Grammar query: 'a chanddynt'

I was reading a fairly formal article on Welsh prosody and came across this sentence:

‘Ond, o ran y Cymry – sydd a chanddynt ganrifoedd yn ogystal â haenau amryfal o ddiwylliant i’w gweithio trwyddynt – mae’n gallu bod yn eithriadol o anodd’.

I am a bit puzzled by the ‘a chanddynt’ here. I can’t find a mention of this form in Gareth’s grammar, maybe because it’s a bit too literary for him, but I guess that what is happening is that after ‘a’ meaning ‘and’ the ‘gan’ has reverted to an older form ‘can’ and then duly undergone aspirate mutation. Which I can only assume to be part of a cunning plot to keep learners on their toes just when they think they’re getting the hang of this mutation lark.

But that doesn’t explain what the ‘a’ is doing there in the first place. It must be the ‘a’ that means ‘and’ rather than the preverbal particle ‘a’ because that would cause soft mutation. So is this akin to one of those sort of detached constructions with ‘a’ that Gareth touches on briefly (paragraph 510 in 3rd edition): ‘Naethon nhw ofyn inni ganu a ninnau heb fwyta dim ers brecwast’?

It would be helpful if someone could do a bit of parsing for me, and if, as I assume, this is a very literary way of saying things, say how they would recast the sydd clause in a less literary way.

Thanks in advance.



A gold star for you today David. I’m putting it on the class star-chart now, look…


Great, thank you. That’s made my day, haven’t had a gold star since I was five…