Introductory Masterclass on Middle Welsh for Beginners (Workshop)

Harbour Centre 1510

Georgia Henley
Joey McMullen

This workshop offers an introduction to the study of Middle Welsh. No knowledge of Celtic languages is presupposed, though participants with experience studying inflected languages may have an easier time. While Celtic languages are widely regarded as difficult, this workshop is intended to de-mystify Middle Welsh, giving participants an introduction to pronunciation, orthography, basic syntactical structures, and grammatical features, such as mutation, that are specific to Celtic languages. It is hoped that participants will become comfortable with identifying parts of speech, and looking up words in a Welsh dictionary, to facilitate the translation of texts. Following this, we will also provide an overview of the extant texts in Middle Welsh, which include a vast array of historical prose, narrative tales, bardic poetry, saints' lives, wisdom literature, and apocrypha. We will also discuss some of the manuscripts in which these texts are contained. Participants should come away from the workshop comfortable with pronouncing Welsh, able to identify parts of speech when translating, and familiar with resources for studying and engaging with this language on their own.