Irish pronunciation

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Llawygath
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Irish pronunciation

Postby Llawygath » 2012-11-19, 15:23

Hi all. :)
I've decided recently that, even if I don't end up learning Irish, I'd at least like to once and for all figure out the pronunciation of it. I've been encouraged to create a thread on it, so here I am doing so.
Just a warning: a lot of my 'information' is going to come from the IPA Handbook. It ought to be fairly accurate, but it's by no means a language-specific book.
So far I have several questions:
1) I've heard from another Unilanger that /a/ is [æ] when between two palatalized consonants. However, the IPA book gives several examples of [æ] between various other types of stuff:
[bɣæd̪ɣ] bád 'boat' (nom. sg.)
[bɣæd̠j] báid 'boat' (gen. sg., and in some dialects, nom. plur.)
[mɣæɾɣah] 'márach 'tomorrow'
[kæɾjah] cáireach 'dirty'

I also don't really understand how one would represent a vowel flanked by two palatalized consonants. Suppose you had a word pronounced [cæd̠j] (which for all I know does in fact mean something). Would that be written <ceaid>, <caid>, <cáid>, or some other way?
2) I originally assumed that non-palatal <ch> was pronounced [x]. The handbook gives it as being [h] in an awful lot of non-initial positions, though. Is this in fact accurate, and if so, what is the rule for when you pronounce it as [h]?
3) I was under the impression that there were palatalized consonants over here and velarized consonants over there, and that that was all there was to it. The handbook claims that there are also 'plain' consonants, i.e., ones without any secondary articulation, and I've never heard this anywhere else. I'm not just talking about things like [c] and [k] either; there are supposedly a number of three-way distinctions such as [l̠j l l̪ɣ]. Is this true? If so, when exactly do you have plain consonants? I can't at all make out a general rule.
4) What are the rules for pronouncing <gh> and <dh>? I've never come across any.
5) Is it really possible to distinguish [ɲ] and [n̠j]? They seem awfully close.
6) Why is gail [gɪl] and not, say, [gal̠j]?
7) Is there any sort of rule for pronouncing final unstressed 'e'? It seems to be either [ə], [ɪ], or [i].
8) When exactly do you reduce vowels? Which ones do it? Can you have stressed [ə]? (For that matter, what determines stress? I think it depends on dialect.)
9) What's the situation with rhotics? I've heard rumors that you get [ɹ] or something in initial position, and nothing else there. Is this so? Can you have it elsewhere?

That's all for now. Thanks in advance for your replies. :)

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-19, 15:36

Llawygath wrote:Hi all. :)
I've decided recently that, even if I don't end up learning Irish, I'd at least like to once and for all figure out the pronunciation of it. I've been encouraged to create a thread on it, so here I am doing so.
Just a warning: a lot of my 'information' is going to come from the IPA Handbook. It ought to be fairly accurate, but it's by no means a language-specific book.
So far I have several questions:
1) I've heard from another Unilanger that /a/ is [æ] when between two palatalized consonants. However, the IPA book gives several examples of [æ] between various other types of stuff:
[bɣæd̪ɣ] bád 'boat' (nom. sg.)
[bɣæd̠j] báid 'boat' (gen. sg., and in some dialects, nom. plur.)
[mɣæɾɣah] 'márach 'tomorrow'
[kæɾjah] cáireach 'dirty'

What do you mean by "the IPA book"?

[bˠædˠ] for bád looks completely wrong to me. Every dialect I know has [bˠɑːd̪ˠ] there. (Vowel length is phonemic in Irish. If your book doesn't indicate it in transcriptions, then I wouldn't trust it.)
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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-19, 16:48

Llawygath wrote:Suppose you had a word pronounced [cæd̠j] (which for all I know does in fact mean something). Would that be written <ceaid>, <caid>, <cáid>, or some other way?

That would be ceaid. Go bhfios dom ("as far as I know"), that's not a word, but, mar shampla ("for example"), leaid is and pronounced almost identical to English lad.

