[Spellyans] <y>, <i>, etc

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Sat Jul 26 10:35:07 IST 2008

Why *Jowann rather than Jowan?

The plural of meneth is menythyow in the texts:

dvn alemma cowythe war menythyow the wandre PC 107-08
drys tenuyn ha menythyow BK 2314.

In UC this would be written <menydhyow> and indeed it is so written.

The word nans is used in adverbial phrases (war nans, yn nans) in the  
texts. It is never used to mean 'valley'.
As far as I can see, the only instance of a word for 'valley' in the  
texts is in

in valy ebron devery CW 340

where the word is valy.


On 26 Jul 2008, at 09:43, Eddie Climo wrote:

> On 25 Jul 2008, at 23:01, Koumanonff wrote:
>> . . ..There's no need to distinguish them in spelling : they  
>> haven't the same functions, one causes mutation and the other  
>> doesn't, they don't happen in the same contexts.
> Just so, Stefan. Consider this set of sentences, and observe whether  
> or not you get confused by any of them:
> 	1. Yma Jowann ow kerdhes yn nans.
> 	2. Yma Jowann ow kerdhes yn tefry.
> 	3. Yma Jowann ow kerdhes yn nans yn.
> 	4. Yma Jowann ow kerdhes yn nans y'n menedhyow.
> 	5. Yma Jowann ow kerdhes yn tefry yn nans yn y'n menedhyow.
> Confused? I doubt it, although stylistically the last one is a bit  
> over the top, admittedly!
> Notice that the four homophones are not all exact homographs: one  
> causes a distinctive 5th state mutation, and another has an  
> apostrophe. The only 2 exact homographs are the preposition and the  
> adjective, but they're so distinct in function and context that  
> they're hardly likely to cause serious confusion in learners. I  
> cannot imagine anyone but the most rudimentary learner trying to  
> translate some of these as:
> 	1. *John is walking nancily		(Drok yu genef, A Vordon!)
> 	2. *John is walking in a 'tefry' .. . . (Drat, that last word ain't  
> in the dictionary!)
> 	3. *John is walking nancily in a .. . . ( In a what??)
>> In Welsh we have three "yn" distinguished by their functions and by  
>> the mutations that they may cause :
>> yn + SM (W) used before nouns and adjectives ; with adjectives it  
>> can be used as yn + MM (C) to make adverbs.
>> yn + NM (optionally) (W): preposition
>> yn (W) used before verbal nouns, whose function is quite the same  
>> as ow + HM (C) and o + MM (B)
> When I learned Welsh, this set never gave me any problems; and, when  
> I taught Welsh (to adult monoglots, mostly!), I don't recall it  
> posing any special problems to them, neither in writing nor in speech.
>> I don't think it's more difficult ever to learn Welsh.
>> In many languages there no need to distinguish homonyms as they  
>> occur in different contexts and don't have the same functions.
>> Stefan
> The fact is that many languages have homonyms and homphones, and as  
> long as the number isn't excessive. there's little confusion, if any.
> Eddiie
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