A Dialect of Donegal/Synthesis

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1. Notes on the Consonants.

§ 437. When two consonants immediately follow one another the articulation of the second is as a rule not anticipated or in other words the off-glide of the first is distinctly heard as in French. In combinations such as tl, dl, kr, kl, k′r′, gl, gn, t′r′, b′r′, χl, ŋl, mn, vr′ and medial sr at first one almost fancies one hears a slight vowel-sound between the two consonants. For k′r′ cp. Henebry p. 30 and note the spellings in the old Manx Prayer-book gylaghty = Ir. gcleachdadh; mynayn now mraane (Rhys p. 15). In the following combinations, however, where the articulations are more or less homogeneous the glide is not heard – Lt, Nt, rN, rN′, sL, sN, Ns, NL, initial sr, and the combinations with s mentioned in the next paragraph.

§ 438. t, k, p normally have strong aspiration but in certain positions these sounds together with the corresponding palatal sounds t′, k′, p′ are unmistakably lenes and therefore not aspirated. This is the case when they immediately follow s, ʃ, as in αspəl, ‘apostle’; αspUk, ‘bishop’; d′eiʃt′ən, ‘clenching of the teeth with pain’; fαsto:jəm, ‘I hire’; hαskar sə, ‘it thawed’; spɔ:l, ‘spool’; stær′, ‘history’. Similarly t is a lenis after χ in o̤χtαn, ‘lapful’; rαχtæl′, ‘to run’, Di. reachtáil. In these cases Modern Irish orthography somewhat naturally hesitates between the tenuis and the media. It is quite possible that lenes occur under other conditions than those just mentioned, as I have heard the t in bwel′ə tαləv, ‘a farm of land’, distinctly pronounced in this way.

§ 439. It is perhaps not amiss to point out that the grammarian’s rule of ‘caol le caol’ is constantly broken in the spoken language. This occurs regularly in the case of the privative prefix αn- with uneven stress, e.g. ·αnɔ:li:, ‘an ignorant person’, ·αnɔ:lαχ, ‘ignorant’, Di. aineólach; ·αnɔil′, ‘proud flesh’, Di. ainfheoil. The other prefix αn-, ‘very’, has even stress, e.g. ·αn·i:ʃəl, ‘very low’; ·αn·f′αtə, ‘a great pot’. The ending of the conditional passive is -f′i:, no matter what the quality of the preceding consonant is, e.g. d′i:sf′i: from içə, ‘to eat’; vɛ:rf′i: from to:rt′ ‘to give’; χαsf′i: from kαsuw, ‘to meet’. Similarly in compounds, e.g. stαriəkyl′, ‘projecting tooth’, Di. stairfhiacail, Macbain starr-fhiacail; stαriəri:, ‘a stubborn attempt’; drɔχiəri: ‘attempt to violate’; kαriə, ‘stag’, Di. cairrfhiadh; b′r′iʃk′ ℊlɔ:rαχ, ‘lively’, Di. brioscghlórach; kũwαnəN, ‘alike’, Di. coimhionann; L′ïnədαχ, ‘linen’, Di. lín-éadach.

2. Metathesis.

§ 440. Metathesis is a frequent phenomenon in Gaelic dialects as will be patent to anyone turning over the leaves of Dinneen’s dictionary. It is scarcely possible to formulate any general principle but a tendency to place l and r sounds before the stressed vowel is observable in a number of instances (cp. Henebry p. 75), e.g. klo̤pwid′ə, ‘wrinkle in cloth, small enclosure’, Di. cluipide < M.Ir. culpait, cp. Meyer clupait; krõ̤χər, ‘Connor’, M.Ir. Conchobar; krö̤:rək, ‘light red’, Di. craorac > caor-dhearg; ro̤bəL, ‘tail’, M.Ir. erball; trαsNə, ‘athwart’, M.Ir. tarsnu; t′r′ïmuw, ‘drying’, Di. tiormughadh; t′l′ig′ən, ‘vomiting’, Di. teilgim. Cp. further Di. cruadal < comhluadar.

§ 441. Common to all Gaelic dialects is the substitution of ʃt′ for t′ʃ in native and old loan-words such as eiʃt′αχt, ‘to listen’, O.Ir. éitsecht; bwæʃt′əm, ‘I baptize’, O.Ir. baitsim; as well as in later borrowings from English, where ʃt′ also represents , e.g. kαræʃt′ə, ‘carriage’; k′iʃt′ənαχ, ‘kitchen’; Lɔ:ʃt′i:n′, ‘lodging’.

§ 442. Further instances of metathesis – αsəlṟiαχt, ‘magic, divination’, Di. asarluidheacht; αLtuw, ‘grace (before meat)’, O.Ir. atluchur; αskəL, ‘arm-pit’, M.Ir. ochsal; αspəl, ‘apostle’, O.Ir. apstal; d′iʃL′ə, gen. sing. fem. of d′i:l′iʃ ‘dear’, α χri: Nə d′i:ʃL′ə, a term of great endearment, cp. CI. S. 18 vi ’04 p. 5 col. 4; eN′t′ə, ‘kernel’, Di. eithne, Macbain eite, eitean, M.Ir. ettne; kõhərə, ‘sign’, Di. comhartha; kõ:nir′, ‘coffin’, < comhrainn inflected form of comhra, ‘chest’, Meyer comra (comhraidh Sg. Fearn. p. 96); ko̤f′αlαn, ‘crowd’, < M.Ir. comthinól; kɔʃr′ïkəm, ‘I consecrate’, Di. coisreacaim, Lat. consecro; rɛəLt, ‘star’, M.Ir. retla.

3. Dissimilation.

§ 443. Dissimilation of two nasals – α:rN′αl, ‘sitting up late’, Di. áirneán < M.Ir. airne; iN′ær′, ‘anvil’, O.Ir. indéin, for the ending cp. er′ mə χɔN′ʃær′, ‘by my conscience’; ʃαnəmɔr′, ‘sermon’, Di. seanmóir, cp. ʃαnəmαNti:, ‘preacher’, Di. seanmóntaidhe; note also Kilmacrenan = Cill-mac-nenain, Joyce, Irish Names of Places i 49. One of the nasals may be lost as in bα:ri:n′, ‘queen’, by the side of bα:nṟi:n′; smwi:t′uw, ‘to think’, M.Ir. smuained (§ 199); sm′ɛərə did′, ‘it is lucky for you’ beside sm′ɛənṟə, Di. méanra, M.Ir. mo-génar; bαnɛ:mαtαχ, ‘house-keeper’, cp. Di. feadhmannta (?). The cases with ŋ, ɲ have already been mentioned in § 303. The reason for the loss of the nasal in sõ:ruw (more commonly so:nṟuw), Craig somhrughadh, Di. sonnrughadh, is not clear. do̤gαneil′ə, ‘Dunkineely’ (the stress and pronunciation are against the form Dún Conghaile given by Lloyd in his Postsheanchas).

