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Contents

Meettheauthor

v

Onlygot a minute?

vi

Onlygot five minutes?

vill

Introdudion

xii

Is mise

Mynameis

1

Usesomesimplegreetings Introduceyourself Giveyour qddress ondtelephonenumber Bepolite

Is miinteoir m6/ oma teacher

15

Stoteyournotionolityondoccupotion Checksomebodyelse'snotionqlityoroccupotion Soywhereyouwork An bhfuif t0 p6sto?Areyou married? Tolkoboutyourfomily Askoboutsomeoneelse'sfomily

30

Seo

Thisis

4A

Introduceotherpeople Offerond qccept o drink Explointo otherswhereyouliveondwork Seodo sheomrqThisisyourroom

60

Welcomesomebodyto o house Tolkoboutthedifferentroomsondtheirlocotion T6s6go bre6inniult is fine today

78

Tqlk qbout theweother C6nt-om 6?What timeisit? Tolkobouttheoctivitieswhichmokeupyourdoilyroutine Stqtethetimesot whichyoudothem

97

C6leis€seo?Whodoesthisbelongto?

115

Tolkoboutyourpersonolpossessions (clothes, books,records,etc.) Describeotherpeople Expresslikesonddislikes

IV

C6ncqitheqmh qimsire c bhionnogot? What pastimedo You have? Tqlk qbout leisureoctivities

10 Ar mhoith leot cupdn toe?Wouldyou likea cupof tea? Offer qnd occepthospitolitY

11 C6orda chosnoionns6seo?Whatdoesthiscost? Thebosiclonguogeforshopping,includinghowto express pricesondto mqkecomporisons

12 C6ordo rinnett? Whatdid You do? Tolkobout Post events TolkoboutyourworkexPerience

13 Ni fhocc m6thfi letomollI haven'tseenyou for awhile Commentfurtheron Post events Formirregulorverbsinthe posttense

14 T6m6og foghloimGoeilgele dh6 bhlioincnuos

I

havebeenlearninglrish for the pasttwo years

Tolkoboutyourprogressin leorningIrish Copewhenyouorestuckforo word,orwhenpeople tolktoo quicklY

135

150

16q

178

190

203

15

16

Rugodhi gCorcoighm6I wosbornin Cork Describe postevents,includingpeople'slifehistories

Leonort leothmhileKeepgoinghalfa mile Ask qnd understonddirections Indicote ProximitY onddistqnce

17 Tiro oifig

thuos qn stoighre Hisofficeis upstairs

Tqlkoboutoppointmentsondtrovel qrrqngements Enquireoboutlocotionwithino building

18

Buoiffidhm6lect ogo hochtI'llmeetyouateight Tolkoboutfutureevents MokeplonsondoPPointments Expressintentions

19 Cecpoimgo bhfuilon boncd0ntoI thinkthebankis closed

216

233

251

256

286

Reportwhot You hoveheord ExpressoPinions ExpressprobobilitY

20 C6orda dh€onf6?Whatwould You do? Mokerequests OfferhosPitolitY

302

21

Persuode Giveodvice Referto thingswhichorelikely,possibleorproboble Bhiodhm6rdnled6onomhogomI usedto havea lot to do

317

Totolkobouteventsthot hoppenedregulorlyinthepost Takingit further

327

Keyto the exercises

329

Appendices

345

GIossaryof grammaticalterms

361

I rish-Englishvocabulary

36tl

English-Irishvocabulary

375

Grammarindex

385

Me'ettheouthor

DiormuidO56

I am a lecturerin Irish at UniversityCollege,Dublin. I haveworked asa secondaryteacherand languagelaboratory instructor and was for manyyearsa researcherat the LinguisticsInstituteof Irelandin

Dublin.I havepublishedon variousaspectsof Irishgrammarand phonetics.

Meettheouthor

V

**,

sqa

4ffi*

minute?

erstondIrishhistoryondcultureyou

hugelysignificontin Irishnotionqlidentityondisthe key

to the mostimportqntdistinguishingchqrqcteristicsof

Irishculture. Accordingto the IrishConstitution,Irishisthe

notionol qnd firstofficiqllonguogeof the Republicof

Irelond.It ison officiqllonguogeof the EuropeonUnio

ondolso qn officiqllyrecognizedminoritylonguoge

in NorthernIrelond.Thelonguogeisusuollyreferred to qs'Goeilge'inIrishondos 'Irish'in English.There

orethreemoindiolectsin modernIrish,whichroughly

coincidewiththe provincesof Munster,Connqcht qnd

Ulster.

Estimqtesof nqtivespeokersof Irishronge

from40,000to 80,000people.WhileIrishisthe

moinspokenlonguogeof only3% of thepopulotion,

h1.9%of thetotol populotion(oged threeyeorsond

over)regordthemselves qs competentIrishspeokers.

Ofthese32.5%cloimto speokIrishon o doilybqsis.

Monolinguqlismof Irishisnowrestrictedto q hqndfulof

elderlywithinmoreisolotedregions qnd omongthose

speokersof Irishunderschoologe.In NorthernIrelqnd

10.4%hqve'someknowledgeof Irish'.Combined,this

meonsthot ot leostoneinthreepeopleonthe islqndof

IrelondconunderstondIrishto someextent.

Currentlyo renoissqnceistokingploceinthe

Irishlonguoge.Recentyeorshqveseeno significont

increosein printedmedioin Irish- books,newspqpers,

mogozines- ondin non-printmediq.Irishisnoweosily

occessiblethroughvoriousrodiostotions,thetelevision

chonnelTG4 qnd ontheinternet.It isbecoming

increosinglyeosyto leqrnto speokIrish!

MdireMhicRuoiriond

north of the Alps to have an extensive

t and medievalliterature.It is, therefore,studied

at manymaior universitiesthroughoutEuropeand somein North Americaand Australia.Irelandalsohasthe world's largest collectionof folklore and proverbs'the vastmalority of which is in the Irish language.

