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gwenynen 
Posted: 10-May-2005, 08:59 PM
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I hear it in Learn Welsh, BBC too. One word that has stuck to my brain is "llungopiWr."

The best example is a reader in "Welsh in Three Months." There are two readers and one of them almost always stresses the last syllable not only in dialogs but in vocabularies too:

AwstralIa, ffarmWr, plentYn, plismAn, athrawEs.... I had faithfully put stress marks on these words.

Here are dialogs:
"CofiA bod ni'n brin o ariAn. Bydd rhaid i ni aros yng NghymrU eleni."
"Dw i ddim yn ffansiO rhannU ty^ a^ thri o blant bach swnllYd."
"SyniAd campUs. Pwy sy'n mynd i wneud y trefniadAu?"



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Siarls 
Posted: 11-May-2005, 10:26 AM
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These words should not be stressed in these places. Trefniadáu sounds like a verb, so this one is definitely not so.
Hmm... I think I understand what's going on, though. Like I said, Welsh speakers often treat different syllables as different words. If you try saying...
trefniá dau
I'm sure you'll see hear your Welsh accent coming into form!!
I wish I could record examples of errors for you - I'm sure everything would then come together!


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gwenynen 
Posted: 15-May-2005, 12:00 AM
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This method helps indeed! What about some plural words like these:

clogwyn - clogwyni
llen - llenni

Would you possibly stress the last 'i' in the plural?
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Antwn 
Posted: 15-May-2005, 03:08 PM
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Shwmae --

Suzie, how about joining us on the beginner's Welsh board? We could use some more participants. thumbs_up.gif You'd also get to practice your Welsh, both reading and writing.

Antwn


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Siarls 
Posted: 15-May-2005, 04:39 PM
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I am a little worried that the word stress may be what's confusing us. Have you done any Spanish? Have you noticed that generally words ending in IA, it's the syllable that precedes that is stress, except in a word like policía? Say to yourself or ask someone who speaks Spanish to demonstrate pronouncing the words written:

polícia
policía


The first one is incorrect, but you'll see how the stress changes the pronunciation. If we use the same concept for Welsh and say to yourself or ask a Spanish speaker to say these words:

esgrivéni
esgrivení


(ysgrifennu with Spanish phonetics). If I have completely confused and you are talking about a different kind of stress. Let me know and give me a good slap!!!!
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gwenynen 
Posted: 15-May-2005, 09:47 PM
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Antwn, Susanna is in England/Wales now. She'll be back on the 16th. I'm sure she'll post as soon as she's settled down.

Siarls, I have to sort out what you said before asking you further.
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gwenynen 
Posted: 16-May-2005, 12:36 PM
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I think I understand the meaning of 'stress' in a word. No, I haven't studied Spanish. I asked my daughter who was taking Spanish classes but she wasn't much help!

I was checking the web and came across a helpful site. There's a list of words relating to 'ysgrifenni' showing how a stress changes. (Ysgrifenni must be a good example word.)

It helped me some but it gave me another question; when you put a stress on a syllable, is it always on a vowel, or sometimes on a consonant too? What about diphthongs? The examples:

YsGRIfen (Is the stress on 'G' or 'I' ?)
YsgrifenIAdau (Is it on 'I' ir 'A' ?)

This subject has been a pain in my side. Sometimes I just can't pronounce a word because I don't know where to stress. I do hear some people stress on the last syllable (such as 'Lloegr'.)
But I'll consider this as a variation and stick to the rules (once I'm sure of the rules!)
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Siarls 
Posted: 16-May-2005, 05:48 PM
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Stresses occur on syllables, which usually goes as follows in Welsh:
consonant-vowel consonant-vowel consonant-vowel

But two consonants can't go together, so when you see two consonants like the word Lloegr, one will attach to the vowel that procedes it and the second consonant will attach to the vowel that follows it.

Before another vowel, I unless it is spelt Ï, it will act as the letter Y in English. i.e. more of a consonant, than a vowel. Therefore, ia is pronounced ya.

Here's some examples: (The Welsh National Anthem is such a good example because it has accentuated this syllable structure to enhance the flow and rhythm of the Welsh Language. This syllable structure makes it easy to sing as well. Possibly why people always tell me they think I'm singing when I speak Welsh).

Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau yn Annwyl imi
mae he nw lad fyn ha* dau y nan nwy** li mi
*H acts as a consonant
** because annwyl has 2 Ns, it acts as TWO consonants.

Gwlad Beirdd a Chantorion, Enwogion o Fri
gw lad beir dda chan tor yo nen wo gyo no fri

Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mad
ei gw rol ry fel wir* gw lad gar wir* tra mad
* in this case, wy is pronounced wee! So, the W here is acting as a consonant more than a vowel.

