Expressing illness (was: Word Order in typology)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, October 13, 2004, 17:07|
On Tuesday, October 12, 2004, at 10:17 , Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> My favorite is _Mér tekur á bakið_ "My back hurts" but
> literally "Me takes at the back", since I had frequent
> occasion to use it.
Welsh: mae cefn tost gyda fi
(is back ill with me) = an ill back is with me.
The person _suffering_ aches, pains, illness etc. is never the grammatical
subject in Welsh or, it seems, many other languages. Seems quite logical
What I do notice about Welsh is that if we're talking about an illness
affecting the person it is said to be _on_ that person, but if we're
talking about a specific part of the body, then the afflicted body part is
_with_ the person :)
Mae annwyd arna i = is cold on me = I have a cold
Mae'r ffliw arno fe = is the flu on him = he's got the flu
Mae'r brech arno hi = is the measles on her = she's got measles.
Mae peswch arnoch chi = is a cough on you = you've got a cough.
(Don't you just love those conjugated prepositions!)
Mae pen tost gyda fi = is head ill with me = I've got a head ache
Maw gwddw tost gyda hi = is throat ill with her = she's got a sore throat.
Mae stumog dost gyda nhw = is stomach ill with them = they've got stomach
Notice the soft mutation of _tost_ to _dost_ after the feminine noun
_gyda_ is one of those boring prepositions that don't conjugate. However
up in north Wales they prefer to use _gan_ (with) instead of the southern
_gyda_ - and that does conjugate:
gen i = with me; ganddi hi = with her; ganddyn nhw = with them.
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]