Llawygath wrote:4) What are the rules for pronouncing <gh> and <dh>? I've never come across any.

The rules are very position-dependent. Initially, they are both [ɣ] when broad and [j] when slender.

Llawygath wrote:5) Is it really possible to distinguish [ɲ] and [n̠j]? They seem awfully close.

Close, but not the same. If you can distinguish [ʒ] from [ʝ], you can distinguish [n̠ʲ] from [ɲ]. But there's no real need to in Irish unless you're aiming for a perfect native accent since they don't contrast.

Llawygath wrote:7) Is there any sort of rule for pronouncing final unstressed 'e'? It seems to be either [ə], [ɪ], or .

In the varieties I'm familiar with, it's always [ɪ].

Llawygath wrote:8) When exactly do you reduce vowels? Which ones do it? Can you have stressed [ə]? (For that matter, what determines stress? I think it depends on dialect.)

Yes, it is dialect dependent. In the standard, stress is initial and all short unstressed vowels are reduced. Ulster reduces long unstressed vowels as well (not to shwa, however, but to short versions of the same vowel, e.g. [i]gasúr
[ˈgasˠuɾˠ]).

Munster has a rule which displaces stress to the second or even the third syllable when it is long and the previous ones are short. The unstressed syllables are reduced in the same way (e.g. garsún [gəɾˠˈsˠuːn̪ˠ]) except that there is secondary stress on the initial syllable when primary stress is on the third (e.g. ospidéal [ˌɔsˠpʲɪˈdʲiːal̪ˠ]). The rules are different for inflected verbs.

Llawygath wrote:9) What's the situation with rhotics? I've heard rumors that you get [ɹ] or something in initial position, and nothing else there. Is this so? Can you have it elsewhere?

"Rumours"?

Rhotics vary between dialects. In Gweedore, for instance, /rʲ/ is [j] intervocalically and word-finally. West Muskerry has a rule that merges /rʲ/ and /rˠ] as [ɾˠ] in initial position. But I've never heard of any dialect having [ɹ] unless it's the dialect of L2 sloppy learners.
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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-11-19, 17:07

I'm going to give what little information I can, mainly because I would also like feedback about my own pronunciation. Phonology isn't my strongest area of linguistics, so my input might not be technical enough for you, but I find this interesting, so I want to participate.

Llawygath wrote:1) I've heard from another Unilanger that /a/ is [æ] when between two palatalized consonants. However, the IPA book gives several examples of [æ] between various other types of stuff:
[bɣæd̪ɣ] bád 'boat' (nom. sg.)
[bɣæd̠j] báid 'boat' (gen. sg., and in some dialects, nom. plur.)
[mɣæɾɣah] 'márach 'tomorrow'
[kæɾjah] cáireach 'dirty'


For me they all sound wrong. "á" is never [æ] in my dialect, but I think it's a feature of Ulster Irish(?) At least, their pronunciation of "tá" sounds like [tæ:] to me.
My pronunciations: bád - /bɑːd̪/, báid - /bɑːd̪j/, (a)'márach - /(a)'mɑːɹəx/, cáireach - /kɑːrjəx/

Llawygath wrote:I also don't really understand how one would represent a vowel flanked by two palatalized consonants. Suppose you had a word pronounced [cæd̠j] (which for all I know does in fact mean something). Would that be written <ceaid>, <caid>, <cáid>, or some other way?


I assume you mean [kæd̠j]? I would think <caid>. <ceaid> would be /kjæd̠j] and <cáid> would be /kɑːd̠j]/.

Llawygath wrote:2) I originally assumed that non-palatal <ch> was pronounced [x]. The handbook gives it as being [h] in an awful lot of non-initial positions, though. Is this in fact accurate, and if so, what is the rule for when you pronounce it as [h]?


It's never [h] for me, always [x]. I don't think I've ever heard it pronounced [h].

