SSi Forum

Gareth King's Grammar and Workbooks


Thxalot! Greetings from frosty and partial-lockdown Vienna :cold_face:


Are you finding that people are tending to replace it with the Soft Mutation? Or not mutate at all? Eg “ei thŷ hi” is starting to feel a little ‘over the top’ to me, but is it becoming “ei dŷ hi” or just “ei tŷ hi”? I suppose it’s still important to maintain a difference from “his house”.


You get both. SM - by far the most widely occurring mutation anyway - is steadily spreading. You can see this, for example, in negative verbs-with-endings…technically it’s Ddaeth hi ddim (SM) She didn’t come, but Chafodd hi ddim (AM) She didn’t get, but Gafodd hi ddim (SM) is very common in many areas these days, and wouldn;t even raise an eyebrow (except with the Language Police, of course).

First of all, your linguistic intuition there is right - while C changing to CH is still unproblematic and natural-sounding, P to PH and (particularly) T to TH do not come so readily to the tongues of many native speakers. I think I gave the example bws a thacsi in one of my books as an instance of AM which I have seen with my own eyes causing smirks and suppressed giggles amongst native speakers.
In the relatively unusual example you give where it (half) makes a difference - the echoing pronoun sorts it out anyway, though - namely ei dŷ e his house vs ei thŷ hi her house, I would indeed from wide experience expect to hear in normal speech ei dŷ e but ei tŷ hi. Similarly ei bapur e but ei papur hi. But I would be much less surprised to have the system kept with a word like coffi - ei goffi e and ei choffi hi. Even here though, ei coffi hi wouldn’t raise eyebrows (except with etc etc)


That’s interesting, @garethrking, thanks!

The echoing pronoun example is particularly interesting because the ‘ch’ goes so nicely with the ‘h’ of ‘hi’ from an articulatory perspective, in a way that ‘ph’ and ‘th’ don’t quite so well. You’re in the right general part of the mouth, if not exactly the right place. I wonder whether that contributes to the ‘c’ mutation being more generally resilient than the other two.

(Random speculatory fun on a Monday afternoon. :slight_smile:)


Could well be, Caroline. I also think that it may have something to do with the fact that neither of the sounds represented by PH and TH is very common at the start of words generally in Welsh. In dictionaries, the FF section is very short (in fact practically all loanwords apart from native words beginning ffr- which come from much earlier sr-), and the same to be said for the TH section.

This is indeed random speculatory Monday afternoon fun of the highest order, isn’t it? :slight_smile:


Diolch @garethrking - super interesting as always!


Finished Basic Grammar. A few thoughts. I am not very good at grammar. I will need to repeat a lot. I am very glad I completed ssiw before trying the exercises. I went into panic mode translating sentences. I can speak better than I can complete grammar exercises. I will buy the intermediate level now and trust that more has sunk in from the basic level than I think.


Intermediate Welsh Ex 1.1
Correct answer Arwyddan nhw mo’r ddogfen.

My answer Arwyddan nhw ddim y ddogfen.

Is this about style or am I completely wrong using ddim and if so why?


mo actually comes from dim o. If you’d said “arwyddan nhw ddim o’r ddogfen”, that would have been ok, but with preterite and future verb forms you don’t use just dim before a specific object (i.e. an object with a ‘the’ in front of it), you need to use dim o or mo.


Thank you @siaronjames, that makes sense. (Whether I remember it or not is another matter!)

So, if it was just dogfen, not y ddogfen, could I use ddim?


yes, in Welsh “a document” isn’t a specific object but “the document” is. :slight_smile:

other things classed as specific objects in Welsh are proper names, pronouns and things preceded by a possessive adjective (e.g. my, your, his, etc), so you’d use the dim o / mo pattern with these* too.

*in the case of pronouns, the mo would blend to become mona i, monat ti, mono fe/fo, moni hi, monon ni, monoch chi, monyn nhw


Thanks again @siaronjames.


You’ll meet a variation of these as well - mohona i, mohonat ti, mohono fe/fo, mohoni hi, mohonon ni, mohonoch chi, mohonyn nhw :slight_smile: