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OF THE SOUNDS OF WELSH LETTERS.
A is pronounced like that of the English
short or open a, as in man, bar, glass : and when circumflexed, as a in dâme, påle; so that the words câr, dâr, are pronounced like care, dare; never soft,
as in able, stable. B, as b English ; mutable into f and m,
as bara, bread; ei fara, his bread; fy
mara, my bread. C is always like k in English ; or as C
in can, come; never as in city, cistern. It is mutable, as câr, a friend ; ei châr, her friend; ei går, his friend; fy nghâr,
my friend. Ch is like the x of the Spanish, the ch of
the Germans, the x of the Greek. It is pronounced by the contact of the tongue and the palate, about the eighth of an inch farther back than when k is
expressed. D is English; but mutable into dd and
n, as Duw, God; ie Dduw, his God;
fy Nuw, my God. Dd as soft th, as in thus, this, that, nei.
ther. E as the English short e in men, ten,
bel; é as in dame, came, ale ; thus, ced, advantage, is pronounced as if written kade : Eu, diphthong, as ei English ; as beudy, a cowhouse, pro
nounced as beidy. Fas v English ; as, gôf, a smith; pro
nounced as gôv. Ff as f English in fetch. Gas g English in go, give, leg, peg;
never soft, as in gem. In composi. tion it is dropped, as gwr, a man, yr hên wr, the old man; glân, the bank of a river, ar y lân, upon the bank ; glân, clean, dillad lân, clean clothes ; garth, a bill, ar arth, upon a hill, pen yr arth, the top of the bill. It is mutable into ng and w; as gwâs, a servant, fy ngwâs, my servant, ei was,
his servant. H as in English, an aspiration or breath
ing. I as the English ee in bee, tree; or i in
rich, ring; cil, a retreat, is pronounced keel: never as in bind, kind.
J is not a Welsh letter; it is supplied by
si or i. K is not a Welsh letter; it is supplied
by c or ch. L as in law, love, low. Ll is 1 aspirated, a sound peculiar to the
Welsh language, like the English lh. It is pronounced by placing the tip of the tongue a little farther back against the roof of the mouth than for 1, and breathing through the jaw teeth on both sides. Llangollen is pronounced Khlangothlin. The English 1 in let, when forcibly spoken, is near to it. In composition the 11 is expressed by the single 1, a llaw, a hand,
ei law, his hand. M as m English; mutable into f, as
mam, a mother, ei fam, his mother, pronounced as if written vam; maen,
a rock, ei faen, his rock. N as n English, O as o in go, no, lot; when circum
Aexed ô as o in bone and note; thus módd, a mode or form, is pronounced
mooth. Pas p English. Ph as ph English, as in philosophy,
physic, &c. The true difference be. twixt ff and ph is, that we write with ff either such words as are purely Bri. tish, as ffon, a staff; ffau, a den; ffordd, a way; ffelaig, a chieftain, a prince : or such words as are derived from Latin words written with f, as ffydd, faith ; ffynnon, a fountain ; ffurf, a form ; ffenestr, a window; perffaith, perfect ; but we write with ph either such British words as have the radical p changed into the aspirate ph, as tri-phen, three heads; from pen, a head. It is mutable into b, mh, and ph, as pen, a head; ei ben, his head; fy mhen, my head ; ei phen, her
head. Q not a Welsh letter. In words taken
from the English, it is expressed by
cw, as cwestiwn, from question. R in the middle or end of words, as r
English ; but rh in all cases is the
OF THE SOUNDS OF WELSH LETTERS.
radical; mutable into r;
as rhâd, grace, dy râd, thy grace S as in English. T as in English ; but mutable into d,
nh, and th; as tâd, a father, ei dâd, his father, fy nhâd, my father, ei thâd,
her father. Th, which is a mutation of t, as in the
English words thank, both, nothing,
never as in them. U as English, in busy, and of i in the
words sin, skin, thin, bliss; if circumflexed, as ee in queen, green; thus, dû, black, is pronounced as if written dee; sûl, the sun, as seal ; sûr, sour,
The word ûn, one, is pronounced een. V not a Welsh letter, but f has the same
sound. Was o in the words bone, sore; if cir
cumflexed, as oo in hook, food, boot ; thus, cûd, a bag, pronounced kood;
mûg, smoke, as moog. X not a Welsh letter : in writing foreign
words ecs is used, as Ecsodus, i. e.
Exodus. Y in any syllable, except the last, is pro
nounced as u in run, churn, hunt; in the last syllable of a word, as i in din, fin, sin; also in monosyllables, except the following, y, ydd, yn, fy, dy, myn, which have the sound of u in run. When
is circumflexed it has the same sound as ù, thus bŷd, the world, is pronounced beed. These two sounds
are exemplified in the word sundry. Z is not a Welsh letter ; it is supplied
The accent is, in all Welsh words, either on the penultimate, or last syllable but one; never on the antepenultimate, or last but two; but it is much more frequently on the former; and when on the last, it is a circumflex.