Llawygath wrote:3) I was under the impression that there were palatalized consonants over here and velarized consonants over there, and that that was all there was to it. The handbook claims that there are also 'plain' consonants, i.e., ones without any secondary articulation, and I've never heard this anywhere else. I'm not just talking about things like [c] and [k] either; there are supposedly a number of three-way distinctions such as [l̠j l l̪ɣ]. Is this true?


It is for the way I pronounce things anyway.

Llawygath wrote:If so, when exactly do you have plain consonants? I can't at all make out a general rule.


That I find more difficult to answer. I think I only pronounce the velarised version when the vowel that is spoken after consonant is slender, but in the orthography there is a broad vowel (or broad vowels) between the consonant and the slender vowel. So <bí> is /bi:/ but <baoí> would be /bɣi:/

Llawygath wrote:4) What are the rules for pronouncing <gh> and <dh>? I've never come across any.


Generally, /ɣ/ before a broad vowel, /j/ before a slender vowel, but it's different if they are at the end of a word (in which case, in many cases, it depends on the dialect, I believe). At the end of a word, they often form part of a diphthong - <Éireannaigh> - /e:rjənɣi:/
There are many exceptions though.

Llawygath wrote:5) Is it really possible to distinguish [ɲ] and [n̠j]? They seem awfully close.


I don't distinguish them.

Llawygath wrote:6) Why is gail [gɪl] and not, say, [gal̠j]?


I pronounce it [gal̠j].

Llawygath wrote:7) Is there any sort of rule for pronouncing final unstressed 'e'? It seems to be either [ə], [ɪ], or [i].


[ə], [ɪ] seem okay to me (the difference is where one's accent is from, I think). [i] seems way off.

Llawygath wrote:8) When exactly do you reduce vowels? Which ones do it? Can you have stressed [ə]? (For that matter, what determines stress? I think it depends on dialect.)


Can't answer thins one, I would like to know myself.

Llawygath wrote:9) What's the situation with rhotics? I've heard rumors that you get [ɹ] or something in initial position, and nothing else there. Is this so? Can you have it elsewhere?


I'm pretty sure it's [ɹ] as a broad consonant in all positions (for me at least). Some dialects might have [ɾ].

EDIT: I wrote this before linguoboy's reply

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-19, 17:46

Ciarán12 wrote:
Llawygath wrote:I also don't really understand how one would represent a vowel flanked by two palatalized consonants. Suppose you had a word pronounced [cæd̠j] (which for all I know does in fact mean something). Would that be written <ceaid>, <caid>, <cáid>, or some other way?

I assume you mean [kæd̠j]?

[c] represents a voiceless palatal stop, which is a common realisation of /kʲ/ in Irish.

Ciarán12 wrote:Generally, /ɣ/ before a broad vowel, /j/ before a slender vowel, but it's different if they are at the end of a word (in which case, in many cases, it depends on the dialect, I believe). At the end of a word, they often form part of a diphthong - <Éireannaigh> - /e:rjənɣi:/

In Munster (or at least Cork and Kerry), you only have /iː/ if the spelling was historically -(a)ighe. Final slender gh or gh is pronounced the same as slender g, i.e. [ɟ].

Ciarán12 wrote:There are many exceptions though.

Such as? Generally, if dh or gh is intervocalic, it forms a diphthong, e.g. gadhar, saghas, feidhm, faighte. The other exceptions I can think of are obsolete spellings found primarily in proper name, e.g. Ó Donnchadha (now often spelled Ó Donnchú), Adhamhnán.
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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-11-19, 18:05

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:
Llawygath wrote:I also don't really understand how one would represent a vowel flanked by two palatalized consonants. Suppose you had a word pronounced [cæd̠j] (which for all I know does in fact mean something). Would that be written <ceaid>, <caid>, <cáid>, or some other way?

I assume you mean [kæd̠j]?

[c] represents a voiceless palatal stop, which is a common realisation of /kʲ/ in Irish.


