2016-2017 blog - księżyc

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby dEhiN » 2017-02-12, 21:50

księżycowy wrote:Thanks to dEhiN's post here, I'm reminded of how I used to run this TAC stuff. I should really get back to doing it that way. So that's exactly what I'm going to do! :D

I'm glad my post was helpful! I actually have tried to use your methodology in past TACs, and find, for myself, it's a good approach to help me consistently work through a resource like a book.

***I'm mainly focusing on Munster Irish and the older literary Irish (which means Dillon & Ó Cróinín) but I figure it can't heart to add some Standard/CO in there every now and again. I also have Ó Sé's Munster grammar, but as that's written in Irish, I can't quite access it yet. :P
I'm skipping Unit 1 in
Basic Irish, as the pronunciation given is based on Connacht Irish, and not Munster. I mean, I want to get into some Connacht Irish, just not yet. One dialect at a time.

What's Standard/CO? I was thinking Cork Irish, but then couldn't figure out what the O stood for. Also, are the dialects that different in pronunciation?
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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby księżycowy » 2017-02-12, 23:26

An Caighdeán Oifigiúil = CO. Seeing as the abbreviation is based off the Irish name, it's no wonder you couldn't guess it. :P It's the official "neutral"* form of Irish, rather then the dialectal forms.

The difference between the dialect of Cois Fharraige (which itself is a form of the Connacht dialect) is quite a bit different from Munster. Having looked into it before in Ó Siadhail's textbook Learning Irish, it does not preserve the pronunciation of consonants [mainly the lenied forms, like dh, th, mh, etc.], particularly in middle position, where Munster would preserve them.

One of my favorite examples from Ó Siadhail (and there are many) is:
gnóthaigh /gru:/ - win, gain
I can't find the same word in Munster, but a similarly spelled word is:
gnáthbhéile /gnɑ:-vʹe:lʹi/ - ordinary meal

And, as we can also see, vocabulary is different in places in the dialects. The equivalent of the verbal noun "win, gain" in Munster Irish would be formed from baint (which also means "cut"). And this doesn't even speak to grammar differences between the dialects.

Of course all of this is to be understood as exceptions rather than the rules. All dialects ultimately stem from the same language, and represent the same language at heart.

If nothing else, it makes me very cautious to dive into anything up Munster until I've gotten a good grounding in the dialects. I'm even cautious of the CO.

Having said all that though, I'd ultimately like to learn all three dialects as well as I can (B2-C1, if I can get that far). And surely I'll pick up some CO. I'm more invested in the dialects that CO, but I'd be able to deal with it as nessicary from dealing with the dialects. That's my plan anyway.

*It's very debatable how neutral this form of Irish actually is, let alone authentic. I'll leave it at that, as I wish to not get caught up in the debate.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby dEhiN » 2017-02-13, 6:51

Wow, and I thought Irish was complicated enough due to its orthography-phonology relationship!

By the way, I think the word is lenited, not lenied. At least WIktionary says that the past tense form of the verb to lenite is lenited. But then the adjectival form of lenition is lenis.
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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby księżycowy » 2017-02-13, 9:20

Yeah, I never know which form of "lenition" to use other than "lenition." :P

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby dEhiN » 2017-02-13, 9:36

I think I first saw lenis and lenited in different academic papers, which is how I know of those words. Fortis on the other hand...I have no clue what the adjectival or past tense form would be!
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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby kevin » 2017-02-14, 10:27

księżycowy wrote:An Caighdeán Oifigiúil = CO. Seeing as the abbreviation is based off the Irish name, it's no wonder you couldn't guess it. :P It's the official "neutral"* form of Irish, rather then the dialectal forms.

Important to mention, it's only a written standard (because it's meant for official documents), it doesn't say anything about pronunciation. So you always take the pronunciation from some dialect. And the Caighdeán allows for some variation that could make a text look a bit more like one dialect or another, depending on your choice.

