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p. i




JOHN RHYS, M.A., D.Litt.


Scanned at, 2000-2003; J.B. Hare and Phillip Brown, Redactors. This text is in the public domain. This file may be reproduced for any non-commercial purpose provided this notice is left intact.

Oxford University Press, 1901

p. ii

To all those
who have in any way contributed to
the production of this work
it is respectively
in token of his gratitude

Our modern idioms, with all their straining after the abstract, are but primitive man's mental tools adapted to the requirements of civilized life, and they often retain traces of the form and shape which the neolithic worker's chipping and polishing gave them.


In the original book the voiceless L was written with a special glyph; it has been consistently replaced with a double L. The voiced TH (as in THIS) was written with the symbol Ð or ð; this has been transcribed as double D. All other letters have been transcribed identical to the original, except for circumflex w, which I write w^ herein (since there is no direct equivalent in the HTML character set). In one case there is an i with a subscript circumflex, this is transcribed as i (underlined). In the very rare instance where this system of transcription might produce an ambiguous reading, the consonant transcribed with two letters are italicized, for instance where the consonant combination ðd occurs, it is transcribed as: ddd.

This should be close to the conventional modern Welsh orthography; however, note that there are plenty of archaic spellings (in Welsh, English and other languages) in this book. As usual, accuracy of transcription takes precedence over standard orthography. However, I have taken no steps to confirm any particular Welsh spelling.

Welsh spelling can look daunting at first; however it is fairly easy to get accustomed to. CH is pronounced as in the German BACH; FF (and sometimes PH) is pronounced as English F; F is pronounced as English V; TH is always voiceless (as in THIMBLE, not THIS); and W and Y (when not part of a diphthong) are vowels which are similar to the English OO (as in POOL) and EE (as in FREE).--jbh

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