Re: Gaelic broad/slender vowels
|From:||Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>|
|Date:||Monday, August 21, 2000, 15:33|
> Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 10:54:54 -0400
> From: John Cowan <jcowan@...>
> callanish wrote:
> > In Gaelic this system is much more widespread and regularized, of
> > course, but that's really all there is to it. You just have to
> > remember that certain letters have two pronunciations: one next to
> > A/O/U and one next to E/I.
> Yes, that is the easy part, particularly since the slender pron. of
> consonants is simply palatalized. The hard part is to remember how
> all the different vowels, vowel diphthongs, and vowel triphthongs
> are actually pronounced, which is far from obvious. The worst case
> is "ao", which is pronounced "<broad> e <broad>". But even in cases
> like "ai", is that "<broad> a <slender>" or "<broad> i <slender>"?
And going the other way is just as bad --- I bought a number of
primers on Irish once I visited Dublin, and none of them had usable
aids for getting from pronunciation to spelling.
Never mind that /x/ can be both <d.> and <g.>, the silent <f.>s and so
on --- there was not even a list of 'if you hear /e/ between two broad
consonants, it's probably spelled <ao>' and so on. And what happens if
the consonant does not have broad and slender versions, or if a word
has no initial or final consonant?
I know, I should go spend GBP 100 on a proper graduate-level grammar.
Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT marked)