One of my favorite examples from Ó Siadhail (and there are many) is:
gnóthaigh /gru:/ - win, gain
I can't find the same word in Munster

I'm not an expert for Munster, but I would expect /gno:hig/ there (and /grohi/ in Ulster). Teanglann.ie seems to confirm.

I don't actually think the dialects in Irish are that bad. The German ones are probably much worse, except that nobody tries to learn them. Many of the sound changes are completely regular, I think including your example. There are exceptions, of course, and there are lexical differences, but I think it's managable. The grammar isn't that different either, mostly the use of synthetic vs. analytic forms in different cases and a different distribution of lenition and eclipsis in some cases.

*It's very debatable how neutral this form of Irish actually is, let alone authentic. I'll leave it at that, as I wish to not get caught up in the debate.

Probably as authentic as other standard languages that didn't start out as a local dialect of a certain place, but as some kind of mixture. Do you consider Standard German neutral and authentic?

dEhiN wrote:Wow, and I thought Irish was complicated enough due to its orthography-phonology relationship!

The orthography is alright and covers many dialectal differences, it just takes some getting used to (that I could guess the pronunciations for the other two dialects is proof that it's working). If you "simplify" the spelling of a word for one dialect, you would probably destroy it for another one. And in the end, it's not really worse than something like French.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby księżycowy » 2017-02-14, 10:44

Thanks for the additional info on the CO.


And as far as the authenticity of CO, I was more or less expressing that there has been a debate since it's relatively recent creation, no that I think of it as a "lesser" form of Irish. As I stated before, I don't really want to get into the debate, but I will say that while I do have a slight preference for the dialects, that in no way should be read as "down with CO" or the like. The CO is a useful tool in Irish linguistics, and can be likened to Standard German, or Standard English. It's useful and helpful to have a standard. :)

As far as my personal feelings on a standard language being authentic/neutral? I'm not a native speaker, so I tend to butt out on that sort of thing.

There is one thing which make the Irish case different that many other standard languages: Most standard languages are based on one prestigious dialect (like English, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, etc), where as Irish is based on a blending of all three major dialect groups, to varying degrees of influence. I guess that's why I bothered to even bring it up at all. It's an interesting situation.
[EDIT: I had mentioned something about it's recent creation too (1950's) but the Irish language itself has literary traces that go back to Old Irish, same as Standard German which goes back to Old High German. What's interesting about Irish is more so the older literary language was, at least until the CO took over based in Munster, as pointed out in TY Irish and by the guy at the Cork Irish blog. (I don't agree with everything he says on his blog, by the way) What can be said from this is that the change from a prestigious literary dialect (Munster) to the CO would be different, and artificial in relation to the change in say, pre-WWII German to modern German. I make no judgement one way or another myself, because again I'm not a native speaker, nor an Irishman. I simply make note of one interesting fact in the history of the Irish language.]

Wow, I said a lot more than I intended. :P

As a side note, I'm very interested in learning a German dialect two as well, once my Standard German is good enough to access some materials for them. :P
Last edited by księżycowy on 2017-02-14, 14:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby kevin » 2017-02-14, 14:03

księżycowy wrote:Most standard languages are based on one prestigious dialect (like English, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, etc), where as Irish is based on a blending of all three major dialect groups, to varying degrees of influence. I guess that's why I bothered to even bring it up at all. It's an interesting situation.

German isn't really based on one prestigious dialect, it's just that these things happened quite a while ago there and the standard has meanwhile completely superseded the dialects in some areas.

Essentially what happened is that in the North, they gave up their local dialects in favour of a more prestigious Southern written language, but didn't really know how things were pronounced in the South, so they used some kind of spelling pronunciation, except with a different interpretation of the spelling. And then this pronunciation ended up becoming the standard, so it matches neither the original Northern dialects nor the Southern ones.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby księżycowy » 2017-02-14, 14:26

It seems it is based on one prestigious dialect historically, no? At least that's what I got from your reply.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-02-14, 14:30

księżycowy wrote:There is one thing which make the Irish case different that many other standard languages: Most standard languages are based on one prestigious dialect (like English, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, etc), where as Irish is based on a blending of all three major dialect groups, to varying degrees of influence. I guess that's why I bothered to even bring it up at all. It's an interesting situation.


