"Medden nhw"

Translation:They said

October 9, 2016

10 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajHenrot

Where does 'medden' come from? What is the infinitive?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rmcode
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This is an archaic verb and the only forms that remain are used for reported speech in a story or report.

eg "It was wet yesterday," she said

"Roedd hi'n wlyb ddoe," meddai hi

The full forms are:

Meddwn i - I said Meddet ti - you said Meddai hi - she said Meddai fe/fo - he said Medden ni - we said Meddech chi - you said Medden nhw - they said


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

So they use the endings that are conditional nowadays, right?


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Yes, these are the endings for conditional forms of other verbs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaibhidhR

It is intriguing that several languages I know have a defective verb with only this form. In Gaelic we have arsa which works exactly the same way as medden etc. When I looked it up in a 1911 dictionary I found it translated as a defective, if archaic verb in English, quoth.

Dwelly also points out that the subject never goes before the verb, even when it is a relative pronoun, so, to give an equivalent example in Welsh,

* _Y fenyw a meddai "Roedd hi'n wlyb ddoe"
The woman who said "It was wet yesterday"

would be wrong. Is this the case in Welsh?

Even weirder, this applies in English too, a language where you normally put the subject first,

"It was wet yesterday," she quoth : wrong
"It was wet yesterday," quoth she : right

In Shakespeare we have

'Tis dinner-time,' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he;
'Your meat doth burn,' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he:
'Will you come home?' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he.
'Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?'
'The pig,' quoth I, 'is burn'd;' 'My gold!' quoth he:
'My mistress, sir' quoth I; 'Hang up thy mistress!
I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!' (Comedy of Errors [II, 1])

But even at the head of the sentence, we still have the verb first,

Quoth she, 'Before you tumbled me, You promis'd me to wed.' (Hamlet [IV, 5])

D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BruceF.

Does reported speech in the present tense use "dweud"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MattJones596690

i'd be curious to know also.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shwmae

Yes, it can do. Both the following are valid for ""We'd like to come," they said":

"Hoffen ni ddod," medden nhw

"Hoffen ni ddod," dwedon nhw


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasoFflandrys

So when Dafydd Iwan sings "Saesneg yn esensial meddan nhw", meddan is a form you wouldn't use in colloquial Welsh?


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'Meddan nhw' is a North Wales variant, where 'a' tends to replace the 'e' or the 'y' in standard Welsh.

The song is referring to the effects of 'Brad y Llyfrau Gleision' on imposing English only education on mostly Welsh speaking Wales in the 19th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treachery_of_the_Blue_Books

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