Medieval Welsh

A Self-Instruction Course created by Heather Rose Jones

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Unit: 3g

Recognizing Derived Adjectives


In English is it possible to turn one type of word into another. A noun can become an adjective (book > bookish), an adjective can become a noun (red > redness) or a verb (red > redden), a verb can act as a noun (to go > going), and -- that bane of modern prose -- almost any noun can be turned into a verb (network > to network). In Welsh this is, if anything, an even more normal part of the language than in English. So rather than learning the derived words separately, it is easier to learn to recognize when a word might be derived from something else and so to be able to guess at its meaning.

There are a number of suffixes that are used to turn root words into adjectives, but here are the four commonest.





Keep in mind that not every word ending in these suffixes will be an adjective. You already know one pair in which both the root and the derivative are nouns.


In the vocabulary that you've already been given, there are some adjectives with derivational endings, and some nouns that have corresponding derived adjectives.

Exercise 1 - you know the adjective, figure out the noun

For the first set of words, figure out what the root word should be and guess what it might mean. Don't expect to get them all exactly right, but make an honest attempt before looking them up.

Exercise 2 - you know the noun, figure out the adjective

For the next set of words, I've given the root noun (which you should already know) and one or more adjectives derived from it. Try to guess what these might mean.

Noun Adjective(s)
barv barvawg
daear daearawl
ffynhawn ffynhonus
llys llyseidd, llysawl
neges negesawl
tonn tonnog
brawd brawdawl
brenhin brenhineidd, brenhinawl
gwallt gwalltawg
coed coedyawg
duw "God" (n.m.) duwiawl

Key to the Exercise

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