of the last century, when discussing matters of education in wealthier parts of Kemr with the doomful Language Boards in Dunein have often referred to Kerno as the "wild little sister" to "prim and proper" Brithenig, or have even gone as far as to call Kerno "broken Brithenig". What do the sister languages look like side by side? Following are some samples of both Brithenig and Kerno, in order to offer a comparison between the two.

Br. Tifur cnocaf. Ffidd rhesponef. Negyn er llâ.
Kr. Llompus l' Ovenós. Rhespondus la Fis. N' ystez nien ce 'n neyan.
En. Fear knocked. Faith answered. No one was there.

Br. Lla gal k'yno es es lla ddun di Ddew a sui; lla gal k'yno wen di sui es sew ddun a Ddew.
Kr. Que biase, ce-t-il donió lor Dé do ti; que gouerurase-te, ce-t-il tew donió do li Ddé.
En. What you are is God's gift to you; what you become is your gift to God.

Br. Eo su lla feleidd di lla wid di Ddew; ys cant sew ganhiwn tra fui.
Kr. Biam me la canció la gouitha di 'l Dé: canz la sew canta per ce me.
En. I am God's melody of life: he sings his song through me.

Br. Yn atherrir segyr es profis, rhen di'n gwiadig ffagil.
Kr. Comprometeor yen doenterrancea secoure, ne nonck yen itener facil pass.
En. A safe landing is promissed, not an easy journey.

Br. Ffagerewth sew meilwr e ddorfirewth i mheg, Dew norf rhen.
Kr. Fas ce tew maxam et dormi 'n pase; regoueilleint es il Deus.
En. Do your best and sleep in peace; God is awake.

Br. Dew a'n plan per mui ke negyn alltr pod addimplir.
Kr. Domtens-me il Deus yen plan que ne yan altoer poze plendfeaire.
En. God has a plan for me that none other can fulfill.

Br. Cýnidiath teisar e llo ddew ddunarant ill ffil.
Kr. Capeta ar comthextar et datura-te y Ddé la linea.
En. Start weaving and the Gods will give you the thread.

Br. Lla seruindad es rhen di lla lliferthad di lla demhest; mai sa's ill peg intr lla demhest.
Kr. Ne biat rhen la Serentats la secourtats des il tempeste; mays la pas doenmiz y thempestes.
En. Serenity is not freedom from the storm; but it is peace amid the storm.

Br. Perch yno llem sempr di gomhas circhar per Dew. Dew es perdded rhen.
Kr. Perque en sempeor ves tu current ar persecoueint a li Dé? Perdu il Deus?
En. Why do you always rush about looking for God? Is God lost?

Br. Di'll temp a'll temp llo ddew ddigent "amossibl"; sa's perch ys h-ant yn meilwr per nu.
Kr. Di tempeor en tempuroer deckont-nois y Ddé le "ne rhen"; es perque domtenent-nois ces alchyn choz meiyor.
En. From time to time the Gods say "no way"; it is because they have something better for us.