I see.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Generally, /ɣ/ before a broad vowel, /j/ before a slender vowel, but it's different if they are at the end of a word (in which case, in many cases, it depends on the dialect, I believe). At the end of a word, they often form part of a diphthong - <Éireannaigh> - /e:rjənɣi:/

In Munster (or at least Cork and Kerry), you only have /iː/ if the spelling was historically -(a)ighe. Final slender gh or gh is pronounced the same as slender g, i.e. [ɟ].


Maybe this is the genesis of my pronunciations: I pronounce final (a)igh either as /(ɣ)i:/ or as /ɪgj/, and I have no idea why I choose on over the other. I always chalked it up to different dialects of teachers I've had throughout school. <ceannaigh> - /kjænɣɪgj/ but <Éireannaigh> - /e:rjənɣi:/.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:There are many exceptions though.

Such as? Generally, if dh or gh is intervocalic, it forms a diphthong, e.g. gadhar, saghas, feidhm, faighte. The other exceptions I can think of are obsolete spellings found primarily in proper name, e.g. Ó Donnchadha (now often spelled Ó Donnchú), Adhamhnán.


<beadh> - [bɛəx], <feadh> - [fæ:], <deireadh>(end) - [dɛrjə], <deireadh>(said, used to say) - [dɛrjəx] (actually, I'm not too sure of the last one).

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-19, 18:43

Ciarán12 wrote:<beadh> - [bɛəx], <feadh> - [fæ:], <deireadh>(end) - [dɛrjə], <deireadh>(said, used to say) - [dɛrjəx] (actually, I'm not too sure of the last one).

I actually wouldn't call feadh an "exception", at least not the standard. (In Muskerry, this is exceptionally pronounced [ˈfʲag].) The muteness of dh in word-final position is the default. It's beadh and deireadh that represent the exceptions. Or, better put, there's a morphophonemic rule in effect, one that applies only to verbs: In the conditional and the imperfect, the third-person ending is pronounced [x]. When followed by a pronoun beginning with /sʲ/ (e.g. , sibh, sin), it assimilates to [tʲ].

To sum up:
Initial position: [ɣ] (broad), [j] (slender)
Intervocalic: [j] (either forms a diphthong or lengthens the vowel)
Final: [0] (broad), [j] (slender; see above). As a verb inflection, [x], [tʲ], or [w] (in the past autonomous form).

If you want, I can elabourate on the specifically Munster/Muskerry rules. Basically, these are (1) [ɟ] when slender and word-final and (2) [g] in the past autonomous and feadh.
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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-11-19, 19:11

<aghaidh> - [aɪgj]: is this the Muskerry/Munster version then? (that's how I pronounce it)

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-19, 21:25

Ciarán12 wrote:<aghaidh> - [aɪgj]: is this the Muskerry/Munster version then? (that's how I pronounce it)

Muskerry has a centralising diphthong in this word, i.e. [ˈəɪɟ]. The final consonant drops out in complex prepositions, e.g. in aghaidh Dé [əˈn̪ˠəɪˈdʲeː] "against God", in aghaidh an lae " [əˈn̪ˠəɪɟɪˈl̪ˠeː] "day by day".

What plural do you use? In Muskerry it's aighthe [ˈəɪhɪ], though I believe the CO is aghaidheanna.
Last edited by linguoboy on 2012-11-19, 21:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Llawygath » 2012-11-19, 21:29

Wow, that was fast. :o
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:Hi all. :)
I've decided recently that, even if I don't end up learning Irish, I'd at least like to once and for all figure out the pronunciation of it. I've been encouraged to create a thread on it, so here I am doing so.
Just a warning: a lot of my 'information' is going to come from the IPA Handbook. It ought to be fairly accurate, but it's by no means a language-specific book.
So far I have several questions:
1) I've heard from another Unilanger that /a/ is [æ] when between two palatalized consonants. However, the IPA book gives several examples of [æ] between various other types of stuff:
[bɣæd̪ɣ] bád 'boat' (nom. sg.)
[bɣæd̠j] báid 'boat' (gen. sg., and in some dialects, nom. plur.)
[mɣæɾɣah] 'márach 'tomorrow'
[kæɾjah] cáireach 'dirty'