N.B. W and I act as both vowel and consonant in the Welsh Language. When preceding another vowel, they become consonants, otherwise, they are ALWAYS vowels. So be careful how you treat them!


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Siarls 
Posted: 16-May-2005, 05:51 PM
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Just to recap, syllable structure is:

consonant-vowel / consonant-vowel

Or,
consonant-vowel-consonant / consonant-vowel
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gwenynen 
Posted: 21-May-2005, 05:34 PM
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Siarls, I came across a website which may clear the mist of my befuddlement over the stress issue.

It's 'A Welsh Course' by Mark Nodine: http://www.cs.cf.ac.uk/fun/welsh/Welsh.html

Lesson 1. Pronunciation (1.7 Where Does the Stress Go?)
"Since the last syllable, especially in the last word of a clause or sentense is uttered with a rising tone, it sometimes sounds like the last syllable is stressed to the ears of an English speaker."

It has an audiable example word, 'tystio.' The stress in on 'y'. Yet when I listened to the word, I thought the stress was on the last syllable.

Another quote from J. Martin Rees, "Aspects of Welsh Intonation"
"... several non-Welsh-speaking English speakers, when played samples of Welsh words and asked to locate the stress, they consistently chose the ultima, which is more acoustically prominent than the (stressed) penult."

What do you think?
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Siarls 
Posted: 23-May-2005, 06:14 AM
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I agree, definitely and I was planning to demonstrate it to you with a CD. I am so sorry I couldn't better explain it through words.
I am glad to see you're beginning to understand but I really do hope it didn't upset or frustrate you. It really shouldn't have because it's a very minor issue in learning Welsh - it's just important to understand Welsh phonetics.

By the way, I hate to take tha address of an Englishman who lives in Wales at work the other day. His pronunciation of Welsh was undecipherable! He lived in a street called Coed y Cadno, but was pronouncing it (with Welsh phonetics) "Caedi Ceidno". I had no idea what he was saying so asked him to spell it and kept insisting there were dashes between the words, thus he insisted it was spelt Coed-y-Cadno. I was too tried and flustered to argue.
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Siarls 
Posted: 23-May-2005, 06:14 AM
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I agree, definitely and I was planning to demonstrate it to you with a CD. I am so sorry I couldn't better explain it through words.
I am glad to see you're beginning to understand but I really do hope it didn't upset or frustrate you. It really shouldn't have because it's a very minor issue in learning Welsh - it's just important to understand Welsh phonetics.

By the way, I had to take the address of an Englishman who lives in Wales at work the other day. His pronunciation of Welsh was undecipherable! He lived in a street called Coed y Cadno, but was pronouncing it (with Welsh phonetics) "Caedi Ceidno". I had no idea what he was saying so asked him to spell it and kept insisting there were dashes between the words, thus he insisted it was spelt Coed-y-Cadno. I was too tried and flustered to argue.
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gwenynen 
Posted: 23-May-2005, 08:53 AM
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I'm so glad to know it was my English language ear that was giving me confusion. I thought most of the Welsh speakers were stressing the wrong syllables! wink.gif

I can't accuse the Englishman for his mispronunciation; I may be even worse than him!
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gwenynen 
Posted: 24-May-2005, 10:21 PM
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Austaff, Susanna and other learners, I made a great discovery in the Welsh grammar today (maybe it's nothing new for you.)

In Welsh, future tense is used with habitual present sense in English. Example:
I get up around half past six in the morning.
Tua hanner awr wedi chwech fydda i'n codi yn y bore. (from Modern Welsh, Gareth King)

There is a conversation in Te yn y Grug by Kate Roberts which has been puzzled me till now:
"Fyddi di yn gweddio?" "Bydda."
I couldn't understand why future tense was used here for ovbious habitual present sense. Now I know why! I wanted to scream when I read the grammar book today!
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susieq76 
Posted: 25-May-2005, 03:18 PM
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Oh, I wish this were making more sense to me! It feels as if I have walked into the middle of an important conversation, and am still playing catch-up, because I don't know how it started.

I have a hard time learning the way most people do, and maybe that is why I am having such a hard time with this. If there were a way someone could just go over basic grammar Welsh-style, then that would be fabulous. It seems to follow the style of most languages, in that the thing you are talking about comes first, and then a description of it. Whereas in English, it is the opposite. Am I correct in that assumption? Forgive me for being so slow about this! I will check out that website that you put up, gwenynen! Hopefully that will shed some light on the matter! The reality is that I need some more books, though. And I will have to pick them up pretty soon.


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"Alas for those who never sing and die with all their music left in them" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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