Medieval Welsh

A Self-Instruction Course created by Heather Rose Jones

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Unit: 3e

Possessive Pronouns


Now that you have all the mutations, we can learn possessive pronouns. The full form of the possessive pronoun consists of the possessive word before the thing being possessed, and the regular pronoun after it.

The regular pronoun is optional. In Medieval Welsh it can be used for emphasis (my head), or perhaps to distinguish between possessives that would otherwise sound alike.

Many of the possessive pronouns cause some sort of mutation and, in fact, all the mutations are represented here. In addition, several of them cause the insertion of an "h" before words starting with a vowel. The following table gives all the basic templates and shows what mutation (if any) is required and whether h-insertion is required.

Person Gloss Template Mutation H-insertion?
1 sg my X vy X i


2 sg your (sg) X dy X di Lenition  
3 sg m his X y X ef Lenition  
3 sg f her X y X hi Aspiration yes
1 pl our X yn X ni   yes
2 pl your (pl) X ych X chwi    
3 pl their X eu X wynt   yes

Confusion Alert!: Now we have four things that might be spelled "y" -- the two third person singular possessive pronouns, and both the definite article and the pre-verbal particle before consonants. We have three things that might be spelled "yn" -- the predicative particle, the preposition, and the possessive pronoun. You need to keep all of these options in mind when you read and disentangle the possibilities on the basis of the mutations and the context.


Add the following words to your vocabulary and use each of them with all of the possessive pronouns. Make sure you get the mutations right.

Word Category Plural Gloss
golwg n.b golygon sight, appearance
grudd n.b -yeu cheek
man n.b -neu place, spot
bronn n.f -eu breast
ffynhawn n.f (o)-neu fountain
palv n.f -eu palm, hand
alarch n.m eleirch swan
blodyn n.m blodeu flower
gwalch n.m gweilch hawk
tonn n.f -eu (ocean) wave
cenaw n.m canawon cub
distrych n.m (not applicable) foam

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