The earliestidentifiedform of Irish is known asPrimitivelrish. This is primarily known through fragmentsinscribedin the ogham alphabet,which havebeenfound throughout Irelandand the

.o"tt of GreatBritain. Thesefragmentsaremainly personal

*.rt

namesinscribedon stone.PrimitiveIrishevolvedinto Old lrish during the 5th century.This is the earliestform of Irish for which thereareextensivewritten sources.Old Irish first appearedin its written form asglossesand marginaliain Latin manuscripts written in the greatmonasteriesof IrelandsuchasClonard,

Durrow, ClonmacnoiseandGlendalough.By the roth centuryOld Irish had evolvedinto Middle Irish, which was spokenthroughout Ireland,ScotlandandtheIsleof Man. Middle Irish displaysa slight influencefrom Norse,which is undoubtedlydueto Viking attacks andsubsequentsettlementin theseareas.Fromthe rzth century onwardsMiddle Irish beganto evolveinro modernIrish in lreland, into ScottishGaelicin Scotland,and into the Manx languagein the Isleof Man. Modern Irish emergedfrom the literary language known asEarlyModernIrish in IrelandandasClassicalGaelic in Scotland.EarlyModernlrish,alsoknown asClassicallrish, linguisticallyrepresentsa transition betweenMiddle and Modern Irish.

The rTth centurysawgreatpoliticalandreligiousupheavalin Irelandand the resultingbreakdownof the nativeGaelicsystem andculture.Despitethis upheavaltheIrishlanguageremained

vIII,*- ;

-

.J- "J * ,*".-" *.***% * *,** *."';

ta

the main spoken languageof the vast majority of the population of Ireland until the rgth century. During the nineteenthcentury, the Great Famine (r8+S-+g) wiped out a disproportionately high number of lrish languagespeakers,who were the poorest and most vulnerable in society.It is estimatedthat one million people died during the famine and that another million emigratedas a result; the majority of thesewere Irish speakers,and this contributed greatly to the rapid declineof the language.The useof Irish was also prohibited in the primary education systemuntil r87r, which further contributed to its decline.

Initial efforts to preserveand protect the Irish languagewere made by Irish Protestantssuch as'lfilliam Neilson and Robert McAdam in Belfast at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The major movement, however, was initiated in 1893 with the founding of The Gaelic Leagwe (Conradh na Gaeilge)which coincided with the national cultural revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This growing interest in the Irish language coincided with other landmark events in Irish cultural history such as the founding of the GaelicAthletic Association (GAA) in r884.

TheGoeltocht

The parts of Ireland where Irish is still spoken as a native language are collectivelyknown as 'the Gaeltacht'. It is in theseareas that the Irish languagecontinuesto be the usual languageof communication of the generalpopulation. The Gaeltachtregions are on the west coast of County Donegal, in County Galway, in particular Connemara, the Aran Islands, Carraroe and Spiddal, and

the DinglePeninsulain County Kerry. Therearesmallg Gdracftt areasin CountyMayo, CountyWaterford,County"!&iathandss$F-e*-

countYcork'

Almost all of theseGaeltachtareashaveIrish Xfffrtguagesummer

,--,------L

-,.,Mt

*;

4

colleges which are attended by thousands of le*q1ners,teenage.s irt

:l

X

. Thesestudentslive with local lrish-speaking

classesand other cultural events.One

Irish-medium educqtion

 

rt#ffitaspectsof thesecoursesis that Irish must iut&b.Thesesummercollegeshaveundoubtedly

The growth

of Irish-medium education in recent years, particularly

inspiredand

manyIrish people,whosefirst languageis

in Northern

Ireland, has made a very significant and positive

ish,tg

country.

uency in Irish and to appreciate the importance the language in a predominantly English-speaking

Diqlects

There are three main

with the provinces of Munster, Connacht and Ulster. The Munster

dialect is spoken primarily in the Gaeltacht areasof County Kerry,

Ring in County'$(aterford County Cork.

dialects in modern Irish, which roughly coincide

and Muskerry and Cape Clear Island in

A strong Connacht dialect can be heard in Connemara and the Aran

Islands. The dialect spoken in northern Mayo in Erris and Achill is fundamentally a Connacht dialect but has some similarities to Ulster Irish. The Connemara dialect is also spoken in the Gaeltacht area of R6th Cairn in County Meath. This is becausethe Gaeltacht here was establishedin the r93os by a group of mostly Connemara Irish speakerswho moved there as a result of a land reform campaign.

The Ulster dialect is spoken in County Donegal, in Teelin and Glencolmcille in south Donegal, in Fintown and its surrounding area in central Donegal and in the Rosses,Gweedore,Clochaneely and Downings in northwest Donegal. Ulster Irish is also spoken by many people in Northern Ireland who have acquired Irish as a second language but who use it as their main spoken language. This is due, in the most part, to attendanceat the Irish language summer collegesin Donegal and the useof Ulster Irish in Irish- medium education in Northern Ireland.

x

*;",

impact on the number of Irish speakersand so hashelped ensure the continuity of the language. This movement has led to an unprecedented growth in the Irish language in the north through a whole range of community initiatives, in primary, secondary and

rcrtiary education, legislation, media and other areas.

Irishlonguogeinthemedio

As in Irish-medium education there has been significant growth in the use of Irish in the media in all of its forms in recent years. This was an essential development, not only for those speakersof Irish who already exist, but for those who are learning the language.

Irish language speakersnow have their own television station TG4 ftSS6l which has almost Soo,ooopeople tuning in eachday. TG4 has a wide range of programmeswhich cater for all agesand tastes. BBCz Northern Ireland also producesa limited number of Irish languageprogrammes.

Irish public broadcasterRTE broadcastssomeIrish languageand bilingual television programmes. One of the more significant is RTE Nuacht (news).RTE News Now is also particularly useful as it is a z4-hour live news service available on the RTE website which featuresnational and international news. It usesa mix of

Irishlanguage,EnglishlanguageandIrish signlanguagg*W6 {

TV newsbulletinsandpoliticalprogrammes.

-

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-

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'

rs

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F

Introduction

The aim of this book is to teachyou to understandbasic,everyday Irish. It is suitableboth for the completebeginnerandfor Irish peoplewho havelearnedsomeIrish at school,but who havehad little opportunityof speakingit.

This is a functionalcourse,basedon thekindsof situationsin which Irish is used,eachof which is dealtwith in a separateunit. In Unit r, for example,you learnsomesimplegreetings,andhow to giveandunderstandpersonalinformationsuchasname,address andtelephonenumber.In Unit z, you will learnto saywhat you do for a living, and,in Unit ,, to talk aboutyour family.Until you reachUnit rz theemphasiswill beon veryimmediateanddaily situations:soUnit 4 dealswith socializing,Unit 6 theweather,and Unit ro shopping.FromUnit rz on you moveto lessimmediate things,suchastalking aboutpastandfutureeventsin moredetail, andmakingsuggestions.

