Both the regular and slow voice samples pronounce genedlaethol as /genedleithol/.
Shouldn't the 'ae' diphthong be pronounced /ai/ (→ /genedlaithol/)? Or does this depend on different types of regional pronunciation?
The basic rule is actually very simple. In south Wales (which this TTS is based on):
ae in a final syllable is like Welsh ai, English "eye"
ae in a non-final syllable is like Welsh ei, English "ay" in "day"
That's why the ae in gwaeth "worse", aeth "(he/she) went", cae "field" sounds like ai but in gwaetha "worst", aethon "(we/they) went", caeau "fields" it sounds like ei.
Thank you! This is the first time I read such a distinction.
This makes what I hear in the exercises finally consistent with the pronunciation rules.
Croeso. Rules like this aren't often taught and sometimes language tutors don't even know them.
If you think about it, ai/au is almost exclusively found in a final syllable in Welsh, but when an extra syllable is added to a word containing ai/au, i.e. the ai/au shifts to a non-final syllable, it is written and pronounced ei/eu.
gwaith "work" (noun) > gweithio "to work" (verbnoun)
ail "second" (2nd) > eiliad "second" (60 seconds = minute)
haul "sun" > heulog "sunny"
aur "gold" > euro "gild"
The same happens with ae but in pronunciation only. There's no spelling change but there is a pronunciation change.
hael "generous" > haelioni "generosity"
aeth "(he/she) went" > aethon "(we/they) went"
caer "fort" > caerau "forts"
It's something native speakers do naturally without even thinking.
I know, I am tutoring the Italian section and just a few days ago I was making the same comment about a minor rule that is simply 'obvious' to native speakers, and that no grammar book nor internet source seems to be mentioning.
My Welsh vocabulary is still way too limited for extrapolating a rule by simply comparing words with similar phonetic features, but I had noticed this change of vowel, as in deilen / dail, or anifail / anifeiliaidd, and I was actually wondering whether this is consistent with a scheme, or a rule of some kind.
Thanks again for the explanation!
At least in my dialect "Ae" is pronounced as it is here in certain words like "Aeddfed" (Something like eithved in English spelling) and in words like "Daear" and "Gaeaf" (Deiar and Geia(v)). To my knowledge this is how it's pronounced in all of these words across Wales including "Cenedlaethol". Of course sometimes it isn't pronounced like this like the words "Mae" and "Cymraeg" and in these words it does vary throughout Wales, but not in the way you've suggested.
Thank you for your prompt reply!
I was asking because any other grammar resource I consulted suggests that -ae- should sound close enough to the other two diphthongs -ai- and -au-, that is as in the English 'eye' [source: Wiktionary].
Also the voice sample in Google Translate pronounces the diphhong in cenedlaethol as /-ai-/.
So I'm a bit confused as to whether this pronunciation of -ae- is standard or varies according to words and/or to regions.
(some of the sources I mentioned)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QGvaEQlLq0 (at 3:20)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc_KjnzbLFc (at 1:15)
Generally "Ae" will be pronounced as you have suggested, but in other isntances it is prounounced differently. "Ar" in Words like "Mae" and "Cymraeg" can vary quite a bit throughout Wales and not even in ways that follow patterns. For example there is a book called "Cymraeg, Cymrâg, Cymrêg... Cyflwyno'r tafodieithoedd" which demonstrates the differences in the names for the Welsh. The pronounciation of "Ae" in "Cenedlaethol" is standard throughout Wales (to my knowledge), and I am confident that you won't find anybody who pronounces it "Cenedl-eye-thol".
And just to make it worse, locally to me the 'ei' diphthong is akways pronounced 'ai' (as in English 'eye')!