I have heard about the longest location name in Europe which is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales and I have found out that it actually means "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel" (according to Wikivoyage). It made me wonder if Welsh can be categorized as an agglutinative language?

1 Answer 1


No. First, that is a made-up name; but this is not relevant since the compounding it uses is normal in Welsh, just not to this ridiculous degree.

Secondly, this is a compound, like well-known German examples such as die Windschutzscheibewischenersatzgummistreife.

"Agglutinative" does not usually refer to compounding (multiple roots) but the use of multiple bound morphemes to modify a single (or compound) root, such as the Turkish example odanızdakilerimden which contains only the root oda ("room") plus the bound morphemes -nız ("your"), -da ("in"), -ki (nominaliser "thing which"), -ler (plural), -im ("my"), -den ("about"): "about those things of mine in your room".

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    all names are made up ;) of course, this one having been made up as a publicity stunt when the railway came in does still make it unusual
    – Tristan
    Jan 4, 2021 at 11:27
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    The compounding in this name is actually not normal in Welsh. Compounding itself is normal, but as in Germanic languages, prepositional phrases and articles do not normally appear inside compounds. As in English, place names tend to get written as compounds even if they’re not, and this name is really just a noun phrase written as one long word; it’s essentially Welsh for Saintmaryschurchinthehollowofthewhitehazelneartherapidwhirlpoolandthechurchofsainttysiliooftheredcave. Jan 4, 2021 at 13:50

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