I was reading a recent parallel.cymru offering about the new music group Pendevig and I came across this sentence: ‘Gyda’u gig gyntaf yn prysur agosáu… mae Angharad a’r grŵp o bymtheg o gerddorion wedi bod yn y stiwdio’n gweithio ar eu halbwm cyntaf.’ (Some extraneous text elided). Surely, I thought, that should be ‘yn brysur agosáu’. Just to check, I put the sentence into the Cysill ar-Lein site, but no, it was happy with ‘yn prysur’ and didn’t like ‘yn brysur’. But when I changed the word order to ‘Gyda’u gig gyntaf agosáu yn prysur’, it didn’t like ‘yn prysur’ and insisted on ‘yn brysur’. Please can someone explain what is going on here with the mutation or lack of it – a paragraph reference to Gareth’s grammar usually does the trick, but I can’t seem to find one to cover this case.
Just guessing, but I think the yn in there is the one that precedes verbs (yn agosáu) and this one doesn’t cause the soft mutation, unlike the yn that precedes adjectives (yn brysur). The injection of the prysur between the yn and the verb doesn’t appear to change the nature of the yn.
Is this an explanation or just a restatement of your observation?
Thanks, I see what you’re driving at, but if that ‘yn’ is taken as governing the verb noun then it’s a bit puzzling because surely it wouldn’t be there but for the presence of the adjective. I mean, would the normal construction not be ‘Gyda’u gig gyntaf agosáu’ rather than ‘Gyda’u gig gyntaf yn agosáu’? Cf. Gareth section 199: ‘Aeth o gwmpas y stafell gan ofyn yr un cwestiwn i bawb’ – ‘gan ofyn’, not ‘gan yn gofyn’. Though would ‘Aeth o gwmpas y stafell gan yn gofyn yr un cwestiwn i bawb’ actually be wrong? Cysyll Ar-lein seems happy with it. So maybe you’re right and when you stick an adverb before the verb noun that causes an yn to appear but this yn is taken as being associated with the verb noun rather than the adjective yet at the same time causes the adverbial yn to disappear because you don’t want two yn’s i.e. you don’t want to say ‘Gyda’u gig gyntaf yn yn brysur agosáu’. It will be apparent that I am struggling here!
I wish I knew more Grammar here - you can also have yn cyflym agosau. @garethking is probably your man here. I suspect the answer will be very grammatical - I get lost as soon as I hear verb-noun and when I hear experts disagreeing on what is the object in the sentence.
To me as a non grammar sort of person - yn agos and yn agosau just go together and prysur is just inserted as a descriptor and its not really acting as a verb or a noun, but i don’t have a clue what I’m talking about to be honest. I love this sort of question though.
I am not entirely sure, but I believe mutation here is due to the presence of two forms of “yn” , namely the one which appears before the main verb “agosáu” and the adverbial “yn” in “yn brysur”.
The sentence could be written as “Gyda’u gig cyntaf yn agosáu yn brysur” (the adverbial “yn” causes a soft mutation). This can also be seen in a sentence such as “mae’r problemau’n diflannu’n raddol”.
A grammatical rule states that the structure of sentences which contain both the adverbial “yn” of adverbs denoting manner (as opposed to those denoting freuquency ((such as" yn feunyddiol")) or location ((such as “yma” and “yno”) and the “yn” of the predictate “yn agosáu” can be altered.
The adverbial “yn” is able to be forgone and the adverb is able to be moved to a position before the main verb. If this is done, the remaining “yn” does not cause a mutation since it still relates to the verb “yn agosáu”- hence, “Gyda’u gig cyntaf yn prysur agosáu” is formed from “Gyda’u gig cyntaf yn agosáu yn brysur”.
It should be noted however that the adverb itself can now spark a soft mutation, it is not visible in the example above but is clear in the sentence;
“Mae’r problemau’n graddol ddiflannu” from the sentence “Mae’r problemau’n diflannu’n raddol”.
Please see the following link for information (I have not been able to source any content with an English translation):
Nid ieithydd ydwyf felly ymddiheuraf am unrhyw fefl a ymddengys yn fy esboniad.
I am not a linguist so I apologise for any flaw in my explanation.
Just tagging the right Gareth for you, Toffidil - @garethrking
Thank you, Daniel, that seems to answer my question perfectly.
The reason for non-mutation of prysur in yn prysur agoshau rapidly approaching is that prysur in this construction is NOT an adjective, it’s functioning as an adverb for the verb agoshau. The rule with yn is that it soft-mutates a following adjective, of course - but this rule is cancelled when the adjective switches to being (in function) something else.
I’m not at all sure that there is a reference to this particular circumstance in the Grammar - drat, drat and thrice drat!
Oh, hey, hang on - I understood that! What on earth is happening to the world?
This @garethrking is quite good at this stuff ain’t he?!
Maybe he should collect up all his postings here and put them into a book or something…
I think I had vaguely noticed that adverbs and adjectives behaved differently, and for once, it’s similar in German (the only other language I know to any great extent) in that in German you decline adjectives (add endings to them according to case, gender and number), but adverbs remain unchanged.
And like German (I think), adjectives can easily become adverbs in Welsh, which isn’t quite the case in English, at least, not always. (Which is why when someone answers “I’m good” to the question “how are you”, it just feels “wrong” to me. It’s not (just) that I’m an old fashioned stick-in-the-mud who believes English should stay the same as when I was learning it in the 1950s (although that also happens to be true). It’s because “good” here is clearly an adjective, and the sentence isn’t asking for an adjective: it’s asking for an adverb, because it’s describing how the person is feeling . So, he may be morally “good” as a person, but the way he’s feeling is “well”, or “fine”, or “on top of the world…”. But I realise that might be a touch pedantic).
I’m really tired and I first read that as “pediatric”
@garethrking Is there a reason why one would use yn prysur agoshau instead of agoshau yn brysur? Are they interchangeable? The grammar is getting too deep for me here, I think… Or I’m just too tried to be thinking about this just now…
I’m quite excited that this exact ‘adjective or adverb’ thing cropped up in a tweet I was about to send - and I realised that I would usually have had an ‘errrrr, what’s actually right here?’ moment - but this time round, I didn’t… Diolch, GK! @garethrking
Yes - and it’s also why we (correctly) say toothbrush rather than ‘teethbrush’, and bus station rather than ‘buses station’ (as the professional pedants stupidly argue - ignorance often being their strong point), because in those expressions the nouns tooth and bus are functioning as adjectives, and when a noun’s primary function is cancelled like this it reverts to the default form, which in English is the singular.
Yes there is a reason, Anna - prysur used as a sort of prefix to the VN really means rapidly rather than busy, while in your second example where it is simply being used as a normal adverb, it means busily as we would expect, and therefore would not quite make sense: approaching busily
I should add that these instances of adjectives being placed directly before the VN are relatively few in number. We need not lose sleep over them - on the other hand, it’s always nice to know, isn’t it?
@garethrking And the light bulb goes on! Now I understand. Diolch! [quote=“garethrking, post:19, topic:13096”]
I should add that these instances of adjectives being placed directly before the VN are relatively few in number.
I’m glad to know this
I think we all are…