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

SOUNDS
OF
IRISH

 

 


reCORDINGS OF THE sOUNDS OF iRISH

by Lughaidh Ó hEacháin (Loig Cheveau)
August 2005

I have recorded all vowel sounds of the Modern Irish language. I have pronounced them alone.

I have recorded as well all consonant sounds of Modern Irish (I hope I have not forgotten any !) I have pronounced them between two a’s sounds everytime, so it is clearer (sometimes sounds are not that clear at the beginning or at the end of a word). So, you’ll get every time :

  • /aba/ (broad b)
  • /ab’a/ (slender b)
  • /aka/ (broad c)
  • /ak’a/ (slender c)
  • etc

My dialect is the Northwestern Donegal one. But the set of sounds is almost the same in all dialects, but some sounds exist in certain dialects, not in others, and certain consonants have a different sound according to the dialect.

Ex : /L/ (broad ll) does exist in Connemara and in Donegal Irish, but not in Munster Irish. In Munster, it is replaced by /l/ (broad l). In Connemara, the only broad l-sound that is known is the double one /L/.

It means that geal (clear, white, pale) and geall (to promise) will have two different l-sounds (/l/ and /L/) in Donegal, but they will be both pronounced with an /L/ in Connemara, and both pronounced with an /l/ in Munster (single broad l).

In the first column, the letters (l), (L) etc are the symbols that are used for the sounds in most learning books (ex : Learning Irish, by Ó Siadhail). /L/ = double broad l, etc

In the other columns, I will give examples of contexts in which you would hear that sound in the dialects. Maybe things are missing in Connemara and Munster columns.

Sound

Ulster

Connemara

Munster

a

stressed a, unstressed á

stressed a

stressed a

á (Connemara & Munster)

(doesn’t exist)

á

á

ae

ae

ae

ae

ao (Donegal)

ao

(doesn’t exist)

(doesn’t exist)

broad b

broad b

broad b

broad b

broad bh & mh (Munster)

(doesn’t exist)

(doesn’t exist)

broad bh & mh

broad bh & mh (Donegal)

broad bh & mh mostly at the beginning of a word

broad bh & mh mostly at the beginning of a word

(doesn’t exist ?)

broad c

broad c

broad c

broad c

broad ch

broad ch

broad ch

broad ch

broad d & dt

broad d & dt

broad d & dt

broad d & dt

broad f & ph

broad f & ph

broad f & ph

broad f & ph

broad g & gc

broad g & gc

broad g & gc

broad g & gc

broad gh & dh

broad gh & dh at the beginning of words

broad gh & dh at the beginning of words

broad gh & dh at the beginning of words

broad l (l)

single broad l’s and lenited broad l’s (do lón)

(doesn’t exist)

all broad l’s and ll’s

broad ll (L)

double broad l’s and unlenited broad l’s (lón)

all broad l’s and ll’s

(doesn’t exist)

broad m & mb

broad m & mb

broad m & mb

broad m & mb

broad n (n)

single broad n’s and lenited broad n’s (do nós)

(doesn’t exist)

all broad n’s and nn’s

broad ng

broad ng

broad ng

broad ng

broad nn & nd (N)

double broad n’s and unlenited broad n’s (nós), initial nd- resulting from eclipsis of d-.

all broad n’s and nn’s

(doesn’t exist)

broad p

broad p

broad p

broad p

broad r (r)

single broad r’s and lenited r’s (do rós, do rí)

?

?

broad rr (R)

double broad r’s and unlenited r’s (rós, rí)

double broad r’s and unlenited r’s (rós)

?

broad s

broad s

broad s

broad s

broad t & ts

broad t & ts

broad t & ts

broad t & ts

closed ó

ó before or after n or m

all ó’s

all ó’s

closed o

 

all o’s ?

all o’s ?