§ 444. Dissimilation of two liquids – b′ïlər, ‘water-cress’, M.Ir. biror; kɔrN′αl, ‘corner’ from Engl., cp. gáirtnéal Sg. Fearn.; srUhiL′, the name of a waterfall, < sruhair, cp. Joyce, l.c. i p. 48. Loss of r is not infrequent when another r occurs in the same word, e.g. o̤mərkə, ‘overplus’, Di. iomarcaidh, Atk. imarcraid; o̤rLuw, ‘speech, eloquence’, Di. urlabhra, M.Ir. erlabra; o̤rəχα: krik′, o̤. sLuə ʃi:, ‘paralytic or apoplectic stroke’, o̤. g′r′ein′ə, ‘sun-stroke’, seems to contain Di. urchrádh which may be changed by popular etymology from urchra, orchra, Wi. erchra; cp. further Craig’s an orthaiclh, ‘the day after to-morrow’, for which J. H. has ə Nɔ:r̥i:r′ (§ 280).

d′αləgαn, ‘the white of an egg’, stands for gealacán, Macleod gealagán.

4. Loss of Consonant.

§ 445. In a group of three consonants the middle one is apt to disappear, e.g. do̤mləs, ‘gall’, M.Ir. domblas; eʃəmlɔr′, ‘example’, Di. eisiompláir. This frequently happens when preterite forms ending in two consonants are followed by the subject pronoun, e.g. dα̃uwər sə, ‘he looked’, cp. Sg. Fearn. p. 89 ar amhair’ tú and Larminie p. 245, also α̃uwər sən, ‘look at that’; du:r sə, ‘he said’; gə d′α(:)r sə, ‘that he did’; ℊɔ:r səd, ‘they spilt’, = dhóirt. This also happens to a single final consonant in hαnə tuw, hen′i ʃə, ‘you, he came’, cp. tháineamur in Molloy’s 33rd dialect-list and chunna’ mi ZCP. iv 495.

§ 446. Initial n sometimes disappears from a wrong division of the definite article before the substantive, e.g. αhər N′ï̃, ‘snake’, O.Ir. nathir; αsɔg, ‘weasel’, O.Ir. ness. Cp. further Manx ashoon Rhys p. 139 and Sc. Gael. eumhann, ‘pearl’.

§ 447. Isolated cases – ïm′əs, ‘contending, contention’, Di. imreas, O.Ir. imbresan; kαrə·ʃk′r′i:stə, ‘sponsor’, Di. cairdeas Chríost; the t of the suffix -αχt as in dαir′iαχ, ‘bulling’, cp. Manx and Farney G. J. 1896 p. 148.

In proclitics – g of gαχ in αχ ·dαχərNə Lα, ‘every other day’, also αχ dαrə Lα (§ 137), αχ ïl′ə ℊyn′ə, ‘every man’, αχ əN Lα:, ‘every day’, = gach aon lá. Similarly the final t of αχt, ‘but’, cp. αχ ïrəd, ‘at all’ (§ 59). The n of the definite article ən disappears before every consonant, except when the vowel of the article is elided after another vowel, e.g. er′ ə tα:blə, ‘on the table’ but fwi: N tα:blə, ‘under the table’. The of *ℊα(:), ‘if’ < dia has disappeared and we find ə, α. Similarly sporadically in such a case as N′i:r′ vα:r ɔ: (> dɔ:, ℊɔ:) = níor bh’fhearr dhó. The disappearance of final ç and before another consonant has already been mentioned (§§ 202, 345).

5. Loss of Vowel.

§ 448. ə is lost before a form beginning with a vowel and in small words it may be lost after a vowel. Where two ə’s meet the first is generally elided, cp. Finck i 125. do, de, dia, a may be all reduced to ə and disappear. Examples – hïs əgəs m′ïʃə, ‘you and I’; ju:Lti: ʃi fɔ:suw, ‘she refused to marry him’; ju:Lti: ʃə mə wɔ: çαNαχ, ‘he refused to bury[1] my cow’; ĩ:ç i:r, ‘a cold night’, = oidhche fhuar; əs m′ɛ hein′ ər′ ℊin′ ɔkuw, ‘myself being one of them’; tα m′ɛ gɔl, ‘I am going’; k′l′i·ɔrʃt′ə, ‘harrow’ (k′l′iə); ərsɛʃən, ‘quoth he’; N′i:s fwid′ə Nα hig′ l′ïms iN′ʃə, ‘further than I can tell’; tα: g′αL ko̤r̥ əgəm, ‘I have laid a wager’; ə Nαrəkyʃ, ‘towards him’, = i n-a aracais; əNsNə d′ɛəg ə vi:L′t′ə wuiN′, ‘in the teens of miles from where we are’; fα Nαm ʃɔ lα:, ‘about this time of day’ (the de leaves as only trace the aspiration of L to l).

Occasionally other vowels, even long ones, disappear after another long vowel, e.g. Lα: l′ pα:drik′, ‘St Patrick’s day’; ĩ: l′o:n′, ‘St John’s eve’ (oidhche fhéile Eóin); tα:s əgəm, ‘I know’.

§ 449. In proclitics every vowel may be reduced to ə and disappear (§ 136), e.g. dαkə l′eʃ, ‘as for him’, Di. i dtaca; wαkə tuw, ‘did you see’, an bhfaca tuw;[2] χɔr′ ə və, ‘almost’, = fa, do chomhair. The verbal particle do never appears before the preterite except when the verb commences with a vowel. agus appears as αgəs, ɔgəs, əgəs, əs, s.

Here we may also mention tɔkrəs ɔrəm, ‘I am hungry’; tïglə ɔrəm, ‘I am afraid’.

§ 450. In a three syllable word the middle vowel if ə disappears in a number of cases, e.g. αdruw, Di. eadarshúdh; α̃ugrαχ, Di. amhgarach, kõ:grαχ, ‘near’, Di. comhgarach; ɔkrəs, M.Ir. accorus, occorus.
6. Vowel-shortening.