The first half of the book includesmuchof what you would expect to find in a phrasebook,andenoughIrish for you to getby in simplesituations.Do not beput off at this stageby hearingor seeingsomethingwhich you cannotunderstand.An Irish proverb saysBionn gachtosi lag (Euerybeginningis weak).

The secondhalf of the book will prepareyou to bemore adventurous,andat this stageyou canmakemoreuseof the Appendicesat thebackof the book.

Rememberthat a languageconsistsof two things:wordsand waysof combiningwords,You cannottalk aboutthingsunless you know thewordsfor them.In this book we giveyou basic vocabularyin eachunit, but from an earlystageyou will find it helpfulto havea shortdictionaryin which you canlocatethe wordswhich you want to use.Someinternationalpublishersof

dictionaries haverecentlyproducedpocketdictionariesof Irish, andanyof thesewill beof greatassistancein theearlystagesof learning the language.If you arein a positionto obtainor orderit, we suggestthe bilingualAn Focl6irScoile(ISBN t8579t-rzt-ol (whichmeans'The schooldictionary'),or theshorterAn Focl6ir P6ca (ISBNr-8579t-o47-8) (whichmeans'Tbepocketdictionary'), publishedby An Grim,thepublicationsbranchof the Department of Educationin Dublin. Thesegiverecommendedpronunciations for all words.Somemajor publishers,particularlyOxford and Collins, haverecentlyproducedbilingualpocketdictionarieswhich areveryusefulandcontainlots of modernterminology.As for combiningwords,we havelimitedthis courseto thesimplestand moststraightforwardwaysof sayingthings.Learhersmaywant to moveon to moreadvancedcoursesoncetheyhayesatisfactorily completedthis. !7e hopeyou will find that learningIrish from this book js aninterestingandrewardingexperience.

Howto usethisbook

Each unit has: one or more dialogues;a vocabulary for each dialogue; questions about the dialogues; some cultural information in the early units; usually also a section dealing with important areasof vocabulary, such as numbers, names of days and months, etc.; a grammar section; exercisesand a 'Test yourself' section, in which you should get the most before progressingto the next unit.

First study the dialogueswith which each unit begins.If you have the recording, which we strongly recommend, Iisten and look at the book at the sametime. Remember that the context is an important guide to the meaning, and as thesedialogues are meant to be as realistic as possibleyou will be able to guessa certain amount o{ what is going on. Phrase-by-phrasetranslations are given beneath the dialogues, but theseget shorter as the course progresses.At first you will be dependent on them, but you should find that many things which you already know reappear and you will have

lessneed of translation.

Satisfy yourself that you know what each

r

sentencemeans,andhow it meanswhat it means.The grammar sectionswill givethe necessaryexplanations.Most importantof all, readeachdialogueout loud until you feelfamiliarwith it. You may bein a positionto usesomeof thesephrasesbeforelong, sothe morenaturallytheyfall from your lips the better.Most dialoguesarefollowedby a coupleof simplequestionswhich will helpto confum that you havegraspedwhat is goingon. Resist any temptationto bypassthe practiceexercisesat theendof each unit. Theyhavebeenput togethercarefullysothat you will getthe maximumbenefirfrom thecourte.

Historyondbockground

Irish belongsto the Celticfamily of languages,which hastwo branches.The Gaelicbranchconsistsof Irish, ScottishGaelicand Manx, which arerathersimilarto oneanother.Welsh,Bretonand Cornishmakeup the otherbranchof the Celticlanguages,but they differ too muchfrom the Gaelicgroupfor mutual understanding. Irish is calledGaeilge (r.e.Gaeliclby its speakers,but the English word Gaelic,unqualified,normallyrefersonly to its sisterlanguage in Scotland.Until the twelfth centurythe socialpositionof Irish wasnot seriouslychallenged,andeventheVikingswho settledrn Irelandabouta thousandyearsagotendedto learnIrish. However, the arrival of the Anglo-Normansin rt69 markedthe beginning o{ a periodof four centuriesduringwhich thecountrygradually becamesubjectto the Englishcrown.

FromthelateseventeenthcenturyIrishbeganto givewayto English. Thedisastrouspotatofamineof r845-9 causedthedeathsof a million peopleandtheemigrationof a furthermillion.Most of these wereIrishspeakers,anda nearfatalblow wassufferedby a language whichwasalreadyin decline.BythetimeanindependentIrishstate wasestablishedin r92z theprocessof anglicizationwasalmost complete,andthelanguagewasconfinedto enclaveson thewestern andsoutherncoasts.Irishspeakersthennumberedsometensof thousandsin a populationof nearlythreemillion.

XIV

However, the new statesetout to rescuethe languagefrom extinction andfavourablepolicieshavemaintainedtheIrish-speakingdistricts. Up to jo,ooo peopleuseIrishasa dailylanguagein theseareas, collectively knownastheGaeltacht.In the rgzosIrishwasintroduced in schoolsasa compulsorysubject,andall primaryandsecondary pupilsarestillrequiredto studythelanguage,althoughnot necessarily requiredto show any deepknowledgeof it. As a resulta substantial numberof peopleoutsidethe Gaeltacht(perhapsroo,ooo) havea good knowledgeof Irish. Thesesupporta network of Irish-mediumschools which arehighly regardedanddo much to sustainthe language.

Despitethe smallnumberof fluent speakers,Irish hasan important symbolicrole in the life of the nation.The Constitution,adoptedby referendumin 1937,declaresIrishto beboththenationalandthe first official language.Various institutionsand officersof the State areknown by IrishJanguagetitles in both official and daily usage. The lower houseof parliamentis calledDinlFiureann(lit. Assembly of lrelandl or simplythe Driil, andthe upperhouseis calledSeanad Ereann \Setwte of lreland), The term for a parliamentarydeputyis

