What morpheme is 'n in "Dw i'n hoffi"?

There are sentences like "Dw i'n hoffi" and "Dw i ddim yn hoffi". So, what words or verbs or particles are "'n" and "yn"? What do they stand for? What grammatical meaning do they have? I'd like a linguistic explanation, please. Thank you.

February 22, 2017


There is a brief explanation in the 'Hints and Tips' and there is a more detailed, informal explanation here.

In grammatical terms:

  • yn/ym/yng (+ nasal mutation) is a preposition meaning 'in/at'
  • 'n/yn (+ no mutation) between a form of bod (to be, being) and a verb-noun is sometimes called a 'verbal adjunct' - it is not translated into English as it has no equivalent, but it imparts the meaning of an incomplete action to the bod + verb-noun phrase.
  • n/yn (+ soft mutation) between a form of bod and a noun or adjective introduces a predicate.

(Note that the use of the noun eisiau following bod is an exceptional form used in the colloquial language. It may have come from the now unusual, more formal form dw i ag eisiau xxx (literally, 'I am with a need/want of xxx'))

February 22, 2017

Mesmerizing. I love grammar. Thank you very much.

February 22, 2017
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