p h o u k a  h o m e i r i s h  l e s s o n s  h o m e

Book I:


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exercise VIII

§ 65. There are two things which make the spoken language of Ulster and Munster different from that of the west of Ireland. These two points of difference are (1) the syllable to be accented, and (2) the pronunciation of the vowels.

§ 66. We have already state, in § 22, that in words of two syllables the first syllable is the one to be accented, and many examples have been given. In this and the following lessons we shall, until further notice, speak only of words of two syllables.

§ 67. Looking over Irish words, we shall find they can be divided into two classes, simple words, and words formed from simple words by the addition of a termination. For instance, árd, high, is a simple word; árdán (aurdh'-ayn), a height, a hill, is formed from árd, by adding the termination -an.

§ 68. Simple words are accented on the same syllable in every part of Ireland; compound words are not.

§ 69. The most common terminations of compound words are -óg and -ín, which have a diminutive force; and -án, which in some words has a diminutive force and in others has different meanings. In Munster Irish, all these terminations, and many others, are accented. In Ulster, on the contrary, the tendency is not only to accent the first syllable as in Connaught, but also to shorten unduly the vowel sound of the last syllable.

§ 70. Examples

  Conn. Ulster Munster
bradán, a salmon (brodh'-aun) brodh'-an) (brodh-aun')
casán, a path (kos'-aun) (kos'-an) (kos-anun')
urlár, a floor (ur'-Laur) (ur'-Lar) (ur-Laur')

§ 71. Even in Connaught, a few words are pronounced with the accent on the second syllable. The commonest of these are arán (or-aun', in Ulster, ar'-an), bread, and Tomás (thum-aus', in Ulster, thom'-as), Thomas. The accentuation of atá has been already noted. Some words adopted from foreign languages have retained the foreign accentuation; as, tobac (thŭb-ok'), tobacco.


note that
are not
necessarily pronounced
as in English

See § 13-16

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