§ 451. Apart from the reduction of vowels in proclitics every long vowel in a syllable immediately preceding the stress tends to become short. Finck states that the short vowel under these circumstances retains its quality. This is not the case in Donegal. Examples – trα·nõ:nə, ‘afternoon’, Di. tráthnóna; αr̥uw ·N′e:, ‘the day before yesterday’, < α:r̥uw, Di. athrughadh; gə d′αr sə k′l′iuw, ‘that he made a basket’; d′αnuw g′r′iN′, ‘to make fun’; d′αN skαrt′ er′, ‘call him’; rɔʃə ·wα:n = Róise bhán; kɔtə mo:r, ‘great coat’ (kɔ:tə); gɔl çɔ:l′, ‘singing &c.’, = gabháil cheóil; ə hɔrt l′ïm, ‘to take with me’; tɔrt suəs, ‘giving up’; tər dũw ə, ‘give it me’ (to:r′); N′i: vɛ Lɔχ p′i:N′ə də rïN′ əgəm l′αt, ‘I won’t have anything to do with you’, Lɔχ < Luəχ, cp. § 27; təg ɔrt, ‘get up, on with you’ said to a cow = tóg ort; ℊɔ Nɔ t′r′i: ə χuərtə, ‘two or three visits’, = dhó no[A 1] trí de chuarta; N′i: vɛ ʃɛ, ‘he will not be’, pausa form b′e(:)i, b′əi; ə m′ɛd′ ïm′ə, ‘the amount of butter’ (m′eid′); ʃɛ də ·vαhə = sé do bheatha; α·hein′, ‘himself’; k′ib′ ℊUw̥, ‘sedge’ (k′i:b′).

We have already seen that long vowels in stressed syllables are commonly shortened before h < th (§ 7). This also seems to have taken place in d′içəL, ‘strenuous effort’, Di. díchioll, Wi. díchill. In other cases we get double forms due to varying stress, e.g. α:t′, ‘place’ but ə Næt′ i:n′αχ, ‘in some place or other’; mo:rαn, ‘much, many’, but əNə mɔrαn ɔkuw.

7. Uncertainty of Initial.

§ 452. As words beginning in O.Ir. with e followed by a non-palatal consonant or with u (o) followed by a palatal consonant now begin with α and ï respectively there is considerable hesitation as to whether the final of the article should be palatal or non-palatal before such forms. Some instances have already been given in § 4. Further examples – ə t′i:vəL = an t-aoibheall; ə tαbər, ‘the mud’, M.Ir. ebor, beside sə N′αbər, ‘in the mud’; l′eʃ ə NαLαχ, ‘with the cattle’, O.Ir. ellach; bαnəN sə kα:s, ‘it was just the same’, for αnəN see § 4; ə N′iʃɔil′, ‘the game’, = an uis-fheóil; ə N′iʃαg, ‘the lark’, = an uiseag but always ə tiʃk′ə, ‘the water’; ə t′ed′ə, ‘the teacher’, M.Ir. aite; ə t′eir′ə, ‘the heir’, Di. oighre; ə t′ïl′ə, ‘the wall of a turf-stack’, Meyer aile; l′eʃ ə N′əi, ‘with the liver’, O.Ir. óa. Other examples – ə t′o̤mər, ‘the trough’, Wi. ammor; ℊαh əwα̃:n′ ə ℊö̤:Ntəs = aon dhath amháin de iongantas; vi: ə tö̤:Ntəs αnwo:r, ‘the astonishment was very great’; kαrtə də jïl′, ‘a quart of blood’ but also α l′ɛhəd() ʃɔ ə ℊïl′, ‘such blood’. With these cases is to be compared the hesitation between t and t′ (§ 390); and ʃ for s in ʃi:l′əm (§ 354), f′ for f in f′jɔ:ləm′ (§ 321).

8. Sandhi.

§ 453. The final consonant of one word and the initial of the next frequently influence one another in rapid speech in much the same way as if they occurred medially in one and the same word. Finck mentions a few cases (i 122–124) but the most important and at the same time most interesting cases he has practically left untouched. Change in temper of a consonant is commonly accompanied by a change in the quality of the preceding vowel. Once and for all it should be stated that when the same consonant occurs twice in succession only one long consonant is pronounced. This also holds good in cases of assimilation. The sandhi phenomena may be classed under the following heads:

i. A non-palatal consonant becomes palatal before a palatal consonant.

ii. A palatal consonant loses its palatal quality before a non-palatal consonant.

iii. Some consonants cause others to change their articulation in other ways than those described under i and ii.

iv. A voiced consonant before an unvoiced consonant loses its voice.

v. A non-palatal consonant may become palatal before a palatal vowel.


§ 454. Final L, l, N, n become L′ or N′ respectively before initial ʃ. At the same time the preceding vowel is commonly affected as only certain sounds can stand before L′, N′. Examples for L, ld′æL′ ʃə ɔrəm, ‘it deceived me, failed me’ (d’fheall); ə stɔ:(i)L′ ʃɔ, ‘this stool’ (stól); sə fo̤bwiL′ ʃɔ, ‘in this congregation’ (pobal); ji:L′ ʃə, ‘he sold’ beside d′iəl m′ə, ‘I sold’; fwiL′ ʃə, ‘he caught’ but fo̤L m′ə; wo̤L′ ʃə, ‘he praised’ (molaim); veL′ ʃə, ‘he ground’, 1st sing. vel′ m′ə; dɔiL′ ʃə, ‘he drank’; çu:L′ ʃə, ‘he walked’, 1st sing. çu:l′ m′ə; hyL′ ʃə, ‘it bulged out’, infin. to̤Luw; skæL′ ʃə, ‘he scalded’, infin. scalladh; hɔL′ ʃə, ‘he consented’, 1st sing. hɔl′ m′ə; ʃk′ïL′ ʃə, ‘he shelled’; sky:L′ ʃə, ‘he set free’, = scaoil.

Examples for N, nəʃ k′iN′ ʃïn′ = os cionn sin; ə Lɔ:χriN′ ʃïn′', ‘that lamp’ (Lɔ:χrəN); hα:i n kαt ə k′iN′ ʃi:s sə jug, ‘the cat thrust her head down iuto the jug′; L′αniN′ ʃïn′ də Nɔ:l, ‘that comes of drink’; ɛəgni:N′ ʃi:, ‘she complains’; stαdiN′ ʃə, ‘he stops’; el′iN′ ʃi:, ‘she rears’; friN′ ʃə, ‘he presented’ (phronn sé); heiN′ ʃə, ‘he denied’, 1st sing. hɛən m′ə; ə krαpæN′ ʃïn′, ‘that lump’, Di. cnapán; hæN′ ʃə = theann sé; d′æN′ ʃə, ‘he skinned’, = d’fheann; əs mo:d′ə di:dsa ʃïn′ ərs iN′ d′rɔ:lαn Ner′ ə wu:N′ ʃə sə Nαrəg′ə = is móide díodsa sin, ars’ an dreólán, nuair do mhún sé anns an fhairrge; sp′i:N′ ʃi:, ‘she teased’, Di. spíon; gəd′e: N′ ʃɔ:rt, ‘what kind’; əNsə jαræN′ ʃïn′, ‘in that horse’; tα: N sp′eir′ La:N′ ʃN′αχtə, ‘the sky is full of snow’; er′ α w̥iN′ ʃïn′, ‘on that account’ (son).

