As a native welsh speaker, I find that -an (fem.), -yn (masc.) are usually - but not necessarily - a form of affectionate or jocular diminutive. I have also come across -in but I'm not so sure about the connotation here. But also -an, -yn can denote the sing. of noun whose normal form is plural i.e. usually plants and animals.
PS. Hope you don't mind me butting in from time to time?
----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis King <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: 26 June 1999 18:11
Subject: Re: Manann/an
> Ar 12:14 PM -0400 6/26/99, scríobh Alexei Kondratiev:
> ><<Third, Mananna/n and Manawydan are often said to be cognate
> >'Manawydd' means a Manxman, with the suffix -an imitated from the same
> >construction in 'Manannán', interpreted as meaning something like "Great
> My naive assumption has been that the suffix -án is the just the same
> diminutive/hypocoristic suffix found in names such as Cóemán, Conán,
> Dallán, and in common substantives such as "ferán" and "becán", which
> would mean that Manannán expressed affection rather than grandeur.
> Could you say more about the use of -án to mean "great"? Also, do
> you know if the Welsh dimuntive -an, as in "dynan < dyn" (= little man)
> and "gwreigan < gwraig" (= little woman), is homegrown?
> Dennis King