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 IX

We now come to the Ulster and Munster pronunciation of the vowels.

§ 74. In Ulster the vowels a and o are sounded peculiarly, thus —

á is sounded like aa in phonetic key
a is sounded like a in phonetic key
ó is sounded like au in phonetic key
o is sounded like o in phonetic key


Bád (baadh), mála (maal'- ă), glas (glos), asal (as'-ăl), óg (aug), fós (faus), doras (dhor'-ăs), gort (gorth)

  Conn. Munster Ulster
árdán, hill (aurdh'-aun) (aurdh'-aun)


mórán, much (mōr'-aun) (mōr-aun') (mōr'-an)
ordóg, thumb (ŭrdh'-ōg) (ŭrdh-ōg') (ōrdh'-ōg)
cillín, little church (kil'-een) (kil-een') (kil'-in)

§ 75. Pronunciation of the vowels in Munster

In Munster the vowels in words of two or more syllables are pronounced regularly; as, falla (fol'-ă), capall (kop'-ăl), ime (im'-ĕ), of butter. It is only in mono-syllables (and, to a very slight extent, in words formed from these monosyllables) that an irregularity of pronunciation occurs The irregularity consists in the fact that in monosyllables containing a, i, o, short before ll, nn, or before m, the vowel is lengthened in sound.

§ 76. This lengthening of vowels is noticeable from Waterford (where the lengthened vowels have a very peculiar sound) up to Galway, where the lengthening is much less marked. Curiously enough, the same lengthening is to be noticed at the opposite extreme of the Gaelic-speaking district, the north and north-west of Scotland.

§ 77. In all districts there is a perceptible lengthening of vowel sounds before -ll, -nn, -rr at the end of monosyllables. Thus, the vowel sounds in mill, sinn, sorr are everywhere longer than those in mil (like mil in milt), sin (like shin in shinty), cor (like cur in curt). Compare the vowel sounds in the English words—weld, welt; curd, curt; grand, grant.

note that
are not
necessarily pronounced
as in English

See § 13-16

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