I’ve started noticing situations where demonstratives (hon, hwn, honno, hwnnw) are used when my (first language English) brain was expecting either a normal pronoun “hi” or “o/e”, or an emphatic one.
All the cases I can think of have some kind of emphasis. Do these forms inherently convey emphasis and, if so, is that the reason for using them? Is it as simple as thinking how it would sound if you said “this woman” or “that one” or whatever?
Also, it’s entirely possible that I’m mishearing but it seems that people often use the “this” version when I would expect the “that” version (see examples 1 and especially 3 below). I’ve heard the “that” versions as well, but are they more interchangeable in Welsh than English?
Some examples that spring to mind are:
- “Mae hwn 'di marw” (“he’s dead”) - Sophie in Rownd a Rownd telling her mother about Elen’s late husband (emphasis because she was talking about someone else immediately before).
- “Lle mae hon?” (“Where is she?”) - exclaimed in exasperation in Tipyn o Stad while waiting to pick someone up who was late.
- “Pwy 'dy hwn?” (“Who’s that?”) the dad in Bron Meirion from Tudur Owen’s programme when someone mentions Mark Drakeford.
I’ve heard similar things in normal conversations too so I don’t think it’s just a TV thing.
Sorry for the rambling post, but if anyone has any thoughts on this sort of stuff it would be great to hear!