Saturday, 24 April 2010

Skrifenn Hwegh - Writing Six

I have made a couple more plots of Cornish placenames, this time as contour plots showing the relative and absolute density of Tre- placenames, interpolated to a 100x100 grid covering Cornwall. The relative density is plotted on the upper plot, the absolute numbers in the lower one.


  1. An interesting result. I'm intrigued by how the charts appear to be something of an inverse of each other - i.e. where there are a large number of names, the relative density is lower (with some exceptions in the central part of the County/Duchy).

    I wonder if there is some effect whereby nearby placenames tend to become more distinct - i.e. if 'Bembridge' and 'Banebridge' were nearby, it would be more likely than otherwise that the name of one would alter over time.


  2. I don't know to what extent there is bias in terms of the numbers of placenames recorded in the database I used relative to the total number of placenames in existence.
    What is being compared is placenames starting tre- in their absolute numbers and relative to all placenames.
    Tre means "homestead" in Cornish and is a common placename element throughout Cornwall. It is however not found in the very far NE and SE areas where significant early English settlement took place, and seems to be less common at least in relative terms in the far west. This seems to be because "Bos" meaning "dwelling" is preferred.