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YAICPS (Yet another Irish consonant phonology survey)

From:Keith Gaughan <kmgaughan@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 11, 2002, 16:03
Hey y'all! I'm still NOMAIL at the moment on this address, but
I should be back in about a week or so properly. For now,
here's a little something:

I was checking over that post Stephen made a while ago about
Irish phonology, particularly the bit on consonants. A few of
the descriptions didn't fit into my experience, so I decided
to make my own survey (based on my own experience and
yesterday's "Nuacht TG4", the news on the country's
Irish-language TV station). Here's my results. Don't take it as
gospel though. Some parts (especially <d> and <t> when
palatalised, but I was backed up by the news, and that can't be
bad) are a bit biased towards my own dialect, but here it is:

Graph          Unpalatalised   Palatalised
-----          -------------   -----------

<p>            [p]             [p']
<f>, <ph>      [f], [p\]       [f'], [p\']
<b>            [b]             [b']
<m>            [m]             [m']
<bh>, <mh>     [v], [B], [w]   [v'], [B'], [w]
<t>            [t_d]           [tS']
<s>            [s]             [S']
<th>, <sh>     [h]             [C']
<d>            [d_d]           [dZ']
<g>            [g]             [J\']
<dh>, <gh>     [G]             [j]     (nope, no kidding!)
<n>            [n_d]           [J']    (<nn> is just longer)
<c>            [k]             [c']
<ch>           [x]             [C']    (growing tendency to be
                                       lazy and pronounce this
                                       like <k>)
<l>            [l]             [L']
<r>            [4]             [r]     (my dialect anyway...)
<fh>           Silent          Silent

<h>, by itself or otherwise, is most definitely not a letter.
It occurs at the beginning of some words purely as a guard
against hiatus and can easily be inferred wherever it's used.
Other than that, it's use is almost diacritical, marking

Now, this isn't universal. My favourite example ('cause it's
the one that sticks in my mind best) when comparing
pronunciation up home in Sligo with down here in Cork is the
word <spideog> /sp'Id'O:g/. Up home, it'd be pronounced
[sp'I.dZ'O:g]. In Cork, it seems to be [spId_d.O:g]. There's a
difference in the syllable shape of some words and the
phonological effect of palatalisation seems to be *much*

I really must dig up my grandmother's copy of Dineen some