- 1: an articulative effort giving prominence to one
syllable over adjacent syllables. 2: a mark used in writing or
printing to indicate a specific sound value, stress, or pitch, to
distinguish words otherwise identically spelled, or to indicate that
an ordinarily mute vowel should be pronounced. People with different
accents might use an accent mark to indicate they accent a different
- asserting that the person or thing represented by the
grammatical subject performs the action represented by the verb. In
the last sentence, the subject "person or thing" performs the action
"perform", so the sentence is in the active voice. In the last
sentence, the subject "subject" performs the action "perform", so the
sentence is also in the active voice. (Repeat the last sentence
- a word that serves as a modifier of a noun to denote
a quality of the thing named, to indicate its quantity or extent, or
to specify a thing as distinct from something else. It answers the
questions "which?", "how many?", and "what kind of?", though probably
not all three at once.
- a word serving as a modifier of a verb, an adjective,
another adverb, a preposition, a phrase, a clause, or a sentence,
and expressing some relation of manner or quality, place, time,
degree, number, cause, opposition, affirmation, or denial.
It answers the questions "where?", "when?", or "how?", even if you
- a grammatical construction in which two typically
adjacent nouns referring to the same person or thing stand in the same
syntactical relation to the rest of a sentence. For example, in "the
rally of the opposition Labor Party", "Labor Party" is in apposition
- one of a small set of words or affixes (as a, an, and
the) used with nouns to limit or give definiteness to the application.
English has an indefinite article (a, an) and a definite article
(the). Welsh has only a definite article. I'm sure whole articles
have been written about articles.
- the process of conforming one sound to another to
aid in pronunciation. For example, in the phrase "in Colorado", the
"n" in "in" becomes palatalized because of the following "C". It
may take you a while to assimilate this concept.
- an inflectional form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective
indicating its grammatical relation to other words. Neither English
nor Welsh has cases for nouns or adjectives. English has cases for
pronouns: I/me/my, he/him/his, she/her/her, you/you/your and
they/them/their are the subjective, objective, and possessive cases,
- a group of words containing a subject and predicate and
functioning as a member of a complex or compound sentence. It is not
related to Santa.
- denoting a number of persons or things considered as
one group or whole. For example, "flock" is a collective noun. Now
that you understand this concept, we can all breathe a collective sigh
- the degree of comparison in a language that denotes
increase in the quality, quantity, or relation expressed by an
adjective or adverb. Some of my definitions may be "silly", but
comparative is "sillier".
- an added word or expression by which a predicate is
made complete. For example, "president" and "beautiful" are
complements in "they elected him president" and "he thought her
beautiful". The latter also happens to be a compliment.
- compound subject
- a subject joined together with a conjunction.
"Or" or "and" can join together the nouns or clauses. The preceding
sentence has a compound subject. Or I suppose a "compound subject"
could be one of the king's men living in a walled-in enclosure.
- to give in prescribed order the various inflectional
forms of something. It is used especially of a verb, in which case
it means to give the forms for every person, number, mood, and
tense. A preposition can also be conjugated in Welsh.
- a word that joins together sentences, clauses,
phrases, or words. There are two kinds of conjunctions: coordinating
conjunctions (such as "and" and "or") and subordinating conjunctions
(such as "but"). There is a conjunction between "Jupiter" and "Mars"
- one of a class of speech sounds characterized by
constriction or closure at one or more points in the breath channel.
It contrasts with a vowel. Welsh has a couple of consonants that are
not consonant with English, such as "ch", "rh" and "ll".
- lacking one or more of the usual forms of grammatical
inflection. A defective word is nearly always a verb. However, even
though the word is defective, you can't get your money back.
- two dots placed side-by-side over a vowel. The two
dots can have one of two meanings: (1) the vowel is considered a
separate vowel, even though it would normally be considered part of a
diphthong, or (2) you need to have the paten of your laser printer
cleaned. A diaeresis is indicated by a percent sign (%) in these
- a series of two letters that constitute a single sound
not predicted by combining the two letters. The phinal two letters of
"digraph" phorm a digraph.