devoiced broad l

broad l before or after th or sh, and before f (in future & conditional)

broad l before or after th or sh, and before f (in future & conditional)

broad l before or after th or sh, and before f (in future & conditional)

devoiced broad n

broad l before or after th or sh

and before f (in future & conditional)

broad l before or after th or sh

devoiced broad r

broad l before or after th or sh

and before f (in future & conditional)

broad l before or after th or sh

devoiced slender l

slender l before or after th or sh, and before f (in future & conditional)

slender l before or after th or sh and before f (in future & conditional)

slender l before or after th or sh and before f (in future & conditional)

devoiced slender n

slender n before or after th or sh and before f (in future & conditional)

slender n before or after th or sh and before f (in future & conditional)

slender n before or after th or sh and before f (in future & conditional)

devoiced slender r

slender r before or after th or sh and before f (in future & conditional)

slender r before or after th or sh and before f (in future & conditional)

slender r before or after th or sh and before f (in future & conditional)

é

é, éi, éa, -agh-, -adha-

é, éi, éa

é, éi, éa, ao, aoi

h, sh, th

h, sh, th

h, sh, th

h, sh, th

i

i

i

i

ia

ia

ia

ia, sometimes éa

nasalised a

a beside broad mh

a beside broad mh

a beside broad mh

nasalised o

o beside broad mh

o beside broad mh

o beside broad mh

nasalised u

u beside broad mh

u beside broad mh

u beside broad mh

open ó

all ó’s except beside n, m, mh

(doesn’t exist ?)

(doesn’t exist ?)

open o, unstressed ó (Donegal)

all o’s except beside n, m, mh, u except before mh, bh, th

u except before mh, bh, th

u except before mh, bh, th

slender b & bp

slender b & bp

slender b & bp

slender b & bp

slender bh & mh

slender bh & mh

slender bh & mh

slender bh & mh

slender c

slender c

slender c

slender c

slender ch

slender ch, sh before –eá- and –iú-

slender ch

slender ch

slender d & dt

slender d & dt

slender d & dt

(doesn’t exist)

slender d (Munster)

(doesn’t exist)

(doesn’t exist)

slender d (Munster)

slender f & ph

slender f & ph

slender f & ph

slender f & ph

slender g & gc

slender g & gc

slender g & gc

slender g & gc

slender gh & dh

slender gh & dh

slender gh & dh (except at the end of a word)

slender gh & dh (except at the end of a word)

slender l (l’)

single slender l’s and lenited slender l’s (do leabaí)

single slender l’s and lenited slender l’s (do leabaí)

all slender l’s and ll’s

slender ll (L’)

double broad l’s and unlenited broad l’s (leabaí)

double broad l’s and unlenited broad l’s (leabaí)

(doesn’t exist)

slender m & mb

slender m & mb

slender m & mb

slender m & mb

slender n (n’)

single slender n’s and lenited slender n’s (do nead)

single slender n’s and lenited slender n’s (do nead)

all slender l’s and nn’s

slender ng

slender ng

slender ng

slender ng

slender nn (N’)

double broad n’s and unlenited broad n’s (nead)

double broad n’s and unlenited broad n’s (nead)

(doesn’t exist)

slender p

slender p

slender p

slender p

slender r (r’)

single slender r’s except at the beginning of words

single slender r’s except at the beginning of words

single slender r’s and all lenited r’s

slender rr (R’)

double slender r’s except at the beginning of words

?

?

slender s

slender s

slender s

slender s

slender t

slender t

slender t

(doesn’t exist)

slender t (Munster)

(doesn’t exist)

(doesn’t exist)

slender t (Munster)

stressed á (Donegal)

stressed á

(doesn’t exist)

(doesn’t exist)

stressed aidh, aigh

stressed aidh, aigh

stressed aidh, aigh, adh

stressed aidh, aigh, adh

stressed e in monosyllables

stressed e in monosyllables

stressed e in monosyllables

stressed e in monosyllables

stressed í

stressed í

í, ao, aoi

í

stressed ú

stressed ú

ú

ú

u, unstressed ú (Donegal)

u +mh, bh, th, unstressed ú

u +mh

bh

ua

ua

ua

ua

unstressed a (schwa)

unstressed a (schwa)...

unstressed a (schwa), unstressed final –igh, -idh...

unstressed a (schwa)...

unstressed í (Donegal)

unstressed í

(doesn’t exist)

(doesn’t exist)

 

contact me!
t h e   s o u n d s   o f   i r i s h   b y   L u g h a i d h   Ó   h E a c h á i n
©2005 phouka.com