What do you mean by "the IPA book"?
The full name of it is Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. That's kind of annoying to type out every time, so I refer to it simply as the 'IPA handbook', 'IPA book', 'book' or 'handbook'.
linguoboy wrote:[bˠædˠ] for bád looks completely wrong to me. Every dialect I know has [bˠɑːd̪ˠ] there.
That's more what I'd expect.
linguoboy wrote:(Vowel length is phonemic in Irish. If your book doesn't indicate it in transcriptions, then I wouldn't trust it.)
No, it doesn't indicate a single long vowel as actually being long, even though it goes on for a while about "long" vowels. :? I thought that was strange.

-------
Is [ɹ] really only for sloppy L2 learners? Ciarán seems to have it often, and he may be L2 but I have yet to see evidence that he's 'sloppy'. The IPA book also says that in Gaoth Dobhair the two-way distinction between broad and slender /r/ has been neutralized to [ɹ]. (This is what the 'rumors' consisted of, if that's what linguoboy was asking.)

Why would <gh dh> be [x], or, for that matter, [h]? They're lenited forms of voiced consonants, so having them be voiceless seems kind of odd. The [g] realization also seems weird. I suppose I should just get used to it, though.

Ciarán12 wrote:At the end of a word, they often form part of a diphthong - <Éireannaigh> - /e:rjənɣi:/
/i:/ isn't a diphthong.
Ciarán12 wrote:[i ] seems way off.
[Added a space into [i ] because the stupid thing thought it was an italic tag. :roll: ]
I thought so too, but the IPA book gives [dɣinji] for daoine. Is it wrong?

How does something like aghaidh turn into only one syllable? I'll buy that the <gh> is making a diphthong and the <dh> is doing its own thing at the end, but where's the second <a> going?

One other question I had -- why are there double consonants in the orthography? I don't think there are any geminates, so what's going on? The only explanation I've heard for this was about somebody's Irish-influenced conlang, so I don't think it would get me very far.

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-19, 21:55

Llawygath wrote:The full name of it is Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. That's kind of annoying to type out every time, so I refer to it simply as the 'IPA handbook', 'IPA book', 'book' or 'handbook'.

"the IPA handbook" is more conventional. Which edition?

Llawygath wrote:Is [ɹ] really only for sloppy L2 learners? Ciarán seems to have it often, and he may be L2 but I have yet to see evidence that he's 'sloppy'. The IPA book also says that in Gaoth Dobhair the two-way distinction between broad and slender /r/ has been neutralized to [ɹ]. (This is what the 'rumors' consisted of, if that's what linguoboy was asking.)

That was the sort of thing I was asking for, yes. In these matters, it's extremely valuable when you can give a source for data. (I've already mentioned my primary sources several times.)

Llawygath wrote:Why would <gh dh> be [x], or, for that matter, [h]? They're lenited forms of voiced consonants, so having them be voiceless seems kind of odd. The [g] realization also seems weird. I suppose I should just get used to it, though.

Take a moment to consider all the possible realisations of gh in Modern English and then get back to me.

Llawygath wrote:I thought so too, but the IPA book gives [dɣinji] for daoine. Is it wrong?

The vowel should be long, i.e. [d̪ˠiːṉʲɪ].

Llawygath wrote:How does something like aghaidh turn into only one syllable? I'll buy that the <gh> is making a diphthong and the <dh> is doing its own thing at the end, but where's the second <a> going?

Diphthong coalescence. If you think of gh as becoming [j] intervocalically, then you end up with */ˈajagʲ/. The second /a/ is reduced to /ə/, which is realised as [ɪ] between two slender vowels and */ˈajɪɟ/ just contracts to [ˈəɪɟ].

Llawygath wrote:One other question I had -- why are there double consonants in the orthography? I don't think there are any geminates, so what's going on? The only explanation I've heard for this was about somebody's Irish-influenced conlang, so I don't think it would get me very far.

