Brezhoneg Daoù/Lesson 7

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Mutations[edit]

This lesson gives a full and rather complex view of mutations as exceptions are described together with the regular cases. For a more straightforward explanation please refer to the lesson in Brezhoneg Unan/Lesson 4

Definition[edit]

A mutation is the change of the first letter of a word according to different contexts.

Exemples :
     Mamm (mother) --> Ar vamm (the mother)
     Kozh (old)    --> Mamm gozh (Grand mother)

Table of mutations[edit]

Mutations in Breton obey to regular phonetics laws.

They are summarized in the table below (details to be found in the rest of this page) :

Breton Complete Table Mutations.jpg

Mutations to soften ("dre vlotaat")[edit]



Initial K G Gw P B M T D
Mutation G C’h W B V V D Z


Soft mutation happens in the following cases :


  • after a, da, daou, div, dindan, diwar, dre, e (possessive), eme, en em, en ur, hanter, holl, na, ne, pa, pe, re, war...
  • after the article for the feminine singular words and the related adjective
  • after the article for the masculine plural person names (except when the plural is in -où) and the related adjective


Please note :

  • D will not mute after names
  • K becomes C'H for names after the article when there is no other mutation
  • P, T, K will not mute for adjectives when the related names ends by another letter than L, M, N, R or a vowel.



Soft Mutation will be noted (S!)
Following letters are affected:
B becomes V
D becomes Z
K becomes G
G becomes C'H
GW becomes W
P becomes B
M becomes V
T becomes D


Examples :

Breur (brother) gives Da vreur
Dant (tooth) gives Da zant
Glin (kneel) gives Da c'hlin


Mutations after the article[edit]

Here is a summary for mutations after the article : Bzhg Table Article mutations.jpg

Here is a presentation of the rules regarding the mutations after the aticle : Bzhg Article mutations.jpg

Go to the Quiz

Mutations of the adjective epithet[edit]

Here is a summary for mutations of the adjective epithet : Bzhg Table Epithet mutations.jpg

Here is a presentation of the rules regarding the mutations of the adjective epithet : Bzhg Epithet mutations.jpg

Go to the Quiz

Mutations to harden ("dre galetaat")[edit]

Initial B D G
Mutation P T K

Hard mutation happens in the following cases :

  • Possessive "ho" (yours)
  • After "az, "ez", "'z" (you - sg.)
  • After "da'z ..." (to yours ...)
  • After "ez" (in yours ...)



Hard Mutation will be noted (H!)
Following letters are affected:
B becomes P
D becomes T
G becomes K

Examples :

Breur (brother) gives Ho preur
Dant (tooth) gives Ho tant
Glin (kneel) gives Ho klin

Mixed mutations[edit]

Initial B D G GW M
Mutation V T C'H W V

Mixed mutation happens in the following cases :

  • Present participe
Formed by "o" + Verb.
  • After verb particle "e"
  • After "ma" (That)


Mixed Mutation will be noted (M!)
Following letters are affected:
B becomes V
D becomes T
G becomes C'H
GW becomes W
M becomes V


Examples :

Deskiñ (to learn) gives O teskiñ
Gortoz (to wait) gives O c'hortoz

Spirant mutations[edit]

Initial P T K
Mutation F Z C'H

Spirant mutation happens in the following cases :

  • After "ma" or "va" (mine)
  • After "he" (Hers)
  • After "o" (Theirs)
  • After numbers : tri, teir, pevar, peder, nav


Spirant Mutation will be noted (Sp!)
Following letters are affected:
P becomes F
T becomes Z
K becomes C'H

Examples :

Penn (head) gives Va fenn
Kador (chair) gives Va c'hador

Exceptions[edit]

Bloaz[edit]

Bloaz mutes into Vloaz after :

  • Pet ?
  • The cardinal numbers except after tri, pevar, pemp, nav

Exemple :

  • Pet vloaz eo bremañ ? Daouzek vloaz.
  • Pet vloaz eo bremañ ? Pemp bloaz.

Mintin[edit]

Mintin mutes into Vintin after :

  • Weekday names
  • Dec'h
  • Warc'hoazh

Exemple :

Dilun vintin, warc'hoazh vintin.


Exercises[edit]

Go to the Quiz