linguoboy wrote:It would depend on the context and the speaker. If they spoke an Ulster dialect, I'd assume it was classificatory. If they were Munster, I might wonder if I was missing part of the sentence.Ciarán12 wrote:Okay, but as Teilifís atá ann and teilifís atá inti only differ in the grammatical gender of the form of i here, what would you make of it if a masculine noun were used? Say, Buidéal atá ann for example?Or perhaps it's me who's formed the wrong impression. If I find any examples in the wild of the dynamic meaning being applied to non-humans, I'll share them here.Ciarán12 wrote:Perhaps I've simply picked up the wrong impression of its use due to that particular usage being rarely applicable to non-humans.
For what it's worth, the Ulster structure you're talking about is standard in all varieties of Gaelic AFAIK:
’S e tidsear a th’ annad. You're a teacher.
’S e dotairean a th’ annainn. We're doctors.
’S e buidseach a th’ innte. She's a witch.
’S e daoine beaga a th’ annta. They're little people.
When talking about inanimates, while using innte with feminine singular nouns and annta with plurals might technically be correct, IME people only ever use ann:
’S e telebhisean (m.) a th’ ann. It's a television.
’S e croit (f.) a th’ ann. It's a croft. (thinking about it now, ’S e croit a th’ innte could I'm pretty sure only mean She's a croft, which sounds ridiculous)
The bi ann an (= bí i) structure exists also, but it has a more limited scope. It's used mostly for professions and similar, — Tha mi nam oileanach I am a student, e.g. — whereas ’s e...a th’ ann (an) has a much range (as in ’s e daoine beaga a th’ annta; you couldn't say tha iad nan daoine beaga).