German (2007:174)

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2.8.3. Subject marking: 3rd person sing.: haoñ ‘he’, hi ‘she’, nenn ‘one’

 In the following affirmative sentences, the pronoun is placed after the verbal group.

(1) N’oun ket hann ema chomet haoñ ba'n ger. (SY orth)
ne'sais pas si est resté lui à le maison
'I don’t know whether he stayed at home.' Cornouaillais (Saint-Yvi), German (2007:174)
'Je ne sais pas s'il est resté à la maison.'

 Ha benn eo [ẹ] deuet hi, ‘ yar, en traoñ … (SY orth)
 'And when she, the hen, came down …'
 Ken buan vé bet maro haoñ (SY orth)
 lit. 'Just as fast would have been dead he.'
 'He could just as well have died.'
 Ba’n amzer oan yaouank vi ket kas‘ nenn kalz da skol. (SY orth)
 'During the time I was young, one was (past habitual) not often sent to school.'

2.8.4. Subject Marking: 3rd person pl. ‘hè/hent’

  is a reduced form of hent [henn], also pronounced hint [hint] in much of 
 Central Cornouaille and Tregor (literary Breton int; Middle Welsh int; (h)wynt.
 Hè/hent is a free morpheme which can be placed either before or after a (normally) 
 uninflected 3rd person singular verb (+ AUX). This slide towards analycity must
 have been facilitated by a need to identify the subject, wether masculine or feminine, 
 in the phrase, a phenomenon which was probably reinforced by analogy with the structures 
 just signaled in 2.8.3. In the following affirmative sentences, the subject pronoun directly 
 follows the verb boud, the main lexical verb or the verbal group.
 Blam vé  ‘ torné … (SY orth)
 Abalamour e vezent o tornañ. (StanBret)
 'Because they were threshing …'
 Benn eo kouet  barz … (SY orth)
 Pa oant kouezhet e-barzh. (StanBret)
 'When they fell in …'
 Benn eo maro  … (SY orth)
 Pa oant marvet / Pa varvjont (StanBret)
 'When they died …'


  • German, G. 2007. 'Language Shift, Diglossia and Dialectal Variation in Western Brittany:the Case of Southern Cornouaille', The Celtic languages in contact : Papers from the workshop within the framework of the XIII International Congress of Celtic Studies, Bonn, July 2007, Hildegard L. C. Tristram (ed.), Postdam. pdf.