There aren't any geminates, but historically there were fortis sonorants. (As you can see from the link, they have a variety of outcomes according to dialect.)
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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-11-19, 22:03

Llawygath wrote:Is [ɹ] really only for sloppy L2 learners? Ciarán seems to have it often, and he may be L2 but I have yet to see evidence that he's 'sloppy'.


I make an informed choice to use [ɹ], but for other learners it may be because they haven't gotten the hang of the other phones used for /r/. I don't want to sound like a native when I speak Irish, I like being identifiably from Dublin. It's an identity thing, using my own accent and all that. For non-Irish L2 learners, I'd say go for a native pronunciation, but if you find it easier to pronounce it like Irish L2 learners (though I don't know why you would), then you'll be perfectly understood (and only purists, teachers, Gaeltacht Nazis and linguoboy will take issue with it).

Llawygath wrote:Why would <gh dh> be [x], or, for that matter, [h]? They're lenited forms of voiced consonants, so having them be voiceless seems kind of odd.


There not always, actually. They are voiced when they represent lenition of voiced consonants.

Llawygath wrote:The [g] realization also seems weird. I suppose I should just get used to it, though.


Pretty much.

Llawygath wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:At the end of a word, they often form part of a diphthong - <Éireannaigh> - /e:rjənɣi:/
/i:/ isn't a diphthong.


Yeah, sorry, I was thinking of words like "ladhad", "radharc" and "faigh" (and I meant both "gh" and "dh") Though technically, isn't [ɣi] a diphthong?

Llawygath wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:[i ] seems way off.
[Added a space into [i ] because the stupid thing thought it was an italic tag. :roll: ]
I thought so too, but the IPA book gives [dɣinji] for daoine. Is it wrong?


I've seen that word spelt colloquially as <daoiní>, so it could just be the application of the plural <~í> to the already plural noun <daoine>.

Llawygath wrote:How does something like aghaidh turn into only one syllable? I'll buy that the <gh> is making a diphthong and the <dh> is doing its own thing at the end, but where's the second <a> going?


I think this is a case of <gh> making a vowel longer, rather than a diphthong. I think also that in such cases the original vowel (or possibly a vowel close to it) is put after the <gh> as well. I'm trying to think of some other examples...

Llawygath wrote:One other question I had -- why are there double consonants in the orthography? I don't think there are any geminates, so what's going on? The only explanation I've heard for this was about somebody's Irish-influenced conlang, so I don't think it would get me very far.
[/quote]

The only one I can think of is <nn>, and that usually means either than it should be pronounced [ɳ] or, if the preceding vowel is <a> then I pronounce it [aʊ], as in <ann> - [aʊn]

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-19, 22:16

Ciarán12 wrote:Yeah, sorry, I was thinking of words like "ladhad", "radharc" and "faigh" (and I meant both "gh" and "dh") Though technically, isn't [ɣi] a diphthong?

It depends how you analyse the first component. Most sources consider this an approximant rather than a vowel, thus what you have is a simple vowel with an on-glide (comparable to /wiː/ in English tweet) rather than a diphthong.

Ciarán12 wrote:The only one I can think of is <nn>, and that usually means either than it should be pronounced [ɳ] or, if the preceding vowel is <a> then I pronounce it [aʊ], as in <ann> - [aʊn]

That's a Munster pronunciation. At least, I don't think you'd find it in Connemara and certainly not in Ulster.
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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-11-19, 22:29

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Yeah, sorry, I was thinking of words like "ladhad", "radharc" and "faigh" (and I meant both "gh" and "dh") Though technically, isn't [ɣi] a diphthong?

It depends how you analyse the first component. Most sources consider this an approximant rather than a vowel, thus what you have is a simple vowel with an on-glide (comparable to /wiː/ in English tweet) rather than a diphthong.


I suppose you're right. I retract the original point I was trying to make. I think you summed it up better in one of your post above anyway.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:The only one I can think of is <nn>, and that usually means either than it should be pronounced [ɳ] or, if the preceding vowel is <a> then I pronounce it [aʊ], as in <ann> - [aʊn]

That's a Munster pronunciation. At least, I don't think you'd find it in Connemara and certainly not in Ulster.


