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CONLANG Digest - 7 Oct 2001 to 8 Oct 2001 (#2001-282)

From:Lukasz Korczewski <lucasso@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 9, 2001, 21:07
> Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 05:05:25 +0100 > From: Keith Gaughan <kmgaughan@...> > Subject: Re: Silent E
> > I've been looking for pages about Gaelic for few times and I have even a > > book dealing with it. However none of them said that there is just such
> > strict correspondence like /a/ between broad and slender is ALWAYS (or
> > least almost always) 'ai', /a/ between slender and broad is 'ea'. Can I
> > the full set of such a pairs somewhere in the net? Or maybe you could
> > it and post? After all maybe I'll try again with Gaelic? > > Irish is my second language (sort of, I haven't had any need to use Irish
in years despite living here all my life) and I can say that you're sort of picking the whole thing up the wrong way.
> > Vowels clusters themselves are neither broad or slender, the story's just
a little different.
> > There are two sets of vowels in Irish orthography: the `broad' vowels
(`a', `o' & `u') and the `slender' (`e' & `i'). Consonants and consonant clusters have either a `broad' quality or a `slender' quality. Their quality is determined by the vowels surrounding them.
> > Vowels are like brackets. If you have a vowel of one type on one side of a
consonant cluster, you have to have one of the same type on the other side.
> > I'll use the old spelling of my name as an example: O Gaibhtheachain. The
consonant clusters `bhth' and `n' are surrounded by *slender* vowels and so have a *slender* quality: `ibhthe' and `in'. The consonant clusters `g' and `ch' are surrounded by *broad* consonants and so have a *broad* quality: `ga' and `acha'.
> > The vowel digraphs `ea' and `ai' are single sounds. The two letters in
them are of two different types and both are needed to indicate the quality of the consonants surrounding them. That's one of the reasons why you'll find long clusters of vowels in words in Irish.
> > I hope I've explained myself properly without confusing you.
It seems I didn't managed to explain it clearly, so I'll try again. From what you wrote above (and what I read in my book) its not clear if such a hypotetic word: 'neas' (I hope it's nothing vulgar ^_^) should be read /neS/ or /naS/ and how should be another hypotetic word (is it vulgar now? ^_^) /noS/ written 'neos', 'nios' or maybe even 'nias'. I understood from Christophe's post that /a/ between slender consonant (or consonant cluster) and broad consonant (or consonant cluster) is in modern Gaelic always (or at least in most cases) written as 'ea', while when /a/ follows a broad consonant (or cluster) and is followed by a slender consonant (or cluster) is written as 'ai'. (and that Christophe's not sure how to write it between two slender consonants ^_^). And it's goes similarily with the other vowels. So I would like to know all the relations between vowel sounds and the *letter clusters* beacause it would be very helpful if I tried to learn Gaelic again. Is it clear what I mean? -- Lukasz Korczewski (aka lucasso) -- Tego nie znajdziesz w zadnym sklepie! [ ]


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>