§ 455. Final s becomes ʃ before initial ʃ, t′, d′, l′ (which itself frequently becomes L′), N′, k′. The preceding vowel changes as in the last paragraph. Examples – ə kα:ʃ ʃɔ, ‘this case’; kɔ N′æʃ ʃïn′, ‘so near’; vi:ʃ ʃïn′ əgəm, ‘I knew that’; glæʃ ʃïl′ə, ‘bile’, = glas-seile; əʃ ʃïkir′, ‘on account of, = as siocair; χrɔʃ ʃə, ‘he forbade’; lɔʃ ʃə, ‘it blazed’; χæʃ ʃi:, ‘she met’; dα:ʃ ʃə, ‘he grew’; kɔʃ t′ir′im′, ‘a dry foot’; blæʃ d′αs, ‘a pleasant taste’; N′i: vəu ö̤:Ntiʃ L′ïm, ‘I should not be surprised’; N′i: hi:l′əm gə gyN′αχit() ʃə kɔʃ L′iN′, ‘I do not think he would keep pace with us’ (cos linn); əs grα:ʃ L′eʃ, ‘he is accustomed’; kluiʃ L′iə, ‘a grey ear’; əNə çriʃ L′eʃ, ‘in his girdle with him’; ʃi:ʃ L′ïm, ‘down with me’; t′αNuw suiʃ L′eʃ, ‘drawing close to him’; kɔʃ N′ï̃vn′αχ, ‘a sore foot’; əʃ k′iN′ ʃïn′, ‘above that’, = os cionn; kαrə·ʃk′r′i:stə, ‘sponsor’, cairdeas Críosta.

§ 456. Final L, l, or N, n, followed by initial l′ or n′ coalesce with the latter and become L′ or N′ respectively. For purposes of convenience we write L′ and N′ twice although only one L′ or N′ is heard. Examples – vi: αsæL′ L′eʃ, ‘there was a donkey along with him’, Di. asal; ər′ çu:L′ L′iN′, ‘away with us’, air shiubhal; vi: sp′æL′ L′ïm, ‘I had a scythe with me’ (sp′αl); ɔ:(i)L′ L′αt, ‘drink on’, = ól leat; to:r′ ə gαuwəL′ L′αt, ‘bring the fork with you’; kɔ g′æL′ L′eʃ, ‘as bright as it’; əNæL′ L′eʃ, ‘over he came’; = anall leis; b′ei mwid′ mæL′ L′ɔ:fə, ‘we shall be late with them’. glu:N′ N′ï̃vn′αχ, ‘a sore knee’; k′iN′ N′ï̃vn′αχ, ‘a sore head’; riN′ ʃiəd ə k′iN′ N′i:s m′αsə, ‘they made her head worse’.

§ 457. n +l′ gives N′L′, cp. § 254, e.g. bə vi:N′ L′ïm, ‘I should like’ = bu mhian liom. Similarly n, N+ d′ or t′ give N′d′, N′t′, e.g. ℊα: çiN′ d′ɛəg, ‘twelve’, ɛən çiN′ d′ɛəg, ‘eleven’ (k′ïN); əs k′iN′ d′l′i:, ‘above law’; əN əN′ t′αχ əwα̃:n′, ‘in one house’, = i n-aon teach; tα: mə çiN′ t′iN′, ‘my head is bad’. Further əs k′iN′ L′αpə, ‘above a bed’. In the same manner l + d′, l + t′ give L′d′, L′t′, e.g. ə gɔ:(i)L′ d′ɔχ, ‘taking a drink’, = ag ól deoch; ə gɔ:(i)L′ t′iL′uw, ‘drinking more’, = ag ól tilleadh.

§ 458. n may become n′ before ç as in ein′ çin′αl əwα̃:n′, ‘a single kind’.


§ 459. Final r′ and l′ become r and L respectively before initial t, d, N, n, L and l. Examples – fuər tuw, ‘you got’, but 1st sing. fuir′ m′ə; ər dα:r′, ‘a-bulling’; pα:ʃt′ ər d′iun′əs, ‘an illegitimate child’; ər to:n′ ə Nα:rd′ə, ‘bottom upwards’; tα: ʃɛ ər Nə k′iəLəNỹ: əN′Uw̥, ‘he is making a black fast to-day’; tyuw hïr di:N′, ‘to the east of us’ (her′); bə χɔ:r dɔ:, ‘he ought’, = bu chóir dó; χɔ:r Nə Lu:NəsNə, ‘towards August’ (chomhair); hïr Nə hiər; ‘east or west’; Nər Nær′ iərsə m′ə, ‘when he did not ask me’ (Ner′); ho̤g ʃə ʃαnəmɔr dɔ:, ‘he gave him a lecture’ (ʃαnəmɔr′); ər′ɛ:r də wαru:lə, ‘according to your opinion’ (ər′eir′); tα: ʃïn′ glαky: ər′ö̤:r Nə b′l′iəNə, ‘that is taken by the year’ (ər′eir′); αhαr dɔ:sən = athair dó-san; mər bwïL tuw, ‘unless you are’; χαL tuw, ‘you lost’, = chaill tú; kα wïL Nə bαh, ‘where are the cows?′; N′i:r lo:r′ m′ə, ‘I did not speak’.

r′ also becomes r before N′, n′, L′, l′, e.g. χo̤r N′iən ə ri: er′ gu:l ə, ‘the king’s daughter put him off’; αbər l′ïm, ‘tell me’; N′i:r n′i: m′ə, ‘I did not wash’; N′i:r l′iək m′ə, ‘I did not stroke’.

§ 460. r′ becomes r before initial r, e.g. f′ïr ruə, ‘red men’; f′ïr ri:n′ə, ‘tough men’; f′ïr r⅄:Ltə, ‘staid men’; uər rï̃və ʃïn′, ‘an hour before that’ (uir′).

l′ becomes l before r, e.g. ko̤r fo̤l ṟo:nə, ‘to have nose-bleeding’.

