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Using numbers means keeping track of a lot of different mutations and a few special masculine/feminine forms. (Using numbers over ten brings in more complications, but we'll deal with them at a later point.)
Unlike virtually all other modifiers, numbers are placed before the noun. When counting, the numbers are as follow:
Some of the numbers have slightly different forms when used with nouns. Following is a table of the most common forms for this, and of the mutations the numbers cause (if any). L=lenition, N=nasalization, A=aspiration.
|1||un||un (L except for "ll")|
|2||deu (L)||dwy (L)|
|5||pum (N but irregularly)|
|7||seith (N, rarely L)|
|8||wyth (L, occasionally N)|
|10||deg or deng (N)|
Note: many of these mutations have been eliminated in Modern Welsh.
Normally, the singular of the noun is used with all numbers. (There are rare, random exceptions. A more common exception will be introduced with higher numbers.)
Strangely enough, if you know the Latin numbers fairly well, they can help you keep track of the Medieval Welsh mutations for numbers. As I explained earlier about lenition, mutations are leftover effects of sounds that used to precede words (and in some cases still do). Just as lenition occurs where the preceding word used to end in a vowel, nasalization occurs where the preceding word used to end in a nasal sound (n, m). Aspiration isn't as easy to describe, but for this purpose -- and this purpose only -- think of it happening after breathy sounds like "s". If you look at the final letters of the Latin numbers (which are somewhat similar in form to earlier Brythonic numbers) they are pretty good predictors of the mutations, as seen in the following table. If the prediction would be wrong, I've marked it with an asterisk instead. (The correct mutations are shown in parentheses.)
The explanations for five and eight are pretty straightforward. The final "m" in "pum" caused a sort of "secondary" mutation long after the standard mutations had been established. In the case of eight, being surrounded by numbers causing nasalization sometimes caused people to "regularize" the whole group. Conversely, because lenition is the most common type of mutation, sometimes it is substituted for other mutations after seven (and more rarely five and six). There are no good explanations for one (masc.) and three (fem.).
Using the "standard" or most common mutations for each number, put the numbers one through ten in front of the following nouns.
Key to the Exercise
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