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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 to me. 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 :) Examples: 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 ache. Notice the soft mutation of _tost_ to _dost_ after the feminine noun _stumog_. _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. Ray =============================================== =============================================== 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" ]