John Briggs wrote:
> English did not, of course, become mandatory at the Reformation
> (except, perhaps, in Ireland).
The Cornish rebelled when an English language prayer book was imposed on
them. A fairly large proportion of the male Cornish speaking population
died at the hands of the English, and this is regarded by many here as a
massacre. This was probably an important factor in the subsequent
decline of the Cornish language. In this case the imposition of a
religious book, by what was effectively a foreign power at the time, had
a big effect on the use of language. Later on in Cornwall it became
necessary to speak English to get on in society. I see no reason why
this sort of process of massacre and social pressure to replace language
without changing the people could not have worked with the Saxons.
Not that that explains the genetic oddities of it all though...