The variation of the initial letters is always regular, and constantly between letters of the same organ of pronunciation : for a labial letter is never changed to a dental, nor a dental to a labial, &c. Adverbs being formed of adjectives, become such, by prefixing yn to the adjectives, which change their mutable initial consonants into their soft ; as da (adjective), good; yn dda (adverb), well; mwyn (adj.), kind; yn fwyn (adv.), kindly. Initial vowels are also capable of occasional changes. Some of changing one vowel into another; as aberth, a sacrifice, pl. ebyrth; attal, to stop, ettyl, he will stop, &c. And all, of taking the aspirate h before them after the pronoun sing. Ei, when of the fe. minine gender; and the pl. pronouns eu, their ; and ein, our; and the affix 'm ; as oedran, age; ei hodran, her age ; amser, time; eu hamser, their time; anadl, breath; ein hanadl, our breath; Arglwydd, Lord; i'm Harglwydd, to my Lord, &c., to which rule dipthongs are also subject; as eiddo, one's own; ei heiddo, her own, &c. In seeking for words in a dictionary, the reader should always turn to them in their primary or radical initials. Richards's Welsh Grammar.
OF WORDS WHICH MOST FREQUENTLY OCCUR IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF
WELSH NAMES OF PLACES.
ABER, the fall of a lesser water into a
Craig, a rock.
Bach, little ; small.
and vale; a chapel of ease.
ing a vowel, Fechan.
it forms the names of places inhabited
fort; a city.
ease and decayed oratories.
side ; a ridge.
Gaer, see CAER.
Havod, a summer dwelling.
Is, lower; inferior.
Le, a place.
applied to churches and chapels in
discriminately. Llech, a flat stone or flag; a smooth cliff. Llwyd, grey ; hoary ; brown. Llwyn, a wood or grove. Llyn, a lake ; a pool. Llyr, the sea ; water. Llŷs, a palace, hall, or court.
Mach, a place of security.
Nant, a brook; river ; ravine ; glen. Newydd, new; fresh.
Or, border; the edge.
Pant, a hollow. Pen, a head ; top; or end. Penmaen, the stone end. Pentref, a village; a suburb. * Pil, that goes round. Pistyll, a spout or catar t. Plás, a hall. Pont, a bridge.
Page 62. 5th line from bottom, for “ Bangor-ferry" read “ Menai Bridge."
Porth, a gate.
Rhaiadyr, a cataract.
Sarn, a causeway.
Tavarn, a tavern.
Y, of; on the.
course of a river.
311. line 2. dele “ or."
CAMBRIAN TRAVELLER'S GUIDE.
The names of places occurring in the text, distinguished by SMALL CAPITALS, may be found with
more enlarged description in the general alphabetic arrangement; those in italics, of inferior note, are referred to from the index.
N. north. 8. south. E. east. w. west,
Also northern, northwards, &c.
From Port Penrhyn, 34 miles. Aikin ; Evans.
Llanvair Vechan, 2 miles. Bingley.
From Penmaenmawr, 3 miles. Skrine,
Llandegai, 34 miles. Pennant.
ABER, or Abergwyngregyn, so called from the cockles found in the vicinity, is a pleasing woody recess, in the hundred of Llechwedd Uchav, county of Carnarvon, nearly equidistant from Aberffraw and Maesmynnan, where the Welsh princes had temporary residences. The church is dedicated to St. Bodfan ; the living is a rectory; patron Sir R. B. W. Bulkeley, Bart. It consists of a nave and chancel of equal length. Here, also, are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists. The Bull's Head inn supplies both post-chaises and cars. Aber is a most convenient station whence to ascend the summit of Penmaenmawr, and is one of the ferries to Anglesea. When the tide is out, the Lavan sands are dry four miles in extent, over which the passenger may walk to the channel, where the ferry-boat plies. As the sand frequently shifts, this walk is dangerous; yet many were formerly under the necessity of adventuring. The large bell of Aber is still rung during foggy weather, to direct the traveller from the island by its sound. Since the erection of the Menai Bridge, this route is nearly superseded. From this village, a deep and romantic glen, in length nearly three miles, forms the avenue to Rhaiadyr Mawr, a celebrated cataract.
On the r. side, the glen is bounded by Frith-dû ; the 1. is flanked by the magnificent rock, Maes-y-gaer, and a bridge of one arch. This ravine is terminated by a mountain, presenting a concave front, through a chasm of which the torrent precipitates its waters over two immense ledges of rock. The upper fall is broken into three, and sometimes four, divisions, by the rugged face of the impending cliff. The lower cataract, upwards of 60 feet in height, forms a broad white sheet ; and, from the snow-like dew of the spray, has been compared to that of Slaubbach, in Switzerland. Every lover of the picturesque will not fail to enjoy this delightful scene ; but, if he would behold such objects on a grander scale, he should visit the falls of the Hepsey, Conway, Cynfael, and the Black Cataract, near the vale of Festiniog. And yet even these are diminutive compared with the falls