I thought so. <ann> as [aʊn] doesn't seem too popular around me (few people I know share this feature), but because words like "crann", "ceann" and "ann" are very basic, I was taught them at a young age, obviously by a Munster speaker, so they are very well entrenched with me. I've clearly had other teachers from elsewhere during my formative Irish learning years too though, because "clann" is always [clɔn] for me and not [claʊn] (which to me only means "clown"). This kind of dialect-confused Irish is typical of Dubliners (or the "Galltacht" in general, but probably more so in Leinster than the other provinces, where Gaeltachts are closer to home).

linguoboy wrote:What plural do you use? In Muskerry it's aighthe [ˈəɪhɪ], though I believe the CO is aghaidheanna.


I only saw this now. I say "aghaidheanna" - ['aɪgjənə].

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Llawygath » 2012-11-20, 1:52

linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:The full name of it is Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. That's kind of annoying to type out every time, so I refer to it simply as the 'IPA handbook', 'IPA book', 'book' or 'handbook'.
"the IPA handbook" is more conventional.
Fine then.
linguoboy wrote:Which edition?
It doesn't explicitly say anything about 'editions'. It was first published in 1999 and the eighth publishing was in 2007.
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:Why would <gh dh> be [x], or, for that matter, [h]? They're lenited forms of voiced consonants, so having them be voiceless seems kind of odd. The [g] realization also seems weird. I suppose I should just get used to it, though.

Take a moment to consider all the possible realisations of gh in Modern English and then get back to me.
There are only three I can think of: [g] (initially), [f] and [0] (both elsewhere).

But that's beside the point. English is my L1 and I've been learning its spelling and pronunciation practically since birth, whereas Irish, if I learned it, would be about my L8 and I've only started on it well past the point where I can absorb stuff really easily. There's just no comparison, I'm sorry.
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:I thought so too, but the IPA book gives [dɣinji] for daoine. Is it wrong?

The vowel should be long, i.e. [d̪ˠiːṉʲɪ].
That makes sense. I notice you've also replaced the given final [i ] with [ɪ]. I don't really understand why final <e> would be [ɪ], but you say it's like that in all the varieties you're familiar with.
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:How does something like aghaidh turn into only one syllable? I'll buy that the <gh> is making a diphthong and the <dh> is doing its own thing at the end, but where's the second <a> going?

Diphthong coalescence. If you think of gh as becoming [j] intervocalically, then you end up with */ˈajagʲ/. The second /a/ is reduced to /ə/, which is realised as [ɪ] between two slender vowels and */ˈajɪɟ/ just contracts to [ˈəɪɟ].
Wait, two slender vowels? I see consonants on both sides of that /a/. What did you mean?
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:One other question I had -- why are there double consonants in the orthography? I don't think there are any geminates, so what's going on? The only explanation I've heard for this was about somebody's Irish-influenced conlang, so I don't think it would get me very far.

There aren't any geminates, but historically there were fortis sonorants. (As you can see from the link, they have a variety of outcomes according to dialect.)
I'll go with that. Thanks.

Edit: oh for crying out loud, those stupid [ + i + ] sequences...

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Llawygath » 2012-11-20, 2:01

Ciarán12 wrote:I've clearly had other teachers from elsewhere during my formative Irish learning years too though, because "clann" is always [clɔn] for me and not [claʊn] (which to me only means "clown").
I think you meant [k] here when you said [c].

More to the point, I don't see why <ann> and company should be [ɔn] or [aʊn] rather than [an] or something. Is this some sort of side effect of fortis alveolars (whatever those even are/were)? Rounded <a> seems pretty widespread, so I'd like to pin down a rule for when it occurs.

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-20, 2:25

Llawygath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:Why would <gh dh> be [x], or, for that matter, [h]? They're lenited forms of voiced consonants, so having them be voiceless seems kind of odd. The [g] realization also seems weird. I suppose I should just get used to it, though.