TeachtaDdla lDelegate of tbe Ddil), wvlly

prirneministeris calledTaoiseach (an old word for chieftainor badcr)

andthe deputyprime ministeris calledT6naiste (which originally meantszccessor).The policeforceis An Garda Siochina (lit. rlze guard of thepeacel,commonlyknown asthe Gardaior the Guards. The governmentministry responsiblefor cultural mattershasa section concernedwith promoting the languageboth in the Gaeltachtand throughout the country. Thereis a partly electedandpartly appointed Gaeltachtauthority (Udaris na Gaeltachta),a stateagencyestablished to promotethe language- Bord na Gaeilge lThe Irisb Language Boardl - and.a radioservicefor Irish-speakingareas- Raidi6 na Gaeltachta - which canbepickedup throughout thecountry. Some Irishlanguageprogrammesarebroadcaston nationalradioand television.An lrishJanguagetelevisionservicebeganbroadcasting in 1996.Aftera recentnamechangeit isnow knownasTG4.There arealsodepartmentsof Irish in the main universitiesandcollegesof education.ln 1999,aspart of the British-lrish agreement,Forasna

abbreviatedto TD. The

Gaeilgewasestablishedwith responsibilityfor Irish languageon the islandof Ireland.

the promotion of the

Introdudion

r

Irish is, however,largelyabsentfrom suchimportantdomainsas commerce,transportandpopularentertainment.It survivesasthe daily languageof a subcultureandasthe symboliclanguageof the state,which seeksto ensure,throughthe educationalsystem,that all citizenshaveat leastsomepassiveknowledgeof lrish.

Thekindof Irishusedinthisbook

A new written standardform of the languagewasadoptedin the

late r94os undergovernmentdirectionandthat is what you are taughthere.It is known asAn Caighde6nOifigifril lthe Official Stand.ard.l.ltis largelya compromisebetweendialectsand thereforenot at all archaic.Thereis no generallyacceptedspoken standardform of the language,but a setof compromiseproposals

issuedby theLinguisticsInstituteof Irelandin 1986hasgained

somecurrency,especiallyin dictionaries.It is adoptedhere.We havethereforesoughtto teachyou the moststandardizedform

of the languageandto avoidregionalbias.

Theolphobet

Only r8 lettersof the alphabetarenormallyusedin writing kish. Thesearea, b, c, d, e,f, g, h, i, l, m, n, o' p' r' s,t, u. The letterv is usedin someloan-words(e.g.v6ta, from Englishzote),but j' q, w,

x andz arerestrictedto somescientificterms,The consonantsr' I'

n arewritten doublein somewords;cornparefeat \man) andfearr (betterl,ge^ (bright)with geall(promise)(uerb),gan kritbout) with gann(scarce).Llorrg vowelis indicatedby a lengthmark placedover it: solasmeanslight and s6lis meansconsolation.

Two featuresof Irish spellingwill immediatelystrikethe learner. Oneis the occurrenceof h aftera wide rangeof consonants,so that alongsidech,th andsh,which arefamiliar in English,you will seebh, mh, dh, etc.Anothersuchfeatureis the largenumberof vowel combinations,asrn feorl(meat),buioch (gratefull'feiceiil

xvI

(seeizg).Thesetwo featuresof written Irish areexplainedin the next section.

Pronunciotion guide

<tCD1,TR1,1:00

The pronunciation of Irish is often not immediatelyobviousfrom the spelling. Therearetwo reasonsfor this.Irishhasmoresoundsthan

the Roman alphabetcan represent,sothat lettersof the alphabet

haveto becombinedin variouswaysto makeup theshonfall.In addition,thespellingrules,althoughreformedin the r94os,arein somewaysmore faithful to the way Irish waspronouncedseveral centuriesagothan to the present-daysoundof the language.The spellingof Irish is thereforea codewhich hasto belearnedbefore you canplonouncetheexamplesin this book in sucha way asto be understood.However,onceyou havelearnedtherulesyouwill find that they are fairly regular. For instancethereis no equivalentof the varying soundof English'ough' in bough, thougb, through, augb, rough. -{ot are stronglyrecommendedto acquirethe recording which accompaniesthis book,especiallyif you do not haveaccess to an Irishspeakerwho will assistyou.

The relationbetweenspellingandsoundis dealtwith hereasa seriesof topics.

(A) LONGVOWELS

{, CD1,TR1,1:15

Theseare'pure' vowel soundsasin Germanor Italian,and6 and 6 do not endwith y or w glidesasdo thecorespondingsoundsin mostkindsof English.

i

pron.

like

eein meet;si lsbel soundslike EnglishsDe

6

pron. like FrenchI or Gerrnanebratherthan Englishay,

e.g.m6.(1,mel

lntroductlon

XVII

5

pron.like au in AmericanEnglish,e.g.16 \ddy)

6

pron. like Frenchau or Getmanob, andnot like Englishob, e.g.b6 (cowl

6

pron. like oo in pool, e.g.tir (you)

(B) SHORTVOWELS

{, cD1,TR1,1:30

Irish hasthefollowing shortvowels:

i

like Englishshortit sin(that)soundslike Englishsbiz

e

like Englishshorte in get,e.g.te lhot)

a

dependingon the neighbouringconsonants,eitherasin English tap or rnEnglish top, but with the lips unrounded,e'9. cas (tuml

o

no correspondingsoundin English;to pronouncebog (sofr)try usingthevowelof EnglishDooA,but with themouthmoreopen

u

like the oo in book, e.g.tugann (grues)

(C) SIENDERAND BROADCONSONANIS

.t CD1,TR.1, 1:42

EveryIrish consonanthastwo values,traditionallycalled'slender' and 'broad'.sotherearetwo ls (a slenderI anda broadl), two ts (a slendert anda broadt), andsoon.Theslenderandbroadsounds of theconsonantscaneasilybefoundwith l. Try sayingl, andhold the soundaslong aspossible.Now sayit again,andtry to put your tonguein theposition{or eeat thesametime;this is slenderl. Now

try sayingit with your tonguein the Position for oo; this is broadl.