§ 461. r′ +ʃ gives rs, e.g. vɛr sə, ‘he gives’; d′ɛr sə, ‘he says’; du:r sə, ‘he said’; ər su:l, ‘away’, also er′ çu:l; dɔ:r sə dŨw̥, ‘it suited me’ (d’fhóir); lo:r sə, ‘he spoke’. In two instances r′ becomes r but ʃ remains. These are ko̤r ʃi:s t′in′i, ‘put some fire on’; ər ʃαχrαn, ‘astray’.

Similarly r + ʃ gives rs as in ə f′αr sən, ‘that man’.

§ 462. n′, N′ become N before t, d. Examples – b′ïN tiə, ‘gable’ (b′iN′); ʃïN tαluw gα:f′αχ, ‘that is spongy land’; kï̃vn′αχə m′ə ʃïN did′, ‘I shall remember that of you’; rïN tuw ʃïn′ əs kɔs ə dαkə, ‘you did that without any provocation’, = rinne tú sin as cos i dtaca, Di. taca (?); wo̤N de α χyd′ ɛədi:, ‘he pulled off his clothes’ (bhain).

§ 463. n′, N′ become n before , e.g. ʃαχtən ṟï̃və hα̃uwin′, ‘a week before All-hallows’; o:n ṟuə, ‘the Red River’ (name of a stream) = abhainn ruadh.

§ 464. t′, d′ become t, d before t, d, e.g. gən bo̤Nt dɔ:, ‘without touching it’ (bwiN′t′); vi: ʃɛ α heʃαNt dŨw̥, ‘he was shewing it to me’ (t′eʃæN′t′); α:t tiə, ‘site for a house’ (α:t′); ær′ə ə hɔrt dŨw̥, ‘to take care of myself (to:rt′); hït tuw, ‘you fell’ (hit′), ko̤d de, ‘a part of it’ (kyd′); əs m′ihid did′, ‘it is high time for you’ (m′ihid′).


§ 465. n becomes N before L, N, t and d, e.g. əN′ei N Lα: N′e:, ‘after yesterday’; d′er′uw N Le:, ‘the end of the day’; əN Lα: əwα̃:n′, ‘one day’, = aon lá; fα wo̤N Nə to̤ləχə, ‘around the bottom of the hill’ (bun); dαN tuw, ‘you remained’, = d’fhan tú; d′αN də jiçəL, ‘do your utmost’.

§ 466. r′ becomes r before L′, l′, N′, e.g. ər L′eç, ‘apart’; ər L′αr, ‘in a fix, astray’; k′ïN ə N′ïr l′ei, ‘the head of the grey man’; to:r l′αt, ‘take with you’; b′i: o̤bər l′ɔ:fə, ‘they require attention’ (obair); N′i:r l′ɛ:r l′ïm ə dUw̥, ‘the black was not clear to me’; αhər N′ï̃, ‘serpent’.

§ 467. l′ + l′ gives L′, e.g. ə f′αr ə çu:L′ L′iN′, ‘the man who walked with us’, = an fear a shiubhail linn; tα: ʃïn′ kɔsu:L′ L′ef,[3] ‘that is like it’.

Similarly n′ + n′ gives N′, e.g. ʃiN′ N′αhəNỹ:, ‘those are things...’.

§ 468. n′ + l′ gives N′L′, e.g. N′i: hα:N′ L′ïm, ‘I do not like’, = ní h-áin liom, cp. G. J. 1896 p. 146 col. 2. For other examples see § 254.

§ 469. l′, n′ + ʃ give L′ʃ, N′ʃ e.g. m′i: Nə su:L′ ʃiər, ‘the weeks from July 15 to August 15’, = mí na súil síar because the last year’s crop has come to an end (also called m′i: Nə su:l′ bwiə)[A 2].

§ 470. In the case of bh + bh the result in a few cases is b, e.g. dïb′iN′, ‘Dibbin’ (place name), < dubh-bhinn; ti:bo̤s, ‘on this side’, = taobh ’bhus. The latter form leads to ti:b hαL, ‘on the further side’, also ti:pαL, ti:bαL; ti:puəs, ‘on the upper side’; ti:p′iər, ‘on the west side’. Cp. Pedersen p. 161.


§ 471. A. voiced final loses its voice before the pronouns ʃə, ʃi:, ʃiəd &c, e.g. ℊyt() ʃə, ‘he stole’; ℊrït() ʃə, ‘he closed’; də χyt() ʃə ‘your share’; iətsən, ‘they’, = iadsan; dα:k tuw, ‘you left’; ho̤k ʃə, ‘he took’. Compare ɛəksα̃uwil′, ‘wonderful’, Di. éagsamhail.


§ 472. Proclitics ending in a non-palatal consonant are frequently affected by an initial palatal vowel, e.g. d′αr, ‘your husband’, < do + fhear[A 3]; m′αr, ‘my husband’, < mo + fhear; m′ïp′, ‘my whip’ (§ 452); d′æL′ ʃə < do + fheall; N′i: b′α:r, ‘better’, = ní ba fhearr; b′o̤mwi: tαχ Nə mɔχt ə ro tα:rLαχ əN, ‘Charles was in many a poor-house’, = bu + iomaidh but N′i: bɔ:li: = ní b’eólaighe; αχ mər b′e:, ‘had it not been for him’; se:, ʃi:, ‘it is he, she’, but əs m′e:, ‘it is I’. Here the case of the article may also be mentioned, də N′αr, ‘to the man’; ə N′i:r′iN′ə, ‘the truth’.

9. Vowel-length.

§ 473. In Donegal there seem to be four degrees of length in vowels, viz. short, half-long, long and overlong. Long vowels occur mostly in syllables with strong stress. When they occur in other syllables they are very frequently due to contraction. For the appearance of half-long vowels I can unfortunately give no rule. They occur in L′ĩ:wαn, ‘porpoise’, Di. líomhán gréine; əsti:ç (also əstiç), ‘indoors, inside’, similarly əmwi:ç (əmwiç), ‘outside’, Di. istigh, amuigh; sö̤:, ‘tang’ (§ 70); tõ:s, ‘to measure, guess’, Di. tomhas. Further in the preterite of certain verb-forms ending in th, dh, gh, e.g. d′i: m′ə, ‘I ate’, hi: m′ə, ‘I sat’, n′i: m′ə, ‘I washed’; also in the future si:hə m′ə, ‘I shall sit’. For these forms cp. § 112.

Final short vowels in stressed syllables are very short indeed. They may be compared with final l, l′, n, n′, r and r′. To call attention to this the grave accent is sometimes employed in this book.

