Reading Middle Welsh
A Course Book Based on the Welsh of the Mabinogi


Gareth Morgan
University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents     -     About the Author

It is often assumed that people with an interest in Middle Welsh are either speakers of Modern Welsh, who can be eased into the medieval language fairly simply, or high-powered linguistics students with considerable knowledge of other languages, who can work directly from academic grammars and dictionaries. In fact, many potential students, perhaps most, do not come in these categories. A few are interested in linguistic studies. Many more are folklorists, historians, Arthurians. Some are simply of Welsh origin, though often no Welsh language, and interested in their heritage.

Reading Middle Welsh is based on materials and methods used by the author over many years to teach this wider audience. It introduces and practises the forms and structures used in the first story of the Mabinogi, a medieval tale of mythical characters from the earliest layers of Welsh tradition. It culminates in a reading of that story, complete and unchanged, in a standardised spelling close to that of Modern Welsh. Then it tells something about medieval spelling and opens the gate to reading the published text of the entire Mabinogi and the rest of Middle Welsh literature.

The Preface gives some advice on how to use Reading Middle Welsh. The rest of the text can be reached either from there or directly via the Table of Contents. Your comments are welcome on any aspect of the text or its presentation.

We are making Reading Middle Welsh freely available online in the hope that it will be useful to others, both teachers and students, who love language as its author did. Please consider donating what you would have paid for a printed version to the Gareth Morgan Memorial Endowed Excellence Fund. The Fund provides financial assistance for summer language students.

If you teach Middle Welsh and would like to use Reading Middle Welsh in a class, please request permission, which will be granted gladly.

All text copyright © 1996 by Gareth Morgan. Online layout copyright © 2001 by Daniel Morgan.