If you comefrom Englandyou shouldhaveboth thesekindsof I already,the slenderI tn leaf andthe broadI in /eel.The word little beginswith slenderI andendswith broadl. However,if you are

Americanor Scottishall your ls maybebroadandif

or 'Welsh theymay all beslender,andyou shouldtry experimenting asdescribedaboveto gettheright sounds'The differencebetween slenderI andbroadI is usedin Irish to distinguishwords,Howevel,

you areIrish

asthealphabetprovidesuswith only oneletterl, thepracticewas adopted of writing extravowelsto indicatewhethera consonant is slenderor broad.A consonantis slenderif it is precededor followed by i or e (the 'slendervowels')and broadif it is preceded or followedby a, o or u (the 'broadvowels').Seebelow:

broadl+

i

lrui(lyingl,Laoi (Lee)

i

+ broadI

6

lae(of a day)

6

6

16(day)

6

6

l6n (lunch)

6

6

Li (Louth)(countyl

(r

slenderI +

i

line (line)

i

+ slenderI

6

l6ine(sbirt)

a

le6(mebing)

6

6

leon (lion)

6

6

li6 (asboutl

rl

diol (selling)

b6al (mouth)

16l (hedgel

6l (drinhing)

cil lbacb)

sil \think)

blil (of a mouthl

fiil (getting)

6il lof d.rinkingl sriil (eye)

Notice that l6n \luncb) and leon \lion) arc distinguished in sound

only by the kind of I they each begin with. You can now seethe significanceof such vowel combinations as ii, 6i, 6i, eo and ii. \)fhen you seethe word Diil remember that it is one syllable D5il,

with a very weak i'glide', and not two syllablesdi-il.

lion (winel is fi"n and not fi-on. The aoi in Taoiseach lthe prime minister\ is an alternative to ui. but aoi sometimesoccurs at the beginning of a word, e.g. the female name Aoife (pron. ife). In a few words oi stands for i after a broad consonant, e.g. croi (beart). In seo (rlls) and deoch (d.rinkJeo rs,exceptionally, short (pron. shu, dyuch).

Likewise

Now look at how three vowel letters are combined:

ceol Qnusicl (pron.kr6l) piosaceoil(apieceof music)(pron.pisakv6il) feoil (meat)(pron.ft6il) ciiin (quietl(pron.kriin) buioch (grateful) lpron. b'i'ch)

F

Thereis alsoa rulethat a consonantin the middleof a word must beflankedonly by slendervowels(i' e)or by broadvowels(a, o, u). Feic (pron.fek)meansseeandthe ending6il correspondsto English-izg; howeverseeizgis feice5ilbecausefeiciil would break

a rule known ascaolle caolagusleathanleleathan(slender uith slenderand broad uith broadl; contrast fagatl lleauingl.

The sequencesia andua standfor i andi respectivelyfollowedby

a weaka asin about:

bia (food)

iad ltbem)

iasc(fisbl

rua lretldish, of hair mostly) fuar lcold) suas(rp)

Whenfollowedby a slenderconsonantthesebecomeiai anduai, andtheyarepronouncedie andfe respectively:

rrail lrulel

uaitr lhour)

fuair (gor)

fuaim lsoundl

The recommendedpronunciation of the sequenceao is i:

saor (free, cheap) pron. sir

Beforea slenderconsonantan i is added:

ar saorre lon uacatioz)pron. er sire

Let uslook now at somecombinationswhich representshort

vowels:

ei = s i11gg1,e.g,ceist(question)(proz.kesht)

ea =

ai = betweena in lrat and,o in hot, e.g.baile(totun)(pron. bolle)

a in hat,e.g.bean luoman) soundsratherlike Englishban

ui = i betweenbroadandslenderconsonants:

caid (paftl is like quid

but with the lips spreadfor the 4z

mruridhre) soundshke m*id drine lpersonl hasmuchlessof a t ' soundafterthed oi = d soundbetweene ando, e.g.scoil io = I beforebroadconsonants,e.g,mion ltinyl

I?hen eo or iri occurat the beginningof a word thee andi are silent andtheyarepronouncedlike 6 andri respectively:

eolas (infonnation)(pron.6las) Inil (July)(pron.riil)

At the beginningof a word io representsi beforea broad consonant,for example,ionad (locationl(pron.inad);ionat (iz youl (pron.inat).However,io is alsocommonlypronouncedu in suchwords,givingunadandunatwith thevowelof Englishpat.

Note that iontas (uonderl and iontach (uonderfull are exceptionally pronouncedintus and intuch.

At the beginningof a word ui is pronouncedi, andoi is pronouncede,asin:

aisce ltuaterl (pron.ishke) uile (all) (pron.ile) oifrg(office)(pron.efig)

(D) INDIVIDUAL CONSONANIS

{t CD1,TR1,4:14

d, t, l, n

Vhen thesearebroadthe tip of thetongueis pressed againstthe upperteeth,e.g.t6 (isl, dinta lclosed.J; whenslenderit is againstthegum behindthe teeth. In someareas,slendert andd soundlike Englishch and i respectively:thus,te (y'ror)pron. cheanddeoch \drinkl pron, jnch.

s Slenders is like Englishsb (except in is (isl); Se6n(lohn) (pron.Shawn).Muiris (Maurice) soundslike mwirish. Sheilais spelledSfle.

r Pronouncedclearlyin all positionsin theword, e.g.r6s

(a race),s6rt(kind (ofl), r6idh

\readyl, b6that (a road).

The slenderr is like a combinationof r with the sound of s in leisure,e.g.M6ire (Maryl, cuir (pat). R at the

beginningof a word is alwaysbroad,irrespectiveof spelling,e.g.rince \dance).

Pron. /, e.g.mo ph6ca(tnypochet) is mo f6ca.

Pron.h lnot asEnglishrb);thug (gaue)is hoog;rnlthair (motber) soundslike mrihir. Whenbroad,asin GermanBac} - loch 0aAe)is pronounced asin Scotland;whenslender,asin German lclz,or thesoundat the beginningof hugeinBnglish, e.g.oiche(nightl, pron. iche. Pronounce y whenbroad.Sofor instance.at the

beginningof

soz),aremo vus,mo vok; -amhat the endof a word is nr.,,e.g.caitheamh(spending, to spend),d6anamh ldoing,

to do),

sn6mh lsuimming, to swim),linth (hand) arekahtv. ddnuv,shasuv,taluv,sn6vandl6v.ln rhemiddleof a

word broadbh,/mharealsopronounced z aftera long

vowel,e.g.irbhar

ph

th

ch

bh, mh

a word mobhus(my bus),mo mhac(my

seasamh \standing, to stand),talamh(land),

lsubject), t bhacht(importanceJ, limha

ri.omhajre lcomputerl

arc

(pLhands),f6mhar(autumn),

6var, t6vacht,l6va, f6var, rirrvire. There is a tendency

to weakenthis ? soundto a z, especiallyin thenorthern half of thecountry.The sequenceshorrvowel + bVmh in the middleof a word givesan oru soundasit Dound. e.g.leabhar lbook), ramhar(fal), samhradh(summer) arelyowr, towr, sowra.