It seems to be a pretty common thing among minority languages (at least in Europe).

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby księżycowy » 2017-02-14, 14:33

I can't speak to any other minority languages in Europe. I was speaking in relation to the other, major, European languages I know (of).

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-02-14, 14:59

How successful is this standard variety btw? In the other languages that I know have adopted the same policy (i.e: Ladin, Romansh, Sardinian, Basque) it seems that their "conlang standard" never really took hold (although I think that these standards are more recent than the Irish one is).

Maybe I'm too pessimist, but I've come to the conclusion that as long as you don't have a state which is really interested in making language X the primary language of the country, any attempt of standardization is a waste of time and energy.

Ok, I'll stop the derailment of your thread here.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-14, 15:25

What, y'all were having an Irish discussion party and no one called me? *pus*

dEhiN wrote:Also, are the dialects that different in pronunciation?

Not more than the major dialects of English, I would say.

księżycowy wrote:One of my favorite examples from Ó Siadhail (and there are many) is:
gnóthaigh /gru:/ - win, gain
I can't find the same word in Munster, but a similarly spelled word is:
gnáthbhéile /gnɑ:-vʹe:lʹi/ - ordinary meal

A closer parallel would be gnáthaigh, genitive singular masculine of gnáthach "usual". The CO spelling, gnách, reflects a dialect like Cois Fhairrge where medial /h/ is deleted. The Munster pronunciation is [ˈgnɑːhɪɟ].

kevin wrote:I'm not an expert for Munster, but I would expect /gno:hig/ there (and /grohi/ in Ulster).

/gno:higˊ/ (Der Strich ist nicht unwichitig!) I would also indicate stress placement here, since even though it's predictable, speakers of other varieties won't know the rules.

księżycowy wrote:And, as we can also see, vocabulary is different in places in the dialects. The equivalent of the verbal noun "win, gain" in Munster Irish would be formed from baint (which also means "cut"). And this doesn't even speak to grammar differences between the dialects.

This is just an impression (and may be based in part on using older sources for the latter), but I feel Connacht coins new verbs more readily than Munster.

IpseDixit wrote:How successful is this standard variety btw? In the other languages that I know have adopted the same policy (i.e: Ladin, Romansh, Sardinian, Basque) it seems that their "conlang standard" never really took hold (although I think that these standards are more recent than the Irish one is).

Among native speakers? Not very. They prefer their own dialects for the most part. But the vast majority of speakers (95% of the total or more) are L2 speakers for whom the standard variety is the only one they know.

(An Caighdeán Oifigiúil isn't much older than Euskara Batua, having first been promulgated in the 50s. It drew heavily from the previous Cork literary standard, though. Now that I think of it, there are other parallels as well: Lapurdian had a status as a literary language similar to that of Cork, but the standard was based heavily on a more central dialect, Gipuzkoan, just as CO is most similar to Connacht, the middle of the three dialect areas of Ireland.)
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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby księżycowy » 2017-02-14, 15:48

I was actually waiting for you to show up, linguoboy. :P

You're much more knowledgeable on this then I am, that's for sure. Thanks as always.

And by the way, guys, don't worry about derailing my thread. I like the attention. :twisted:

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-02-14, 16:18

And what about books, TV and other means of communication? Are they in the standards or the dialects or both?

---

Since księżyc doesn't mind his thread being derailed, I'm gonna ask here a question I've been having in my mind for quite some time now: do you think that the course of Irish after Irish Independence would've been different if the language of the colonizers had not been English but some other minor national language of Europe lacking the scope of English, like say Norwegian? Is it fair to assume that, in that case, there would've been more serious efforts to get rid of it and make Irish the true and only national language of all Irish people? I know we're in the realm of "linguistic fiction" here, but if someone has some hypotheses in this respect, I'd be glad if they shared them here.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-14, 16:31

IpseDixit wrote:And what about books, TV and other means of communication? Are they in the standards or the dialects or both?