§ 474. Finck quotes a large number of forms for Aran with overlong vowels and such vowels are frequent in Donegal. In stressed monosyllables overlong i: may appear instead of before a non-palatal consonant (§ 164), e.g. d′i:g, ‘dyke’, Di. díog but dat. sing. d′i:g′ with ordinary length; f′i:r, ‘true’, O.Ir. fír but gen. sing. f′i:r′ with ordinary length; f′r′i:m, ‘through me’ (§ 320); k′i:r, ‘comb’, Di. cíor but dat. sing. k′i:r′ with ordinary length; p′i:b, ‘throat’, beside p′iəb, Di. píob; ʃi:s, ‘down’; ʃk′r′i:b, ‘furrow’, Di. scríob. This may also sometimes be heard in dissyllables, e.g. sp′l′i:nαχ, ‘a tough, wizened beast’, Di. splíonach; ʃL′i:kuw, ‘to stroke’, Di. slíogaim. Overlong u: = i. O.Ir. ú in glu:n, ‘knee’, O.Ir. glún; ru:n, ‘secret’, O.Ir. rún; d′u:l, ‘to suck’ (§ 52). ii. O.Ir. ua, e.g. u:n, ‘lamb’, O.Ir. úan; ku:n, ‘harbour’, M.Ir. cúan. ⅄: is overlong in ⅄:l, ‘lime’, Di. aol. Any vowel tends to be overlong as the final of a stressed monosyllable, e.g. b′jɔ:, ‘alive’.

§ 475. More frequently however overlong vowels are due to contraction, e.g. blα:χ, ‘buttermilk’, Di. blathach; bri:n, ‘quarrel’, Di. bruighean; bwi:, compar. of bwiαχ, ‘thankful’, Di. buidheach (also gen. sing. masc. and fem.); bo:r, ‘deaf’, Di. bodhar but gen. sing. bo:r′ and denominative bo:ri:m with normal length; b′α:χ, ‘beast, horse’, Di. beathaidheach, but ʃαnvα:χ with ordinary length; fα:χ, ‘giant’, Di. fathach; f′i:m, ‘I weave’, Di. fighim; ku:N, ‘narrow’, Di. cumhang; Lu:hə, gen. sing. of Lui, ‘ashes’, Di. luaith, luatha; L′i:m, ‘I lick’, Di. lighim; rα:χ, ‘drift of snow’ (§ 19); sLα:χ, ‘slush’, Di. sláthach; sy:m, ‘I sit’, infin. sy:, Di. suidhe; su:w, ‘to suck’, < sughadh but not in suw, ‘juice.’, Di. súgh; ʃu:l, ‘to walk’, Di. siubhal; ti:dɔr′, ‘thatcher’, Di. tuigheadóir; trα:, gen. sing. of trα:i, ‘strand’, Di. tráigh, trágha.

§ 476. The y: of the plural ending əNỹ: is generally overlong as also a preceding long vowel if the ə is absorbed, e.g. α:Nỹ:, plur. of α:, ‘luck’, Di. ádh; eir′i:Nỹ:, ‘Irishmen’; f′α:Nỹ:, ‘fathoms’, from f′α:, Di. feadh; g′r′ɛəsi:Nỹ:, ‘shoemakers; krα:Nỹ:, plur. of krα:, ‘torment’, Di. cradh; kyN′ʃk′l′ɔ:Nỹ:, ‘disturbances’, Di. coinsgleo; k′ɔ:Nỹ:, ‘mists’, Di. ceó; k′αləgu:Nỹ:, ‘lullabies’, Di. cealgadh; sNũ:Nỹ:, plur. of sNũw, sNũə, ‘complexion’, Di. snuadh; ʃL′i:Nỹ:, plur. of ʃL′i:, Di. slighe. The ending of the first person sing. of the pres. ind. of verbs of the second conjugation (-i:m) has an overlong i: as m has been substituted for m′.

10. Stress.

§ 477. Word-stress always falls upon the first syllable of a simple word, e.g. ·drαNtαn, ‘droning’, Di. dranntán, infin. ·drαNtαnαχt; go̤r, ‘sitting of a hen’, Di. gor, ·go̤rαχəs, ‘cuddling round the fire’; sp′αl, ‘scythe’, M.Ir. spel, ·sp′αlədɔr′, ‘mower’, ·sp′αlədαrαχt, ‘mowing’; to:n′, ‘podex’, ·to:nαkαn, ‘a short stumpy fellow’, also the gait of such a person, cp. Cl. S. 30 vii ’04 p. 5 col. 3. The suffixes -αn < -án, -αχ, -αχt < -ach, -acht have very strong secondary stress as also all syllables containing long vowels or vowels that were originally long. The relative stress of syllables may be denoted by figures under the syllables,[4] 1 = chief stress. When we have two syllables with strong secondary stress, the first of the two is usually the stronger. Examples – α12s, ‘sore straits’, α12stə, ‘distressed’, Macbain has anasta, ‘stormy’, < anfhadh; α:1rN′ɛ2ʃ, ‘furniture’, Di. áirnéis; 12L′t′ə, ‘wap’ (§ 9); bwi1α2χəs, ‘thankfulness’, Di. buidheachas; bα:1t′i:2n′, ‘a mossy pool of water on a bog’, = báitín from M.Ir. bádud, ‘to drown’; b′α12χti:3, ‘blessings’, = beannachtaí; b′α12d, ‘cap’, Di. birréad, plur. b′α12di:3; b′ɛə1ləstα2n, ‘big foolish talker’, = béalastán; b′r′i1ŋlɔ2d′αχ3, ‘dreaming’ (subst.), cp. Di. brionglóideach; 1məNtα2n, 1məNtɔ2r′, ‘seducer’, = damantan, -óir; du:1r̥α2χtα3χ, ‘earnest, zealous’, Di. dúthrachtach; d′iə11Ntə, ‘devout’, Di. diaganta; d′r′əu1wlα2s, ‘licentiousness’, d′r′əu1wlα23χ, ‘licentious’, Di. dreabhlas; 12χtα3χ, ‘given to borrowing’, Di. iasachtach; kõ:1rα:2, ‘conversation’, kõ:1rα:1t′α3χ, ‘conversationalist’, Di. cómhrádh, cómhráidhteach; ky1g′α2l, ‘distaff’, Di. cuigeal, coigéal; L′a1tro̤13χ, ‘pregnant’, Di. leathtromach; ɔ:123χ, ‘rogue’, Di. ógánach; ri1d′α23χ, ‘a small bush on which the Saviour is said to have been crucified and which in consequence never grows to any size, wild myrtle (?)’, Di. raideog, Hogan raideóg, raiteóg. Occasionally however we get 1 3 2 as in 132χ, ‘slow’, Di. fadálach; Lα:1nũ:32χə, ‘couples’, plur. of Lα:nũ:n′, Di. lánamhain.