Take a moment to consider all the possible realisations of gh in Modern English and then get back to me.
There are only three I can think of: [g] (initially), [f] and [0] (both elsewhere).

But that's beside the point.

It's very much the point. English gh represents a sound that was historically similar to Irish gh. Both show a variety of reflexes in the respective modern languages, some voiced, some not, some fricative, some vocalised, etc.

Llawygath wrote:I notice you've also replaced the given final [i ] with [ɪ]. I don't really understand why final <e> would be [ɪ], but you say it's like that in all the varieties you're familiar with.

That's how vowel reduction works. It's really very close to the English system: [ɪ] in front contexts, [ə] in others. (Many speakers, for instance, contrast roses and Rosa's.)

Llawygath"Wait, two slender vowels? I see consonants on both sides of that /a/. What did you mean?[/quote]
Sorry, I typed "vowels" when I meant "consonants".

[quote="Llawygath wrote:
Edit: oh for crying out loud, those stupid [ + i + ] sequences...

What are you talking about?
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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-11-20, 19:04

Llawygath wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:I've clearly had other teachers from elsewhere during my formative Irish learning years too though, because "clann" is always [clɔn] for me and not [claʊn] (which to me only means "clown").
I think you meant [k] here when you said [c].


I did mean [k], sorry.

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby Llawygath » 2012-11-22, 0:24

linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:Why would <gh dh> be [x], or, for that matter, [h]? They're lenited forms of voiced consonants, so having them be voiceless seems kind of odd. The [g] realization also seems weird. I suppose I should just get used to it, though.

Take a moment to consider all the possible realisations of gh in Modern English and then get back to me.
There are only three I can think of: [g] (initially), [f] and [0] (both elsewhere).

But that's beside the point.

It's very much the point. English gh represents a sound that was historically similar to Irish gh. Both show a variety of reflexes in the respective modern languages, some voiced, some not, some fricative, some vocalised, etc.
Yes, that's correct. My point was that, in my particular case, English spelling is by definition easier than Irish spelling simply because I learned the one at a very early age and I've not yet mastered the other. I realize that wasn't your point. It's okay.
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:I notice you've also replaced the given final [i ] with [ɪ]. I don't really understand why final <e> would be [ɪ], but you say it's like that in all the varieties you're familiar with.

That's how vowel reduction works. It's really very close to the English system: [ɪ] in front contexts, [ə] in others.
I'm not quite sure what you're thinking of, but I think you may have made too wide a generalization:
linguoboy wrote:(Many speakers, for instance, contrast roses and Rosa's.)
I do; I have [ˈʑ̞ɣoʊzəz] and [ˈʑ̞ɣoʊzʌz], respectively. That's probably not what you had in mind, though.
linguoboy wrote:
Llawygath wrote:Edit: oh for crying out loud, those stupid [ + i + ] sequences...

What are you talking about?
If you type , and then you try to put something in italics somewhere after that, then the [i] disappears and makes everything from there up to the italic. (See what I mean?)

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Re: Irish pronunciation

Postby linguoboy » 2012-11-22, 1:48

Llawygath wrote:More to the point, I don't see why <ann> and company should be [ɔn] or [aʊn] rather than [an] or something. Is this some sort of side effect of fortis alveolars (whatever those even are/were)? Rounded <a> seems pretty widespread, so I'd like to pin down a rule for when it occurs.

This is another of Ciarán's idiosyncrasies. At least, it's not something I've heard from other speakers. Ó Siadhail gives the realisations of clann in the major dialects as:

/ˈklˠanˠ/ (Ulster)
/ˈklˠɑːɴˠ/ (Connacht)
/ˈklˠaunˠ (Munster; also Scottish Gaelic)

And, yes, this is an effect of the following fortis consonant. It causes lengthening in Connacht and diphthongisation in Munster. (The backing to [ɑː] isn't an effect of the consonant per se; long /a/ is always [ɑː] in Connacht, at least in Ó Siadhail's native dialect.)
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