"What do you think of Dewi Lingo?"

Translation:Beth wyt ti'n feddwl o Dewi Lingo?

March 22, 2016

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Why does it want forms with "feddwl" here?


If you mean instead of "meddwl" then it's because traditionally the sentence would be "Beth dych chi'n ei feddwl o Dewi Lingo?" which means that there needs to be a soft mutation on "meddwl" even though the "ei" is left out.


Could you possibly explain why it traditionally is "ei feddwl"? I can't fathom the grammar.


I am also puzzled. If "meddwl" was a verb that did not have to be followed by a pronoun, I could see where "ei feddwl o" might come from if the English version used the pronoun "him", but this sentence uses a name, not "him".

As far as I know, "meddwl o" and "meddwl am" are used for "think of" / "think about". "meddwl o" in this case, and I can't see how "ei" would be needed in the first place, even if it is then left out.


Meddwl (thinking) needs an object in Welsh when used with questions such as Beth? and Pwy?. This is given by the 'object complement' pronoun ei in the pattern:

  • Beth wyt ti'n ei feddwl ...?

The ei causes a soft mutation of the meddwl.

In the colloquial language, the object complement pronoun ei is usually dropped, but the mutation it causes remains:

  • Beth wyt ti feddwl? - What do you think?

Similarly with gwneud (making, doing):

  • Beth wyt ti'n (ei) wneud? - What are you doing?

(There are various other verbs that need this kind of object, too, but it is the sort of thing that quite often gets dropped in the colloquial registers of the language. It seems to have stuck with gwneud and meddwl in particular, though, and with a few others.)


That's a great explanation, though it does make my head hurt a little!


If it is Beth dych chi'n feddwl o dewl lingo due to a missing ei, would it be Beth dych chi'n meddwl o Kate Saunders ?


No -- the ei refers back to beth, so it's always a "masculine ei".


I think I'm now a bit better informed than when I first commented on this. As I understand it, if the object of a verbnoun is placed first in a sentence or clause, then, strictly speaking, the object has to be reproduced as a possessive in front of the verbnoun. A question like this has the object "Beth" first, so a possessive "ei" is inserted before "meddwl", causing soft mutation as "ei" means "its", masculine referring to "beth". But in speaking the "ei" is usually dropped, leaving just "feddwl".

This happens with this kind of question but also in any sentence where the object of a verbnoun comes first, usually for emphasis but also in a relative clause. This can be tricky to spot. Consider the following sentence from "Y Llwybr" by Geraint Evans:

Roedd Dafydd yn ennill llawer mwy o achosion nag roedd e’n eu colli ... Dafydd won a lot more cases than (those that) he lost...

The "nag" here gets translated as "than those", with "those" the object of the verbnoun "colli". But because the object comes first in the clause, "eu" has to be added before "colli".

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