§ 478. The syllables have close stress after a short vowel and open stress after a long vowel. In forms like do̤nə, b′αNαχt, b′αrαd, bαtə the syllable-division is in the consonant but after a long vowel the consonant belongs to the following syllable, e.g. dα:-nə, dõ:-nαχ. When there are two consonants separating the vowels the division comes between the two, e.g. mαs-Lαχ, ʃit′-r′i:, ïŋ-lαχ. Hence the articulation of the second consonant is not generally anticipated in the first. See further § 437.

11. Stress of Compounds.

§ 479. In proper compounds as a rule the first element receives the stress, e.g. ·bαnəLtrə, ‘nurse’; ·iʃɔil′, ‘game’, = oss + feóil; ·k′ïNtα:rNαχt, ‘bareheaded’; ·L′ïnədαχ, ‘linen’, = líon-éadach; ·L′αsen′əm, ‘nickname’; L′αχɔræn′, ‘half-crown’; ·mw⅄:χriαχ, ‘tender-hearted’; ·ruəvir′ig′, ‘iron deposits in water’. Under this head come the prefixes α-, ‘re-‘, O.Ir. ath-; α:rd-, ‘arch-‘, O.Ir. árd; d′e:-, ‘good’, O.Ir. deg-; sɔ-, dɔ-, O.Ir. so-, do-, e.g. ·aχαgnuw, ‘to chew the cud’; ·αχli:, ‘relapse’, = ath + claoidh; ·æl′ïguw, ‘relapse’, = ath + leagadh; ·α:rdαspo̤k, ‘archbishop’; ·α:rdæɲəl, ‘archangel’; ·d′e:lo:r̥ə, ‘eloquent’; ·de:wɔluw, ‘sweet smell’; ·sɔçr′et′ə, ‘credible’; cp. the proverb b′i: din′ə so̤nə ·sɔχo:rL′αχ, b′i: din′ə do̤nə ·dɔχo:rL′αχ, ‘a lucky man is easy to counsel, an unlucky man difficult’.

§ 480. When the second member of a compound stands in genitival relation to the first it receives the stress, e.g. αhər ·N′ï̃, ‘serpent’; αrk ·ʃL′eivə, ‘lizard’; bwæL′ ·ʃeir′ə, ‘laughingstock’; b′ïN ·tiə, ‘gable’; i:çəN ·f′eil′ə, ‘the eve of a festival’, < oidhche cheann féile; kαrəʃ ·k′r′i:stə, ‘sponsor’; mαk ·aLə, ‘echo’; m′i: ·αuwrə, ‘the month of February’.

§ 481. Foreign words which retain the foreign stress may come to be regarded as compounds, e.g. d′i·ɔ:ʃi:, ‘diocese’; ʃk′i·æɲk′iʃ, ‘quinsy’, < Engl. squinansy. Several obscure words with stress on the second syllable were probably once compounds, e.g. gæ·ʃα:, ‘panting’ (note however the interjection pα·pα = ‘don’t, don’t touch’); mo·ru:χiL′, ‘scald-crow’, O’R. moruadh, moruach, Di. murthuidhe; p′l′ei·ʃαm, ‘bother, nuisance’ (?); rə·fɔ:r′i:n′, ‘a small shower after a squall’.

§ 482. The second member seems to receive the stress in verb-forms with o̤n-, e.g. o̤n·χo̤r̥ə, ‘a match for’, = ionchorrtha Cl. S. 25 vi ’04 p. 6 col. 1. ku:g′ə ·mũ:n, ‘Munster’, ku:g′i(:) ·χo̤Nαχtə, ‘Connaught’ and ku:g′i(:) ·ləiən, ‘Leinster’, are regular but one generally hears ·ku:g′ o̤luw, ‘Ulster’. Adjectives containing N′α̃u-, O.Ir. neph-, neb-, have the stress on the second element, e.g. N′α̃u·αswiαχ, ‘independent’.

§ 483. Even stress occurs but not exclusively with the prefixes αn-, ‘very’, drɔχ-, ‘bad’, d′i:-, ‘un-, in-’, m′i:-, ‘un-’, rɔ:-, ‘too’, e.g. ·an·i:ʃəl, ‘very low’; ·αn·ɔkrəs, ‘great hunger’; ·αN·Lũ:χər, ‘very active’; ·drɔχ·wu:nuw, ‘bad manners’; ·drɔχ·i:v, ‘bad appearance’; ·drɔχ·iəri:, ‘attempt to violate’; ·d′i:·ji:l′ɛαuw, ‘indigestion’; ·m′i:·αNtrα:χ, ‘untimely’; ·m′i:·α:, ‘misfortune’; ·mi:·eid′αχ,[5] ‘impatient’; ·m′i:·hαstə, ‘dissatisfied’ (but also ·m′ihαstə); ·m′i:r′əN has uneven stress because the etymology (mí-ghreann) is obscured; ·rɔ:·wαL, ‘too late’. Further in ə ·jɛəN·tɔʃk′, ‘on purpose’; ·kũ:·jαs, ‘ambidexter’, Di. coimhdheas.

12. Sentence-stress.

§ 484. In this particular the Gaelic dialects do not seem to differ very widely, cp. Henderson, ZCP. iv 264 ff. and Finck i 127 ff. The chief cases have been well summarised by Finck and we adopt his arrangement. · before a syllable is employed to denote strong stress, : medium stress and - weak stress. Where necessary special emphasis may be denoted by ;.

§ 485. A noun as subject is stressed more strongly than the verb, e.g. :henik′ ·mα:r′ə, ‘Mary came’; :ro̤g ə ·wɔ:, ‘the cow calved’; :tα: ·LUχær′ ɔrəm, ‘I rejoice’; ·tɔkrəs ɔrəm, ‘I am hungry’; :N′ï:l′ ·ɔkrəs ɔrəm, ‘I am not hungry’. But ·tα:s əgəm, ‘I know’, ·N′ïl′ əs əgəm, ‘I do not know’, N′i: ·ro:s əgəm, ‘I did not know’, ə ·m′əwəs əgəm, ‘if I had known’, cp. further (ə) ·g′əN′ïstə, ‘unawares’.

§ 486. Subject pronouns have much weaker stress than the verb apart from the forms of the copula əs &c., e.g. ·hi:N′ ʃə, ‘he stretched’; ·hen′i m′ə, ‘I saw’.

