SSi Forum

Pronunciation query


#1

I find one of the things that can make spoken Welsh a bit tricky for the learner to follow is the way little words, like prepositions, often seem to disappear or get swallowed up by fusion with the last syllable of the preceding word. A case in point: I have just been listening to a Dafydd Iwan song that has the line ‘Mae’r wlad hon yn eiddo i ti a mi’. Dafydd’s diction is generally very clear, but the ‘i’ after ‘eiddo’ definitely gets absorbed by the o of ‘eiddo’, affecting the sound of that o, so what I hear is ‘Mae’r wlad hon yn eiddoi ti a mi’, which could send one off on the track of thinking that eiddoi was a verb like osgoi

What I’m not clear about is whether this synaeresis (I think that’s the right technical term; Gareth would know) is a formally recognised feature of Welsh pronunciation, and as such has obvious implications for e.g. the scansion of poetry, which depends on syllable-counting, or whether it’s just an artefact of rapid speech. In other words, you native Welsh speakers, if you spoke that line slowly, would it still sound like:

Mae’r | wlad | hon | yn | eidd |oi | ti | a | mi’

Or would it become:

Mae’r | wlad | hon | yn | eidd |o | i | ti | a | mi’

Incidentally, I don’t know what people think of Dafydd Iwan but I do find his singing very clear and easy to follow (redacted by moderator)


#2

If people are speaking slowly, then I suspect it would mostly be the second example :slight_smile:


#3

He sings eiddoi (ayethoy) to make the two words fit in with the music. It is not uncommon when singing.