§ 375. The peculiarity which is usually called eclipsis by writers in Irish grammar, presents no difficulty as regards pronunciation. To understand how it is so generally we must make slight references to the older forms of some words which case this peculiarity.
§ 376. Take, for example, the Irish word for "our", "your", "their". In the older form of the Gaelic language we may suppose that arn (ărn) = our, ḋurn (wurn) = your; an (ăn) = their; but int he course of the changes which centuries have caused in spoken Gaelic, these words have become ar, ḋur, a; the final n being either prefixed to the following word or altogether lost. Thus —
|is now pronounced|
|arn dún||our fort||ar ndún|
|ḋurn d án||your poem||ḋur ndán|
|an díċeall||their best||a ndíċeall|
§ 377. And these new forms are pronounced ( ăr Noon), (wur Naun), ( ă neeh-yăL), the nd in each case being pronounced as nn. The sound of the d is thus "eclipsed" or overshadowed by that of the n; hence the name of the phenomenon.
§ 378. In the same way—
|arn grian||our sun||ar ngrian|
|ḋurn gealaċ||your moon||ḋur ngealaċ|
|an gort||their field||a ngort|
|an gáire||their laughter||a ngáire|
§ 379. When slender, ng issounded like ng in sing, singer, that is, like our symbol n. It is never soft, like ng in singe. In English, this is not found at the beginning of words.
|a ngealaċ||(ănal'-aCH)||their moon|
|a ngrian||(ă nee'-ăn)||their sun|
§ 380. When broad, ng is like ng in long, longer. This sound of ng is a simple sound, very different from the sound of ng in sing, singer; just as g in begun is different from g in begin. It is a sound not oftern used: we shall when necessary use the symbol NG to denote it. Thus —
|a ngort||ă NGărth||ŭng-ŭrth|
|a ngáire||ă NGăur'-ĕ||ŭng-aur'-ĕ|
§ 381. The student should not be discouraged by this, the most difficult sound of the language. At the beginning of words it may be pronounced as N, if the learner cannot acquire the correct sound at once.
as in English