lleeng (legion) legio
ystafell (room) stabellum
trawst (joist) transtrum
bresych (cabbage) brassica
Ireland never experienced Roman occupation but its settlers created colonies in western Britain before the collapse of the Empire. They were numerous in north-west Wales. That's why there are a lot of Irish place-names; for example Dinllaen, Gwynedd, and a lot of words of Irish origin appeared in Welsh: cadach(rag), cnwc (hillock), talcen (forehead), codwm (fall).
Old Welsh, the succeeding phase in the history of the language, extends from about 850 to 1100. Again the evidence is slight of the material that has indubitably survived unchanged from that period, there is little beyond marginal notes and a few brief texts and poems. Approximately in 930 a few settlements or Norse appeared in Britain. I don't think that the norsemen influenced greatly on the Welsh language, because only one Welsh word - iarll, from iarl (earl) - is indisputably a Norse borrowing, but they influenced English (ugly, rotten and husband - borrowings from Scandinavian language) and Scots Gaelic.
Thus, by the end of the eleventh century, Welsh was a rich, supple, and versatile language. It had an oral literary tradition which was one of the longest in Europe. It had an enviable coherence, for the literary language was the same in old parts of Wales. It was spoken throughout the land to the west of Offa's Dyke and in some communities to the east of it. It was deeply rooted in the territory of the people who spoke it. They had used it to name their churches and their settlements, their rivers and their hills. Following the Battle of Hastings in 1066, it came face to face with the French of the Normans.
The victory of William of Normandy led to the expropriation of the land of England by the knew king and his followers.
French words become assimilated into Welsh (cwarel (windowpane), palffrai (palfrey), ffiol (viol), barwn (baron), gwarant (warrant)) and Welsh literature come to be influenced by French forms and conventions. A few places in Wales, such as Beaupry, Beaumaris, Grace Dieu and Hay (la Haie Taillee) were given French names and Norman French personal names - Richard, Robert and William, for example - eventually won popularity among the Welsh.
As a result of population movements English has been the spoken language of some communities in Wales for at least 800 years. That's why in Welsh appeared words from it: capan (cap), sidan (silk), berfa (wheelbarrow), bwrdd (table), llidiart (gate). But despite the influx of French and English speakers, Wales remained overwhelmingly Welsh-speaking throughout the Middle Ayes and beyond. In most of the marcher lordships - Brecоn and Abergovenny, for example - the vast majority of the population was monoglot Welsh, and in lordships such as Кnockin and Сlun and Huntingdon and Clifford the Welsh speaker population was considerable.
Indicative of the growth of English influence was the adoption of fixed surnames, after the English pattern, instead of Welsh patronymics. Thus Richard ap Meurig ap Lleurig apliywelyn of Bodorgan up Gwilym of Brecon become Richard Meyrick, and John ap Rhys Gwilym of Brecon become John Price. Most of the new surnames were based upon the father's Christian name - Jones (John), Davies (David), Powell (ap Hywel), but some were based on a nick-name - Lloyd (Llwyd - grey), Voyle (Moel - bald), an occupation - bought (Gof - blacksmith). The changes had occurred among the gentry by the mid-sixteenth century and virtually completed among all classes by the late seventeenth century, but as late as the mid-nineteenth century there are examples of a son taking his Father's Christian name as his surname.
From the seventeenth century, in the era of industrialisation in Welsh language changes took place. The growth of industry allowed Wales to sustain far more people than had been possible under the old agricultural economy. Some of them came from beyond the borders of Wales. In 1851, the Welsh population included 115000 people born in England and 20000 born in Ireland. Of course they took their languages with them, which little by little mixed with Welsh. But most of areas were Welsh-speaking and, in colonising their own country the Welsh brought their language from the countryside to the towns. That's why alone among the Celtic languages, Welsh has had a considerable degree of success in becoming an urban tongue. By 1851, large numbers of Welsh speakers lived in mass urban communities in which the language could be used in a new range of activities. Also in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was widely practised in Wales the coining of new words, which has been greatly stimulated by the needs of modern society. Cyfrifiaduron (computers) with their maddal medd (software) and caledwedd (hardware) are one of the many fields in which a new Welsh terminology has been invented. Coinages such as darllediad (broadcast), tonfedd (wave length) and orian brig (peak hours) trip naturally off the tongues of broadcasters. Sports commentaries lead to a wide range of neologisms, with those for rugby (the work of Eric Davies) being particularly apt and idiomatic. Words old and new have been collected in the most ambitions lexicographical project yet undertaken in Wales.
Analysing all the information about Welsh-speakers I made a table which I called "Development of Welsh-speaking population in Wales".
Development of Welsh-speaking population in Wales.
years welsh-speaking population % of total population
1891 910280 54,4
1901 929824 49,9
1911 977366 43,5
1921 922092 37,1
1931 909261 36,8
1951 714686 28,9
1961 656002 26,0
1971 542425 20,9
1981 508207 18,9
1991 510920 18,7
As you see from the table, the Welsh-speaking population of Wales reduces greatly on 1931-51. The main reason of it is the Second World War. And it also reduced greatly from 1961 till 1971. I don't know exactly, but it seems to me the main reason from it is the problems in the industry (mostly in coal-mining) and migration.
Also, the population of Welsh-speaking people was decreasing from 1921 to 1971, and was increasing from the beginning of the Welsh language to 1911 and from 1981 till our days. At once the question arises: "What happened in 1981?" There are a lot of factors which influenced the growing of Welsh-speaking population from the 1981. They are: development of education in Welsh, appearance of the periodical press and books in Welsh, creation of radio and TV stations in Welsh, appearance of "institutions" which protect the Welsh, and the growing of national identity. Of course all this factors were present in the 1950s and 1970s, but in 1990s they were in its heyday.
It is very interesting to say thatmany pupils who learn Welsh think that Welsh is not a difficult language to learn and that it is easier to learn than English. Unlike English, it has the inestimable advantage of being largely phonetic; that is, the words are