XXII

SlenderbUmh arez in all positions,sobhi (z,as) is vi.

sibh {pl. yoa)isshiv,Gaillimh

(in is cuimhinliom I remember)is k.ivin, geimhreadh (uinter) is gewe.

lGalway)isgaliv,cuimhin

At the beginningof a word it is pronouncedratherlike theFrenchz whenbroad,e.g.mo ghfna lmy dress),sa ghahdin (in the gardenl. The sequencea + broad gh in the middleof a word givesan eyesound,e.g.aghaidh (face\is rather like eye andlaghad \smallness),laghdir lreducing, to reduce)arelike loy'd, loyd6;o + broadgh in the middleof a word givesan orl sound,e.g.foghlaim llearning, to learn),rogha(choice),roghni (cboosing,to chooselarelike fowluim, row, rownrl. Broadgh doesnot occurat the endof a word.

Slendergh is pronouncedy, somo ghearsai lny pullouerl is mo yansi,do gheata(yourgateJis do yata.In the middleof a word slendergh combineswith preceding shortvowelsto givean eyesound,e.g.staighre(stails)is like sty-re, saighead(arrow) is like English srgbwith zd added. At the beginningof a word it is pronouncedthesame asgh whenbroad,e.g.dhi dhoras(two d.oors) lpron. gh6ghoras).Whenslenderit is likewisepronouncedy, e.g.dodheoch lyour drinkl is do yuch.All dhsin the middleof a word aretreatedasthoughslender,even whenthereis no i beforethem,so meidbrcch lmerry), veidhhn (uiolin) are like myrvuch, rylin; Tadhg (a man's name),fadhb lprobletnl arepronouncedtoyg,foyb and

d \titnberl is like eye-mud;radhtc (sight,uicu) is

rye

with zrA added.

arepronouncedsh6la,p6sa.However,most

pronouncedlike ^dhm English

Pronounceda in nouns,e.g.seoladh (address),p6sadh

lmarryingl

instancesof -adh in verbsarepronounced(u)ch,e.g.

bhiodh (usedto bel,bheadh (would be), nchadh (u,ould go),thladh (usedn go) arepronouncedvich, vech, rachuch,h6ch (all with thecDof GermanBach).The exceptionis pastpassive -adh for which the pronunciation zy is recommended,e.g.p6sadh(uas maniedl, seoladh

(NUas transmittedl,;ryreadh lwas done),l6adh (uasread)

arepronouncedp6suv,sh6luv,rinyuvandl6uv.An

important regionalfeaturewhich you will encounteris the

northernoronunciationof -adh asI in all cases.

Introduction XXIII

-igh,-idh

Recallthat slendergh anddh areboth pronouncedy at the beginningof a word. This pronunciation is also usedat the endof words of onesyllable,e.g.t6igh(go)

is t€y,shuigh(sar) is hiy, r6idh

(uill be)is bey.Likewise,the words arnigh (outsidel

andistigh (inside), which wereoriginallyphrases and arestressedon the secondsyllable,areamwiy and ishtiy.In otherwordsof morethan onesvllablethis iv

becomesi, soleathanaigh(plural of leathanach

is lahanui,ceannaigh(bzy)

(boughtl rs chyanti, nchaidh (u.,ill go)is rachui. Note,

however,tharin verbalformsof

(such ascheannaigh (boughtJ\ -aighbecomessimplea beforea pronounwhich is thesubjectof the verb,e.g.

cheannaighsi (sEe bought)tschyanashi.

lreadyl

is r6y,beidh

lpageil

is kyanui,cheannaigh

morerhanonesvjlable

You will comeacrossthe southernpronunciation of -igh. -idh asrg insteadof r.

In the middleof a word gh anddh neverhavethevalueof a

consonant,andthis is oftentrue of bh, mh also.Combiningshort

vowelswirha

thesoundseyeandow inbish,

followinggh,dh,bh,rnhprovidesa wayof i,riting

(E) WORDSTRESS

{t CD1,TR 1, 7:(4

You arerecommended to stressthefirst syllableof theword,

e.g.leathanach lpage),

(college). A fiewborrowed nouns are exceptional,e.g.tobac

Itobacco), whichis stressedon the secondsyllable.However.

mfiinteoh (teacherl, caiin (girl), nlAiste

adverbsof rwoor threesyllableswhichbeginwitha

with i) arestressedon the secondsyllable,e.g.amach

isteach linftaards)J, anuas(from aboue),amirach (tomorrow\.

inniu lloday) (pron. inyu).Theinitiala in thesei, thefirst vowelin EnslLshanother.

J

{and some

lout(rtards)1,

l;k.

p.onoun

xxlv

In Munster thestressmayfall on a syllableotherthan the first if there is a longvowel in it:

c\ry6n (4 cuq\ ra Gardai (the Policel

mriinteoir la teacber)

You will noticethat this systemis fairly widely usedby People who have learnedthe language.

G) SHORTVOWELSBEFORELL,NN, RR,M, NG' RD IN WORDSOF ONESYLLABLE

{t CD1,TR1,8:00

You arerecommendedto pronouncethesevowelsshortaswritten. Erceprionsincludead (higb\, Garda (policeman)'barr (/op)'carr (car),bord (table),which havelongvowelseverywhere.It is also advisableto try to pronouncethell' nn somewhatlong,asin ball (member\,clann lchildren) (of family).

However,in MunsterandWestGalwayvowelswhich arewritten shortarepronouncedlong or sometimesasdiphthongs (sounds sr,chaseye,ow) beforetheconsonantslistedin this section.The following aresomeindications:

im (butter')(pron.eem) flll (return\(pron.{eelwith slenderl) geall(promise)(verb)(pron.gtdlor gvowl) mall (slo*) (pron.m6l or mowl) motll (delay,sloumess) (pron.mwoyl or mweelwith slenderl) poll (hole)(pron.powl) poill (boles)(pron.poyl or pweelwith slenderl)

Howeverwhena vowel followsthe ll, nn, rr, m or ng this Iengtheningdoesnot occur:

piosaime (apieceof

geallliint(promising)(pron.gvahiint)

butter) (pron.pisaime)

Introduction

XXV

You arenot recommendedto attemptthis morecomplicated systemin the earlystagesof learningthelanguage.