§ 487. A dependent genitive or attributive adjective is more strongly stressed than the substantive, e.g. mαdə ·ruə, ‘fox’; p′αdər Nə ·b′i:N′αχə, ‘Peter of the pence’ (the name of a beggar); rɔʃə ·wα:n, ‘fair Rose’; tαluw ·mαiç, ‘good land’.

The numerals however also have strong stress, e.g. ·d′ɛ ·bo̤Ntə, ‘ten pounds’; ·ku:g′ ·f′i:pə, ‘five pipes’. But when d′ɛəg follows the substantive the latter loses its strong stress, e.g. ·ɔχ(t) b′i:N′ ·d′ɛəg, ‘eighteen pence’. Note also ·ℊαiçəd, ‘forty’.

§ 488. Adjectives and substantives used predicatively with əs (= is) and the negatives N′i:, Nαχ &c. have stronger stress than the subject, e.g. əs ·mo:r ə f′αr ə, ‘he is a big man’; Nαχ ·b′r′ɛ: N Lα: ə, ‘is it not a fine day?’

Similarly with tα:, e.g. tα: ʃɛ ·dɔrəχə, ‘it is dark’. But tα: may have the stress in an emphatic reply, e.g. ·tα: ʃɛ dɔrəχə = ‘you are right, it is dark’ (locally ‘it’s jest dark, ’tis jest, jest’).

§ 489. A substantival object is more strongly stressed than the governing verb, e.g. du:rsə ·ɔ:rαn, ‘he sang a song’; kαihəm to̤·bαkə, ‘I smoke tobacco’.

A pronominal object has weak stress, e.g. ·krαkə m′ə huw, ‘I shall strike you’; tər ·dũw ə, ‘give it to me’.

§ 490. Adverbs and adverbial expressions have generally stronger stress than the verbs or adjectives they qualify, e.g. glαk gə ·sɔkyr′ ə, ‘take it easy’; Nα kyr′ kɔ ·t′Uw̥ iəd, ‘do not set them so close’.

§ 491. Prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions and the negative particles have weak stress, e.g. -Nə -Nαχ ·wαkə -tuw -m′ə, ‘did you not see me?’; -mαs ·mαi -l′αt, ‘if you please’; gə-d′e: -mər ·tα: -tuw, ‘how are you?’

§ 492. Emphasis is denoted either by the construction with əs or by stressing a word which would otherwise not have the strong stress, e.g. ·N′ïl′əs əgəm ·kα wiL′ ʃə, ‘I do not know where it is’.

Sentence-stress is marked in the first few lines of the tale An Chevalier agus na tri daill p. 241.
13. Intonation.

§ 493. Donegal intonation does not differ very widely from that of English and German. The most strongly stressed syllables frequently have the highest pitch and the tone falls towards the end of a statement. Whilst fully aware of the impossibility of accurately representing intervals in speech by the ordinary musical notation I give the following examples for what they are worth. The examples represent some of the most ordinary forms of statement and question, to which I have had to limit myself, as I do not speak the dialect as a native. I have to thank Dr Charles Wood for kindly assisting me with my examples.

i. tα: m′ɛ mαiç.
g g g e.
ii. əs b′r′ɛ: N Lα: ə.
f g g dc♯.
iii. Lα: b′r′ɛə (the ordinary salutation on the road).
f ed.
iv. N′ïl′ m′ə mαiç.
(a) f f f d (sadly).
(b) af f f d (emphatic).
v. tα: L′o:gə.
e gd.
vi. mæʃə L′o:gə hein′ ətα:.
ge fe f fed.
i. d′e: mər tα: tuw?
e g g f c.
ii. wïL tuw gɔL wel′ə?
f f f f d c.
iii. wïL tuw t′iN′?
(a) d d B♭ (expressing sympathy).
(b) d d d♮⁀e♭.
iv. Nαχ wïL tuw mαiç?
d d d c B♭ a (surprise).
v. gəd′e: N ʃɔrt Le: tα: əN əN′Uw̥?
ef d g c c B.
14. Characteristics of Donegal Irish.

§ 494. Lip-articulation in the case of the vowels is not well-marked. There is slight protrusion in the case of p, b, m, retraction in p′, b′, m′. Rounded front vowels are entirely absent. The tongue is advanced and articulates forcibly against the top teeth (L, N, t, d). In the case of the palatal sounds the tongue rests against the lower teeth, also in the case of s. l occurs in four varieties, r in three, the latter is generally slightly rolled. The consonants, particularly the stops, seem to be much tenser than the vowels. All consonants occur both voiced and unvoiced except s, ʃ and ɲ. b, d, g are voiced; p, t, k, s are aspirated; unaspirated p, t, k and p′, t′, k′ occur with lax articulation after s, ʃ, χ. Nasal resonance is particularly strong. The glottal catch is altogether wanting. Palatal and non-palatal consonants arc contrasted, the quality of the consonants being apparently of greater relative importance than vowel-quality. Whilst the numerous consonant-types are well articulated, many of the vowels are remarkably ill defined, two vowels being frequently interchangeable. The back vowels are much better represented than the front and include peculiar high-back-unrounded sounds. Low vowels are also represented and every vowel may occur nasalised. The quality of the vowels often depends on the environment. There is a tendency to make all short vowels wide and lowered and all long vowels narrow. Long vowels in stressed monosyllables are apt to become overlong and diphthongisation occurs in the case of ɛ: and i:. Long vowels appear chiefly in syllables with strong stress. In weak syllables the vowel is generally ə but α is not rare and long vowels due to contraction are often found. Close stress after short vowels. Assimilation is frequent particularly in sandhi. Most consonants tend to be long or half-long but l, r, n, l′, r′, n′, ç, are always short and at the end of stressed monosyllables are clipped or over-short. There is a great difference between strong and weak stress. The traditional stress always falls on the first syllable. Unity stress plays a great part. Pitch much as in English and German.

Notes (author)
  1. This no often aspirates a following numeral, e.g. ku:g′ər Nɔ heʃər; t′r′u:r Nα çαr̥ər. This may possibly be a relic of the ancient usage, see Pedersen, KZ. xxxv 425.
  2. Cp. Lecky, History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century vol. i p. 228: “There has always been in Ireland a great increase of real distress during the summer. Sir C. Lewis thus describes the state of things in the early years of the present century: ‘In the summer, when the stock of old potatoes is not yet fit for food, the country is covered with swarms of occasional mendicants’”.
  3. The d of never loses its voice in Donegal.
Notes (Wikisource)
  1. Sic; buy
  2. Sic; tú
  3. Sic; L′eʃ
  4. In this digital version, the numbers are written as subscripts after the vowel.
  5. Sic; ·m′i:·eid′αχ