Saturday, 15 November 2014

Feminine Nouns - gen Chris Parkinson


Feminine Nouns :  Learning the gender of nouns can be a pain if you’re not used to it. You can halve the problem by just learning which nouns are feminine – the rest of course will be masculine! There are two ways to help with this.

1. Imagine a scene with various feminine noun items in it. For example picture a vorr (fordh) (road) leading to a treveglos (village with a church). There is an eglos (church) with a gwedhen (tree) and a crows (cross) outside it. Next to the church is a field where a mos (girl) is sitting on a carrek (rock) by a venten (fenten) (well, spring) with a cath (cat) on her knee. Nearby is a bûgh (cow) and in the distance on the bre (hill) is a davas (sheep). Draw this picture, even if you’re not artistic, and remember the target feminine items.

 2. Native speakers of languages with mutations can learn feminine nouns by ear. You can too! Take a feminine noun like ‘cath’. After ‘an’, the definite article ‘the’, certain initial letters of feminine nouns mutate so we get ‘an gath’. Certain initial letters of following adjectives also mutate after feminine nouns. The common adjectives ‘broas’ (big) and ‘bian’ (small) do so, becoming ‘vroas’ and ‘vian’. To a native speaker ‘An gath vroas’ would sound right, and * ‘An cath broas’ would sound wrong. So try getting the following patterns into your ears by repeating them out loud.


carrek                    an garrek vroas                                 crows                    an grows vian

bre                         an vre vroas                                       bûgh                      an vûgh vian

tre                          an dre vian                                          treveglos             an dreveglos vian

davas                     an dhavas vian                                  delen (leaf)        an dhelen vroas

gwedhen             an wedhen vroas                             gaver (goat)       an aver vian


You can try this with every new feminine noun you come across. Good luck!

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