(G) UNWRITTEN VOWELS

o cDl, TR1,8:35

Between r

and m a vowela ( asin aboutl is pronounced.

tb

nbh

For example

gorm(bluel(pron. goram) borb (rud.e)(pron. borab) balbh(dumb)(pron. bolav) garbh(rough)(pron. gorav) bolg lstornachl (pron. bullag)

Betweenslenderconsonants the addedvowel is i:

ainrn(namel(pron. anim) angead(moneyl(pron. arigvud)

A guideto the initiolmutotions

A featureof Irish andthe otherCelticlanguages is that wordsare

e.g. cZta eoat) givesc6tai

(coa*) - but alsoat the beginning _ e.g.mo ch6ta(my ioatl. Such

changes_at the beginningof a word are knownasinitial

or simplymutations.Mutationsareusuallycausedby a preceding

word. For example,no

mo + c6tabecomesmo ch6ta(my

(in Irish s6imhiri,pron. shaveyou),referringto

hardandabruptc by themorehissingo. corrtirruou, ch.In contrast,

liableto changenot only

rheirending -

mu:tations,

(my)

causesa changecalledienitlon,so

coat).Lenitionmeanssoftening

thereplacement of

xxvr

h

so

be

or

it,

changes which occur:

causesa differentmutationcalledeclipsis(urriin Irish),

r

c6taibecomesAt gc6tai lour coats) (pron.6r g6t"i).This can

lourl

ir

understood asthevalueof the basicconsonantc beingeclipsed

overtaken by thevalueof theconsonantwhich is written before

i.e. g. Not all consonantsatemutated.Hereis a tableof the

Basic consonant

I

c

b

d

f

m

S

Lenited form

ph (pron.f)

th (pron.h)

ch (pron.kh)

bh (pron.v)

dh (pron.gh)

gh (pron.gh)

fh silent

mh (pron.v)

sh (pron.h)

Eclipsedform

bp (pron.b)

dt (pron.d)

gc (pron.g)

mb (pron.m)

nd (pron.n)

ng (pron.ngi

bh{ (pron.v)

Noticethat the following soundthe samewhenlenited:t ands (pron.h), d andg (pron.gh),b andm (pron.v). F becomessilent (but written fh). The v soundof eclipsedf is written bhf, i.e.bh (=v) beforethe basicf.

Symbolsondobbreviotions

m

= masculinegenderof noun

f

= femininegenderof noun

pl

= plural noun

adj.

pfon. = Pronounced

= adjective

srng.

o

= singular

= This indicatesmaterialincludedon the recording.

IntroductionXXVII

7

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)O(VIII

Ismise

Mynomeis

Inthisunit youwillleornhowto

.

lJse some simpte grcetings

.

lntroduce yourself

.

Give your

addressand telephonenumber

.

Be polite

Diqdhuit Conqstd t0? Diois Muiredhuit. T6m€go moith. Cqdisoinmduit? (Is) mise Trim6 i moch6noii ledothoil

Go roibh moith ogqt.

Sl6n.

Hello.

Howareyou?

Hello.

I'm well.

Whatisyourname?

I am

I livein

please

Thonkyou.

6oodbye.

Readthe dialogue,watchingout for thephraseslistedabove' Thereis a completelist of vocabularyafterthedialogueto help you understandit.

Unit1 Ismlse

Diologue

Like most Irish people Se6nhas studied Irish at school but he

wants to improve his knowledge of it. He has been in contact with a language school which teachesIrish and now turns up to apply for a place. He calls in to the secretary's(an rrinai) office and she notes som€personal details for his application.

N

E

F

Sedn Diodhuit,IsmiseSeOn6 Brioin.

t' An r0noi DioisMuiredhuit.Toristeoch.ConostOt6?

o (J

Se6n ld m6gomorlh. An r0nqi Surghsiosonsin. Sedn Gorqibhmoithogot.

An ronoi Id sefuorinniu.

5e6n T6,cinnte.

An r6noi Codisoinmduitoris,ledothoil? Se6n Seon6 Bnorn. An r0noi Agusdosheolodh?

Se6n

An rrinoi Agusd uimhirteileofoin?

5e6n

An r0noi Tdbileogonsin.Tdont-eolosorfodonn.

Sedn Goroibhmoithogot.516n.

Tdm6i moIh6noiinuimhiro triSroidMhor,drosdnodo.

A nooi,n6id,o coig,o s,a,o seocht,o hoon (905671).

Question Fill in thesedetailson Se6n'senrolmentform below:

AINM:

SEOLADH:

fOru:

Toristeqch.

Comein.

Suighsiosonsin.

Sitdownthere.

Goroibhmolth qgot.

Thankyou.

T6sefuor inniu.

T6,cinnte'

oris Agus do sheolodh (m)? uimhir (f) q tri 6ros6n (m) o d6 5r6id (f) Mh6r d'uimhir teileof6in (m) Tdbileog (f)qnsin. T6ont-eolos (m)qr fqd onn.

It iscoldtoday. It certainlyis. agotn Andyouraddress? numbertnree flat two MIin Street yourtelephonenumber Thereiso leafletthere. Alltheinformotionisin it.

Longuogenotes

16REE

N6S

You cangreetsomebodycasuallyby askingConast6 tri? lHow are yozi), or by commentingon theweather,e.g.T6 s6go bre6(D ls

fze).

More formal greetingsareof religiousorigin, e.g.Dia dhuit

dhfit (Godand

(God beruithyoz), repliedto with Dia is Muie

Mary beuith youl.

2 IRISHSURNAMES

Disrincrivelylrishsurnamesrendto beginwith O or Mac {O and Mc/Mac in theEnglishversions).Thesewereoriginallynames which identifiedyou by your fatheror grandfather,but theylater cameto beusedasfamily names(surnames).Don't worry for the momentabouttheway the secondnamechangesafterthe prefix.

