Page:The Celtic Review volume 4.djvu/287

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Broad ch is the sound familiar in ‘loch’; slender ch prevails in Lowland Scots in association with slender vowels as in dreich, tedious, flech, a flea, and generally in lieu of gh beside a slender vowel as in heich, high, eicht, eight, licht, light.

Broad and slender gh are the voiced sounds corresponding to the voiceless sounds of broad and slender ch.


Non-initial c, both broad and slender, is sounded in some dialects so as to be difficult to distinguish from Gaelic g, in others as with an aspirate—hc—before it, and in most as chc; for example, in such words as fiacaill, tooth; acras, hunger; breac, speckled; mac, son; mulc, push; cearc, hen; faicill, care; uircean, pig; faic, see; glic, wise; cuilc, reed; seirc, love. At the end of unaccented syllables c is apt to be sounded g in most dialects, but chc is harder sometimes, as in adhlaic, berry, and amhairc, look, in Islay and North Argyll. The two extreme pronunciations prevail in Perthshire, the first (c) in the east, and the third (chc) in the west of the county. In other cases different pronunciations constitute local distinctions. Thus hc may be heard in Badenoch and in the south of Lewis and chc in Strathspey and in Harris. The c sound prevails in Arran, Kintyre, and Sutherland, and chc in Islay, North Argyll, Skye and West Ross. There is thus no broad distinction as regards this consonant between Southern and Northern Gaelic.

The English word doctor, which appears sometimes as doctair (so Perth) and sometimes as dochtair (so Arran and Perth) is dotair in great part of the West Highlands. Faicinn, seeing, which is fakin and faïn in Manx, is sometimes fa'inn in Arran. The past indicative chunnaic, saw, besides having th often in place of ch sometimes loses c or ic or even aic. In Arran thunnai and thunna, in Knapdale thonnai and in Jura thanna may be heard. In Perthshire chunna and chunn, in North Argyll chunna, and in Sutherland thunnaic and thunn are found. Mary Macpherson has chunna twice (pp. 41, 170); Munro, in a footnote, says of chunnaic, ‘Often