- a gliding monosyllabic speech item that starts at or
near the articulatory position for one vowel and moves to or toward
the position for another (as the vowel combination that forms the last
part of toy).
- direct object
- a noun or noun phrase representing the primary goal
or the result of the action of its verb. For example, "direct
objects" is the direct object of the sentence "I explained direct
objects to you".
- the degree of comparison in a language that denotes the
same quality, quantity, or relation expressed by an adjective or
adverb. Many of my definitions are "silly", and "equative" is "as
silly". English does not have a separate equative form for adjectives.
- added to aid in pronunciation. It is common in spoken
Welsh for an epenthetic vowel to be added between the last two
consonants. See Section 1.6 and Section E.2 for details.
- a quality attached to a noun or pronoun that indicates an
abstract category of the individuals are being referred to. Most
English nouns are neuter, and English has singular pronouns that are
masculine, feminine, and neuter ("he", "she", and "it", respectively).
All Welsh nouns are either masculine or feminine.
- grammatical mood of a verb that expresses the will
to influence the behavior of another, expressive of a command,
entreaty, or exhortation. Be imperative, and this sentence will be, too!
- a set of verb forms that represents the denoted act
or state as an objective fact. Most of our speech is in the
indicative mood, like this sentence.
- indirect object
- a grammatical object representing the secondary
goal of the action of its verb. For example, "me" is the indirect
object of the sentence "He gave me an example of indirect objects".
- Drat! What is an interjection? Oh yeah, it's an
ejaculatory utterance usually lacking grammatical connection.
- intransitive verb
- a verb that does not act on an object. For
example, "lobby" is intransitive in the sentence "I lobby for
- a particular set of inflectional forms of a verb to express
whether the action or state it denotes is conceived as fact or in some
other manner (as command, possibility, or wish). English and Welsh
both have four moods: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and good.
- a quality attached to a noun or pronoun that indicates
a category of how many individuals are being referred to. Both
English and Welsh have two numbers: singular (one individual) and
plural (more than one individual).
- a word that is the name of something (as a person,
animal, place, thing, quality, idea, or action). All of
the nouns in this definition are emphasized.
- a noun or noun equivalent either in a prepositional phrase
or in a verb construction with the action of a verb directed on or
toward it. Objects can be one of two kinds in English: a direct object
or an indirect object. There's no reason to object to objects.
- a unit of speech expressing some general aspect of
meaning or some connective or limiting relation. It can be an
article, a preposition or conjunction, or possibly an interjection
or adverb. Particles are not dangerous unless they have been
- asserting that the person or thing represented by the
grammatical subject is subjected to or affected by the action
represented by the verb. In the last sentence, the subject "person
or thing" is acted upon by the verbs "subject" and "affect", so the
sentence is in the passive voice. In the last sentence, the subject
"subject" is acted upon by the verb "act", so the sentence is also in
the passive voice. (Repeat last sentence ad infinitum.)
- the next-to-last syllable of a word. Every time I use a
"pen", it is the penult of "penult".
- a tense of a verb that indicates an action has been
completed in the past. "I have been perfected" is in the perfect tense.
- formed by the use of function words or auxiliaries
instead of by inflection. In other words, stated in other words.
- a segment of discourse that pertains to the speaker (first
person), to the one spoken to (second person), or the one spoken of
(third person). The singular prounouns in English that are first
person, second person, and third person are respectively "I", "you",
and any of "he", "she", or "it" -- although it may seem weird for "it"
to have a person associated with it (namely, third) .
- personal pronoun
- any pronoun that refers to a noun by person
- a group of two or more grammatically related words that
form a sense unit expressing a thought. The phrase has the force of a
single part of speech, such as a noun or adverb. For example, "two
or more grammatically related words" is a phrase representing a noun.
