In a literature-related thread on another SE site, I found the claim that the pirates in Robert louis Stevenson's Treasure Island speak in a Cornish dialect. This makes sense only thematically (given that the story begins in Cornwall and several of the non-pirate main characters are Cornish), not in terms of in-story logic (many of the pirates are from Flint's old crew, or presumably whatever riffraff Silver picked up in Bristol, and there's no particular reason they'd be likely to hail from Cornwall rather than anywhere else).

Is the "pirate dialect" portrayed in Treasure Island consistent with Cornish dialect?

(I'm expecting an answer which analyses the speech patterns shown in the text compared with those of Cornish dialect. But if someone can show compelling evidence that many of the pirates are actually from Cornwall - which I strongly doubt, but feel free to surprise me - that would also make a good answer.)

  • I don't think the location of the "Admiral Benbow" is stated explicitly. If the book started in Cornwall, why would they travel all the way to Bristol to start their voyage? Ports in Devon and Cornwall were trading with the Americas at the time.
    – mikado
    Jul 28, 2019 at 6:44
  • @mikado The Admiral Benbow is in Devon. On the other hand, names like Trelawney and Redruth strongly suggest Cornwall.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 28, 2019 at 7:08
  • 2
    This question is rated Arr. Jul 28, 2019 at 16:13


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