§ 413. Only one chapter remains to be added to the foregoing treatise on the pronunciation of modern Irish. In every language, there are words which are not pronounced according to the ordinary rule, and in Irish, a language which ahs been spoken without much change for so many centuries, there are of course exceptional words. Considering that Irish has been, for some two centuries at least, spoken by a people untrained to read and write the language, the wonder is that so few words are irregular.
Instead of giving here all the irregular words of the language, we will indicate an arrangement of irregular words to which we can easily refer in subsequent lessons, and the irregular words can thus be learned by degrees and with comparatively little trouble. We will divide the words irregularly pronounced into classes, and we can afterwards refer to these are Irreg. A, B,C, and D, etc.
Some words are irregular in pronunciation because they are unduly shortened in rapid pronunciation. We have already given examples (§343) of one class of words, in which, for the purpose of avoiding hiatus, contraction takes place.
(I) Thus — bliadhain, a year, is pronounced not blee'-ă-ĕn but blee'-ăn.
§ 415. (2) There are a few classes of ordinary words, with a long termination, in which the termination is shortened. The ordinary terminations thus shortened are:—
|termination||full pron.||shortened pron.|
§ 417. So in words like—
In Munster, these words are accented on the last syllable.
as in English