Tomis Mac C6rthaigh (McCarthy) Sein 6 Conaill {O Connell)

ht- Tornds,sonof Cdrthach lit. Sedn,grandsonof Conall

The way thesenamesareusedis still influencedby their original meanings.For instance,thereareseparatefemaleversions

(daughter of

),whichyouwill

lookat in Unit z. TheEnglish

Unit1 Ismise -

formsof Irish surnamesderivefrom the maleversionsonly. Here aresomecommonIrish surnames,in both languages:

O

Mathina O Mabony

Mac Mathrina McMahon

6

Docharaigh Doherty

Mac Cfuthngh McCarthy

O

Cinniide Kennedy

Mrc Ctaith McGrath

6

Riagiin Re(a)gan

Mac Gearaih FitzGerald

You will noticethat Mac in lrish sometimescorrespondsto Fitz- from Frenchfils (soz), in Norman names.Canyou now guesstheEnglish versionof the sumamein the dialogue?SinceIrelandbecamean independentstate(r9zz) therehasbeenan increasingawarenessof the country'sheritageof personalnames,Many fust namesfrom earlier literaturehavebeenrevived(especiallywomen'snameslike Cliona, Gr6inne),andmanyfamilieshaverestoredthe O at the stan of their srmame(e.g.KennedybecomingO Kennedy,SDeabecomingO Shea).

3 NA HUIMHREACHAO-20 (THE NUMBERSO-2O)

o CD1,TR2, 1:09

0

n6id

11

oond6og (pron.6n d,6ug)

'1 oon (pron. €n)

12

d6dh6a9 (pron. d6y6ug)

2d6

13

tri d6dg

3 tri

14

€eothoird6og

4 ceothoir (pron. kyohir)

'l 5

ctig d6og

5 criig

16

s6d6og

6 s6 (pron. sh6)

17

secchtd6og

7 seocht (pron. shocht)

18

ochtd6og

8 ocht

19

ndoid€og

nooi (pron. nui) 10 deich (pron. deh)

9

20

fiche

It is sometimesnecessaryto placea beforer-ro:

o

Whencounting:

a haon,a d6, a tri

one,two, tbree

Noticethat this a putsan h beforeaon,and alsobeforethe othernumberwhich beginswith a vowel:a hocht.

b when citing the number of a house, flat, etc.:

uimhir a seacht,Sr6id Ui Chonaill iras6n a ceathair seomra a hocht d6ag

when calling out a number:

a seacht, ndid, a ceathair

when telling the time:

t6 s6a criig a chlog anois aganaoiachlog

Grommor

nutnberseuen,O Connell Street dpartmentnumber four room numbereighteen

seuen,zero, four

it is 5 o'clocknow at 9 o'clock

1 THE DEFINITEARTICLEAN (THE)

Nounsin Irish aredividedinto two classes,which arecalled 'masculine'and 'feminine'.This is a fairly randomdivision, althoughtheword for man is indeedmasculineandthe word for woman feminine.Thegenderof a word is shownby theway it is treatedafteran (thel.This is pronouncedwith a weakvowelasin English anotber.

Masculinenounswhich beginwith a consonantareunaffected by an;thosewhich beginwith a vowelhavea t- addedto the beginningof theword:

feor

bord

othoir

eolos

6rosdn

man

table

father

information

apottment

onfeor

meman

on Doro

thetable

ont-othoir

ont-eolos

theinfomation

ont-6rosAn

theopattment

Unit 1 ls mise

Femininenounswhich beginwith a consonantarelenited (seePronunciationguide):

beon

woman

on bheon

thewoman

mOthoir

mother

on mhAthoir

themother

bileog

leaflet

onbhileog

theleaflet

oifig

: office

onoifig

the office

I number

uimhir

onuimhir

thenumbel

An s precedingl, n, r or a vowel at the beginningof a feminine

noun becomests

(pron. t) afteran (rDe).

sr6id.street

at tstrlid the street

It is usefulto learnnounswith an beforethem.

Thereis no word correspondingto Englisha (theindefinite article):

T6 cathaoiransin.

T6 bileog ansin.

Thereis a cbairtbere. There is a leaflet there.

2 THEVERB'TO BE'

The presenttenseform of theverbto &ein Irish consistsof ti followedby a pronoun li.e. he,she,or l/) referringto a personor thing:

tdm6

Iam

tAmuid

weare

tAt0

you are

td sibh

you arc

td s6

he/it is

tAsiod

theyare

td si

sheis

tt

The verbti is usedto describelocationor state(of a personor

thing).The weatheris alwaysreferredto by Ta se

It is

Conast6 tri inniu?

T6 m6go maith. I am well.

Hou areyott today?

T6 Miire anseo. Mdire is here, Conast6 s6amuigh? How is it (the ueather)outside?

T6 s6fuar inniu.

It is cold today.

Ti usedon its own rneansthereis in sentencesIike these:

T6 peannansin. T6 seoladhanseo.

3 IS (1T',5)

Tbereis a Pen there. Tbereis an ad.d.resshere.

This correspondsto someusesof the Englishverb to be.Remember that ta is usedto sayubere somethingis or uhat stateit is in. Thesearetemporaryqualities.Permanentqualitiesarereferredto by usingis, meaningroughlylr's (thisis not quite a verbandwill be calledby its traditionalnameof 'copula'here).

You useIs mise (lit. It's tnel to introduceyourselfby nameor occupation:

C6tusa?

'Who areyou?

Is

miseP6draig.

I am Patrick. (lit. lt's me,Patrickl

Is

misean rfnai.

I am the secretary. llit. lt's me, the secretary\

It

is alsopossibleto drop is:

Mise Deirdre.

I atn Deirdre.(lit. Me Deird.reJ

A specialform of m6 (mise)is usedfor llme here.

possessivepronounsareplacedbeforetheword theyreferto:

o

a her

his

Unit1 Ismlse

7

If the following word beginswith a vowelmo anddo becomem'

andd':

m'ainm

my n4me

d'uimhir

your number

A following consonantis lenitedaftet mo

(but not aftera (Der)).This is shownby writing an h afterthe

consonanti

lmyl,

do (your),a (bis)

p6co

pocket

mo ph6co

mypocket(pron. mof6co)

c(lrr

car

mochorr

my car

m6thdir

mother

do mh6thoir

yourmother (Von. dowdhir)

seolqdh

aooress

o sheolqdh

hisaddress (pron. o hy6lo)

But note:

a sheoladhhis address

a seoladhher address

(pron. a hy6la)

(pron.a sh6la)

If the following word beginswith a vowela (herlputsan h in front of it:

a alnm

his name

a hainm

her name

In speecha (bls)is oftenlost beforea word beginningwith a vowel.

Thesesoundmuchthesame:

T6 ainm anseo. T6 a ainm anseo.

Insight

Thereis a namebere. His natneis here.

A veryimportantpoint aboutthesemarkersof possessionis

that theyarcneuerstressed,unlikeEnglishzy, etc.Emphasis

is suppliedby addinga specialending: