Irish Study Group

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby silmeth » 2018-07-31, 8:42

vijayjohn wrote:I'll admit I did next to nothing this week, but I'm not willing to give up so easily. :P I'll try to post the next lesson next weekend (unless everybody really thinks these groups are dead and it doesn't help anymore :para:).


Even though I don’t participate myself in the study group directly, I read all the posts here, and sometimes learn something new from them.

IMO it’d be valuable even if only just one person posted here regularly, it keeps the subforum alive. So please continue. :)
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl), Is Gaelainn na Mumhan atá á foghlaim agam (ga) ((ga-M)), mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs), Jeg lærer meg bokmål på Duolingo (no-nb) (og eg ville lære nynorsk ein gong (no-nn))

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby księżycowy » 2018-07-31, 10:44

I keepeaning to post here, but then again I keep meaning to review some Irish too. :P

I'll try to do some review this week and keep at least this study group alive with you Vijay. :wink:

(And the German, Japanese and Iroquoian ones too, of course.)

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-07, 4:00

All right, here's Chapter 5 (or rather "Unit 5," I guess?) then!
► Show Spoiler

Exercise 8 is stated in such confusing terms that I've decided to just skip it.

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby kevin » 2018-08-07, 9:24

I didn't actually look at the exercises, but only at your answers. Maybe I'd have more to comment after doing so, but for now just one thing: The verbal noun of "imir" is "imirt", so even if exercise 4 had asked for what you answered, it would still have been "Téim ag imirt".

Also, I'm surprised that they teach synthetic forms like "cuirimid". I'd have expected "cuireann muid" for anything that claims to be based on an actual non-Munster dialect.

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby silmeth » 2018-08-07, 10:04

kevin wrote:Also, I'm surprised that they teach synthetic forms like "cuirimid". I'd have expected "cuireann muid" for anything that claims to be based on an actual non-Munster dialect.


I think that 1.sg. and 1.pl. in present tense are taught everywhere (maybe not for Ulster?), they are certainly common in caighdeán texts and I’d expect the same for Connacht. I’d be surprised if any non-Munster book taught any synthetic forms in past or future tenses though… Or, in present tense, 3.pl. (eg. dúnaid siad, etc.).

vijayjohn wrote:1. Dúnann siad an linn snámha ag a sé a chlog.


This is correct (and it’s possible that’s what the book’s authors want here), but I’d rather translate ‘they close the swimming pool at six’ with dúntar an linn snámha… with the autonomous – no need to specify any subject, it’s not vital to state who closes the pool.

Dúnann siad AFAIK suggests a bit that you have some specific ‘they’ in mind about whom you say that they close the pool.
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl), Is Gaelainn na Mumhan atá á foghlaim agam (ga) ((ga-M)), mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs), Jeg lærer meg bokmål på Duolingo (no-nb) (og eg ville lære nynorsk ein gong (no-nn))

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby kevin » 2018-08-07, 10:39

silmeth wrote:I think that 1.sg. and 1.pl. in present tense are taught everywhere (maybe not for Ulster?), they are certainly common in caighdeán texts and I’d expect the same for Connacht. I’d be surprised if any non-Munster book taught any synthetic forms in past or future tenses though… Or, in present tense, 3.pl. (eg. dúnaid siad, etc.).

The Caighdeán prefers the synthetic forms for 1. pl. in the present, so yes, you might come across them in situations where the standard is asked for (even though at least for the 1. pl. the analytic forms are optionally allowed in the standard, too). But as far as I know, none of the northern dialects actually use these synthetic forms naturally, so I find it surprising to find them in a book that claims to be based on a local dialect rather than the pure standard.

Synthetic 1. sg. is actually in use in most dialects.

Dúnann siad AFAIK suggests a bit that you have some specific ‘they’ in mind about whom you say that they close the pool.

Agreed. But the book explicitly wanted "(dún, siad)" there and depending on the context, it can be the right thing to say.

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-07, 12:14

They teach both the dialect form and the standard form (and accept either one as the answer, so I decided to try using the standard form just because it's harder than just using the same verb form for every subject. :P But maybe sticking to the dialect-specific forms would have been a better idea if that's what if I've been doing otherwise), at least in this particular case. (They do this for some other things, too, like cistin vs. cisteanach for 'kitchen').

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby kevin » 2018-08-07, 14:33

My point is, "the standard form" doesn't exist. Both are standard forms.

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby księżycowy » 2018-08-07, 16:44

kevin wrote:
silmeth wrote:I think that 1.sg. and 1.pl. in present tense are taught everywhere (maybe not for Ulster?), they are certainly common in caighdeán texts and I’d expect the same for Connacht. I’d be surprised if any non-Munster book taught any synthetic forms in past or future tenses though… Or, in present tense, 3.pl. (eg. dúnaid siad, etc.).

The Caighdeán prefers the synthetic forms for 1. pl. in the present, so yes, you might come across them in situations where the standard is asked for (even though at least for the 1. pl. the analytic forms are optionally allowed in the standard, too). But as far as I know, none of the northern dialects actually use these synthetic forms naturally, so I find it surprising to find them in a book that claims to be based on a local dialect rather than the pure standard.

Synthetic 1. sg. is actually in use in most dialects.

Learning Irish by Ó Siadhail teaches analytical forms throughout (including for 1 sg and 1 pl present), and it is supposedly based on the same dialect as Colloquial Irish. So there's that. :P

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-15, 3:30

Here's Chapter 6 at last:
► Show Spoiler

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby silmeth » 2018-08-15, 22:02

Bricfeasta le Áine agus Páidí

I know this is taken directly out of the book, so it has to be OK, but I still wonder if it wouldn’t be more common to repeat the preposition: bricfeasta le hÁine agus le Páidí.

The problem isn’t ovious in this example, as le does not cause any mutation, and there are no definite articles, so two different nouns after the preposition probably sound OK, but in case of most other prepositions – those causing some mutations – there is a problem: instead of *ar bhord nó cathaoir/chathaoir you need to say ar bhord nó ar chathaoir.

Also the definite article would cause a problem, because it changes both the form of the preposition and causes mutation: I think *leis an bhfear agus an mbean/an bhean is impossible and would need to be leis an bhfear agus leis an mbean

Two topics from the Irish Language Forum made me notice this and wonder about it: Blocked Mutations? with example do bhuachaillí agus do chailíní and About repeated prepositions with trí fhuinneog nó trí dhoras, where the users involved claim it needs to be repeated.

So – is this a Béarlachas in the book?

EDIT: also, as le causes h-prothesis, shouldn’t it be le hÁine agus le Páidí?
Last edited by silmeth on 2018-08-16, 10:29, edited 1 time in total.
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl), Is Gaelainn na Mumhan atá á foghlaim agam (ga) ((ga-M)), mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs), Jeg lærer meg bokmål på Duolingo (no-nb) (og eg ville lære nynorsk ein gong (no-nn))

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby kevin » 2018-08-16, 7:28

I'm inclined to agree with both of your corrections.

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby ceid donn » 2018-08-16, 15:10

The h-prothesis with le is correct, even with proper names.

The thing about repeated prepositions is kind of a hot topic. If you want to play nice with the prescriptivists and conform to some of the more contemporary thinking about Irish grammar, repeat the preposition. However, I'm inclined to disagree with strict rules about it either way because of the nature of agus. Agus is a very strange word in the Gaelic languages, but learners aren't taught this because, well, it might make their heads explode. And since the Gaelic languages are increasingly dependent on second language speakers for their survival (and in Manx's case, completely so), they are losing this level of nuance. It's not Anglicization so much as just an inevitable loss when a living language is no longer the majority of speakers' maternal language.

I tried not long ago to try to explain this on Duolingo but I don't know if it made a lot of sense to people there. Learners often just want clear-cut rules about what's right and wrong, because often that's what they need at their level.

Michael Bauer, aka akerbeltz, whose main linguistic focus has been Gaelic, has the only write-up about this online or in print that I know of. He describes agus as a "unspecified conceptual link" that can morph in meaning and nuance. The examples he uses are more complex structures than [proposition] + [noun] + agus + [noun], but according to one of my former Gaelic teachers from Cape Breton (where some aspects of the Western dialects lost in Scotland have been preserved), this can happen pretty much anywhere agus is used.

The way my teacher described it, the Gaelic languages--at least historically--presumed that the listener wasn't stupid and could derive meaning from context. We see that in a lot of languages, like in Russian or Japanese, although in those languages, it's often more about what isn't said, whereas with agus, we have this Swiss Army knife of a word where it's up to the listener to infer which thingy-a-bob on the Swiss Army knife needs to be applied. And this can include dependent clauses and prepositional phrases. However, it seem that agus was never meant to replace syntactical functions like declension, so the nouns still have to conform to whatever syntactical form they need to be in, like the genitive or accusative form, and that includes any applicable mutations or protheses.

As you can imagine, this would be a nightmare to try to teach learners. Moreover, it's sadly one of those aspects of the Gaelic languages that really stems from a deep, intuitive grasp of the language--what my teacher liked to refer to as "deep Gaelic"--something that is increasingly rarer in the contemporary speaker population. And in the case of agus, aside from very old speakers, it may be completely lost, save for examples of it in older literature.

I have yet to come across documentation of this specifically for Irish, although I know from some older native Irish speakers I've talked to over the years that historically, agus has been treated the same way in Irish as well. It just seems that in Irish, the pedantry, prescriptivism and reactionary knee-jerking that comes with teaching a standard form has really taken root, so it may be something further back in the memory of Irish than in Gaelic. Just keep in mind that on average, the speakers/learners online are typically younger, so what opinions and knowledge you are able to find online will generally reflect that.

(And this is why I often call Michael Bauer a treasure to us Gaelic learners, because if it weren't for his very Germanic sense of detail and documentation--yes, he's German-born--in his Gaelic linguistics research, I may have never known to even ask older speakers about this.)

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby silmeth » 2018-08-16, 17:53

I’m not sure I get your point about agus in this case. Yes, this word has many meanings and often doesn’t translate well into English and as it plays a few more roles in Irish, like in chomh luath is d’imigh sé sin (…) go Meiriceá ‘as soon as that one left to America’ or in a macaronic song one morning in June / agus mé ag dul ag spaisteoireacht ‘(…) when I was going for a walk’, and in many other constructions.

But here it is a simple conjunction, meaning ‘and’ – Áine agus Páidí means exactly ‘Áine and Páidí’ here, but whatever the meaning, it doesn’t have anything to do with repeating the preposition or not.

I know the language is evolving, and I believe such usage without the preposition repeated in a construction with a conjunction is probably to be sometimes seen even in native Irish today.

But from what I gather from the online resources I can find, the rule to repeat the preposition after the conjunction (be it agus, , ) is based on actual native language practice, and that for actual Gaeltacht speaker repeating them is more natural, and that not repeating them might be an English (and mostly learners’?) influence.

So sure, the rule is prescriptivistic (all hard rules in a language are), but it also seems to be descriptive of most (at least older?) native speakers’ language – and that’s what I aim to mimic when learning a foreign language (and even more so a dying minority one), and what I believe most other learners try to do. That’s also why I pointed it out regarding to a clause in a text book for learners.

But I depend here on other people’s opinion, as I didn’t do any actual research through Irish corpus to find out myself what’s the actual tendency… That’s why I asked if it’s a béarlachas in the book.

Are you saying that in older texts there actually are prepositions without being repeated after conjunctions (or just specifically agus, but I fail to see how it would be special here)? Do you have any examples, and if so, do both nouns undergo the preposition’s mutation or only the first one?

I could believe it was possible in Old Irish which had a strong case system – so la NOUN1.accusative ocus NOUN2.accusative ‘with NOUN1 and NOUN2’ or i NOUN1.dative nó NOUN2.dative ‘in NOUN1 or NOUN2’ with preposition’s mutation only on the first noun, but both in a appropriate case; and perhaps later, up to early Classical Gaelic (when traces of separate accusative and separate dative forms were still present), but not, let’s say, in ~16th century onward.

And even in Old Irish it would not be possible if pronouns were involved, as there were no declinable pronoun forms there, so one had to say lem ocus lat for ‘with me and you’ or dó nó dí for ‘for him or her’, or la NOUN1.acc ocus lat ‘with NOUN1 and you’… so I wouldn’t be surprised if the preposition in OIr. was also always repeated (but cannot find anything about it in Stifter’s Sengoídelc at the moment).

EDIT: not about conjunctions, but somehow similar case – about a list of qualifying nouns after a preposition – John O’Donovan’s A Grammar of the Irish Language from 1845 claims in such cases the preposition is repeated and so was in Old Irish (even though, notes O’Donovan, Latin in such cases just lists the nouns in appropriate case). Although calling Geoffrey Keating a modern writer in 1845 seems… peculiar.
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl), Is Gaelainn na Mumhan atá á foghlaim agam (ga) ((ga-M)), mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs), Jeg lærer meg bokmål på Duolingo (no-nb) (og eg ville lære nynorsk ein gong (no-nn))

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-16, 19:21

Here's are some examples of repetition from the Táin:

...dar dendaibh agus dar droibelaibh, dar allaibh & dar ardaibh...
...ar a m-buirbi & ar a n-aniardacht agus ar a n-amhainsi & ar a n-ingnathaighi...
...fri sgiethaibh agus fri cathbarraibh, fri luirechaibh agus fri slendaibh...
...fo fedhaibh agus fo diamraibh na hErenn...

But perhaps this particular construction was preferred in epic poetry for prosodic reasons and was less common in other writing or colloquial speech?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-20, 8:41

I was going to start posting answers for Chapter 7 in this thread but then realized that księżycowy currently isn't able to keep up with this group anyway. :hmm: Maybe I should hold off until later then?

Unless you're finding this helpful, kevin.

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-28, 5:47

I hereby declare this study group dormant for the time being.

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby księżycowy » 2018-10-27, 0:36

Anyone interested in reviving an Irish study group?

I wouldn't mind the company as I review TYI (Dillon & Ó Cróinín).

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby ceid donn » 2018-10-27, 2:26

I've already been going through TYI1961 mainly with the audio that I finally bothered to download from archive.org some weeks ago. I'm really just listening and speaking along for the practice. What exactly do you have in mind?

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Re: Irish Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-10-27, 4:24

księżycowy wrote:Anyone interested in reviving an Irish study group?

Of course!


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