- a class of grammatical forms used to denote more than one
of some noun or pronoun. Just because you use plurals doesn't mean
you believe in pluralism.
- a grammatical case that denotes ownership or a
relation analogous to ownership. For example, in "owner's manual",
the owner is possessive.
- the part of a sentence or clause that expresses what
is said of the subject and that usually consists of a verb with or
without objects, complements, or adverbial modifiers. The predicate
excludes the subject itself, which gives it something in common with
answers given by politicians.
- a word that combines with a noun, pronoun, or noun
equivalent to form a phrase that typically has an adverbial,
adjectival, or substantival relation to some other word. In English,
a preposition is generally considered a bad thing to end a sentence
- prepositional phrase
- a phrase that starts with a preposition,
silly! "With a preposition" is a prepositional phrase.
- a tense of a verb that indicates an ongoing action.
"I am present" is in the present tense.
- a word that is used as a substitute for a noun or noun
equivalent, takes noun constructions, and refers to persons or things
named or understood in the context. For example, "he" is a pronoun.
The process of turning a noun into a pronoun is not called
- proper noun
- a name belonging to an individual or place. For
example, "Amy" and "Cardiff" are proper nouns. Regrettably, so is
- relative clause
- a dependent clause in apposition with a
substantive for the purpose of specifying it. For example, "who works
for my father" is the relative clause in the sentence "The man who
works for my father goofed." The fact that my father is my relative
has nothing to do with it.
- a grammatically self-contained speech unit consisting of
a word or a syntactically related group of words that expresses an
assertion, a question, a command, a wish, or an exclamation. Each
sentence must a complete thought.
- the form of a pronoun or noun used to reference an object
that occurs singly, alone, one-at-a-time, or without any others of its
kind around it. For example, "hermit" only occurs in the singular.
- the part of a sentence that indicates what acts upon the
verb. It is always a noun, pronoun, or noun clause. For example,
"explaining grammar" is the subject of the sentence "Explaining
grammar is one of my favorite activities". In both English and
Welsh, it must agree in person and number with the main verb of the
sentence. Other than that, it can be as disagreeable as it wants.
- a set of verb forms that would represent a denoted
act or state not as fact but as contingent or possible or viewed
emotionally (as with doubt or desire). The "would" in the last
sentence makes its mood subjunctive.
- the degree of grammatical comparison that denotes an
extreme or unsurpassed level or extent. Some of my definitions may be
"silly", but superlative is "silliest".
- a unit of spoken language that is next bigger than a
speech sound. It consists of one or more vowel sounds alone or of a
syllabic consonant alone or of either with one or more consonant
sounds preceding or following. It should not be confused with a
syllabus, which always precedes the course.
- a distinction of form in a verb to express distinctions of
time. Just because a verb has tenses does not mean it is up tight.
- transitive verb
- a verb that can act upon an object. One might
say that a transitive verb is one that is object-oriented.
- the last syllable of a word. "Ma" is the ultima of
"ultima" (thanks, Mom!).
- a word that expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of being.
It is the grammatical center of a predicate. For example, "verb" is a
verb in the sentence "It is possible to verb any noun".
- a form of a Welsh verb that can be used as a noun.
It is also used with "bod" as a helping verb to express action (see
Section 3.2). It is the form you look up in a dictionary.
- a system of inflections of a verb to indicate the relation
of the subject of the verb to the action which the verb expresses.
English has two voices: active and passive. Welsh may have
laryngitis, because it seems to have lost its voice.
- one of a class of speech sounds in the articulation of
which the oral part of the breath channel is not blocked and is not
constricted enough to cause audible friction; it the one most
prominent sound in a syllable. In English, the vowels are a, e, i, o,
u, and sometimes y. Welsh adds the letter w to this list, which
explains why so many English speakers think of Welsh as a vowel-less