And the Productive Welsh Verb-Noun Ending is….-io

If you’ve seen my CV, you’ll know that I did my research in Celtic linguistics. I just downloaded a new dissertation on The Integration of English-origin Verbs in Welsh from J.R. Stammers.

I’m still processing it, but one question that comes up is what the “default” marker for Welsh verb-nouns (basically an infinitive) is…because Welsh has a lot of options. I would have guessed -u because it is very frequent in native verbal roots, but it may be -io. Stammers (2009) has this list of English verbs with the –io ending on the verb noun.

Note: Forms with hypenated endings are more recent borrowings.

  • activate-io
  • babysit-io
  • carfio (carve)
  • download-io
  • enjoio
  • email-io
  • ffonio (phone)
  • ffordio (afford)
  • ffotocopïo (photocopy)
  • insult-io
  • iwsio
  • marcio
  • panic-io
  • sincio (sink)
  • stare-io
  • stopio
  • text-io
  • twrio (tour)
  • whine-io

No Ending

  • fancy (-/i/ (i.e. -y) is a valid verb-noun ending)
  • name-dropping (this uses English gerund ending instead)
  • taking (with gerund)

A few exceptions?

  • canslo (how old?)
  • helpu (may be older)
  • freak-o (definitely an recent borrowing)

Interesting stuff. I do wonder if -u was originally the default ending as in helpu and older Latinate verbs like cymharu ‘compare’. But these days, it appears that -io is the clear winner, at least in this data.

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