Mostly CO. Native speakers will use their own dialects when speaking on radio or television and in their own literary production. But these days most publications are authored by non-natives.

IpseDixit wrote:Since księżyc doesn't mind his thread being derailed, I'm gonna ask here a question I've been having in my mind for quite some time now: do you think that the course of Irish after Irish Independence would've been different if the language of the colonizers had not been English but some other minor national language of Europe lacking the scope of English, like say Norwegian? Is it fair to assume that, in that case, there would've been more serious efforts to get rid of it and make Irish the true and only national language of all Irish people? I know we're in the realm of "linguistic fiction" here, but if someone has some hypotheses in this respect, I'd be glad if they shared them here.

It's an interesting question and one I hadn't considered before. I wonder if reading the debates on the language question from the early days of the Republic would shine any light on it.

I tend to think not. Language prestige works on a very local level: You don't switch to another language because of the prestige it has across the globe but because of the prestige it has in the nearest large town.
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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby Car » 2017-02-14, 16:40

kevin wrote:
księżycowy wrote:Essentially what happened is that in the North, they gave up their local dialects in favour of a more prestigious Southern written language, but didn't really know how things were pronounced in the South, so they used some kind of spelling pronunciation, except with a different interpretation of the spelling. And then this pronunciation ended up becoming the standard, so it matches neither the original Northern dialects nor the Southern ones.

It's not a Southern written language, actually.

► Show Spoiler


From: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standarddeutsch

Not that it actually represented those pronunciations well and people's pronunciation did indeed differ from the way it was written anyway.

The book I finished yesterday, Lingo: A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe by Gaston Dorren (based on his Dutch original, but adapted for English speakers), has a nice chapter about it.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby kevin » 2017-02-14, 17:09

księżycowy wrote:It seems it is based on one prestigious dialect historically, no? At least that's what I got from your reply.

Well, if you ignore pronunciation and that they weren't really drawing from a single dialect, but just in general from the dialects of Central and South Germany, then probably yes.

linguoboy wrote:/gno:higˊ/ (Der Strich ist nicht unwichitig!) I would also indicate stress placement here, since even though it's predictable, speakers of other varieties won't know the rules.

But, but... there's an i next to it, of course it's slender!

Okay, I guess I was really a bit too sloppy. ;)

linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:And what about books, TV and other means of communication? Are they in the standards or the dialects or both?

Mostly CO. Native speakers will use their own dialects when speaking on radio or television and in their own literary production. But these days most publications are authored by non-natives.

Well, on radio and TV they have to use some pronunciation and the CO is only a written standard. It's probably often not a very thick dialect that is used, but at least you get a mix of accents.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby księżycowy » 2017-02-14, 17:14

By the time that some languages are "standardised", do they usually follow pronunciation? I'm thinking French and English here.

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Re: 2016-2017 blog - księżyc

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-14, 18:16

księżycowy wrote:By the time that some languages are "standardised", do they usually follow pronunciation? I'm thinking French and English here.

I'm not sure what you're asking, but the question of having a standard dialect and the question of having a normative pronunciation are technically separate. This is something I learned from the Catalan case, where (IIRC) there was some debate over whether to adopt Barcelonese pronunciation as normative. I believe it was rejected, but de facto the pronunciation included in paedagogical works aimed at L2 speakers takes as its basis an Eastern Catalan norm essentially identical to educated Barcelonese.

In the German case, Standarddeutsch was in widespread use for centuries before Theodor Siebs came along with his Deutsche Bühnenaussprache in 1898. As far as I know, there's never been something similar for American English. Webster's was influential in spreading certain pronunciations, but if there's anything like a manual of "General American" out there, I haven't seen it, so it can't be all that well known.
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