Medieval Welsh

A Self-Instruction Course created by Heather Rose Jones

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Unit: 5b

"This" and "That"


It is probably long past time to introduce these fairly simply constructions. Demonstratives in Medieval Welsh behave as if they were adjectives. They fall after the noun and they have different masculine, feminine, and plural forms following the familiar vowel change pattern. When used in this fashion, they always appear in combination with the definite article.

The full paradigm is as follows:

x "this" "that"
masculine hwnn hwnnw
feminine honn honno
neuter and plural hynn hynny

(This is the same set of vowel alternations you've seen in some adjectives, such as: m. crwnn, f. cronn, pl. crynnyon "round".)

In addition, these words may be used without a noun (either with or without the definite article) as a pronoun. In contrast with the usual pronouns, there is also a neuter version (which is identical with the plural) which can be used to refer to events, ideas, and the like in the singular. But if you are substituting for a specific noun, the appropriately gendered form is usually used.

Hynny can be used in this way to refer back to previous clauses.


Translate the following into Welsh.

  1. Do you see this dog?
  2. ... these dogs?
  3. I avenged myself on that man.
  4. ... those men.
  5. Say this to that girl.
  6. ... to those girls.
  7. Will you (pl.) agree on that?
  8. Do you see this woman? This one, I loved.
  9. Ask him this: did he finish that work?
  10. This ring is round.
  11. These rings are ...
  12. We were hunting that stag.
  13. ... those stags.
  14. ... those ones.

Key to the Exercise

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