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 XXVII

§ 169. We have now to speak a little more in detail of a few of the consonantal sounds which we have not yet treated fully.

§ 170 Sounds of C

In the very beginning (§2) we stated that c is sounded like the English k, and is never soft like c in cell, cess, etc. In the phonetic key the student may also see—

the symbol sounds like in the word
K k looking
k k liking

This, no doubt, will appear very unmeaning to many of our students. But if close attention is paid to the pronunciation of the two words "looking" and "liking", it will be noticed that the termination -king is not pronounced in exactly the same way in both. The "king" of "liking" is k-ying; while the "king" of "looking" has no "y" sound after the k. We represent the k of "looking" by capital K, and the k of "liking" by italic k. But these signs will not be always needed, for in most words, the ordinary k will convey the correct sound to the reader. TO give some familiar examples, we in Ireland usually pronounce the words "car", "card" etc with the k sound; our pronunciation of these words might be represented according to our phonetic system by karr (k-yaar), kaard (k-yarrd).

§ 171. Then to apply this to the Irish alphabet, we may say—

c broad is sounded like K
c slender is sounded like k

§ 172. We shall have no difficulty in pronouncing the K or c broad sound except before the sounds represented by our phonetic symbols a, aa; e, ee. It is only in Ulster that the sound K is followed by aa (the sound given in Ulster to á or ái).

§ 173. Examples

the word sounds like in English or, key-word
caoi -ky lucky (Kee)
cuing -king looking (King)
coir -ker looker (Ker)
caon -kain- Knock-ainy (Kaen)
caill -kall- Knock-allion (Kal)
-ky sticky (kee)
cing -king liking (king)
ceir -ker looker (ker)
cane caning (kaen)
ceal cal calton (kal)

§ 175. If we were to carry out strictly our phonetic scheme, the last five words would be represented by kee, king, ker, kaen, kal; but the key-words which we have given represent to us in Ireland the correct sound of the above words.

§ 176. Here we may remark, as many of our students have already noticed for themselves, that the italicized symbols k, d, l, n, r, t, all represent sounds which are merely a rapid pronunciation of ky, dy, ly, ny, ry, ty. Thus, words involving these sounds can be represented phonetically in two ways.

ciuin is represented by kewn or k-yoon
diun is represented by dewn or d-yoon
liun is represented by lewn or l-yoon
niur is represented by newr or n-yoor
breas is represented by bras or br-yass
teas is represented by tas or t-yas

note that
are not
necessarily pronounced
as in English

See § 13-16

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