Alphabet


Letter A or a

Cornish name  or â


Letter B or b

Cornish name or


Letter C or c

Cornish name or


Letter D or d

Cornish name or


Letter E

Cornish name Ê or ê


Letter F

Cornish name Ef or ef


Letter G

Cornish name or


Letter H

Cornish name or


Letter I

Cornish name I or i

When employing a font that does not distinguish between capital I and small L, the alternative capital form Î can be used


Letter J

Cornish name or


Letter K

Cornish name or (or )


Letter L

Cornish name Èl or èl


Letter M

Cornish name Èm or èm


Letter N

Cornish name Èn or èn


Letter O

Cornish name Ô or ô


Letter P

Cornish name or


Letter Q

Cornish name Qwo or qwo


Letter R

Cornish name Èr or èr


Letter S

Cornish name Ès or ès (or Ess ess)


Letter T

Cornish name or


Letter U

Cornish name Û or û (pronounced with or without an initial y-sound)

Speakers who say this vowel with lip-rounding may call it U u, so pronounced


Letter V

Cornish name or


Letter W

Cornish name or


Letter X

Cornish name Ex or ex


Letter Y

Cornish name or


Letter Z

Cornish name or (or Zèd zèd)


Apostrophe

Cornish name collverk f collverkys

 

Capital letter

Cornish name lytheren vrâs f lytherednow brâs


Circumflex accent

Cornish name aken grobm f akednow crobm


Diaeresis

Cornish name aken dhewboynt f akednow dewboynt

 

Grave accent

Cornish name aken dhieskynus f akednow dieskynus


Hyphen

Cornish name nos jùnya m nosow jùnya


Small letter

Cornish name lytheren vian f lytherednow bian


It may be handy to remember that ef i qwo ex are the only letter names without an accent (‘diacritical mark’), along with ess u if you employ them.


Words are arranged alphabetically according to the same principles as for English. Digraphs are not treated as separate letters of the alphabet, in contrast to Welsh. Thus, for example, dhyworth ‘from’ and them ‘theme’ will be found under the letters d and t respectively in an alphabetical list. However, informal digraph names dhê and thê are sometimes heard.


When spelling out aloud a word that contains a vowel carrying an accent (‘diacritical mark’), the name of the letter is said first, followed by the name of the relevant accent.

 

Although the Cornish for ‘letter of the alphabet’ is lytheren, a feminine noun, the names of the letters themselves are treated as masculine, so none of them mutate after an ‘the’. The letter names have no plural form. For multiples of a letter, when playing Scrabble® for example, we say gê dywweyth ‘two Gs’, èl terweyth ‘three Ls’.


For geminate consonants we use the adjective dobyl: e.g. ès (ess) dobyl ‘double S’. But speakers who pre-occlude geminate M and geminate N are more likely to spell out bê èm and dê èn aloud than say èm dobyl and èn dobyl. The name vê dobyl as an alternative to wê is not recommended, as it can cause confusion in the case of geminate v in a word like covva 'hiding-place'.