User:Angr/Irish orthography

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Map of the Irish-speaking areas of Ireland. Places mentioned in this article are named on the map.

Consonants[edit]

Most consonant sounds in Irish make a phonemic distinction between being "broad" (velarized) and "slender" (palatalized). In the orthography, this distinction is shown by the nearest vowel letter. In most cases, consonants are broad when the nearest vowel letter is one of a, o, u and slender when the nearest vowel letter is one of e, i. See Irish phonology for an explanation of the symbols used and for discussion of the allophones of the various phonemes.

b[edit]

In all dialects, the letter b represents the phoneme /bˠ/ when broad and /bʲ/ when slender.[1]:59[2]:222–23[3]:109 Examples include: bád /bˠaːd̪ˠ/ "boat", béal /bʲeːɫ̪/ "mouth".

The groups bth and bf (the latter occurring only in future and conditional verb forms) are pronounced /pˠ/ when broad and /pʲ/ when slender, e.g. scuabtha /ˈsˠkuəpˠə/ "swept" (verbal adjective), ribfidh /ˈɾˠɪpʲiː/ "will snare".[1]:59[2]:222

The group bp, appearing only at the beginning of a word, indicates the eclipsis of p. It is pronounced /bˠ/ (broad) and /bʲ/ (slender), e.g. na bpáistí /n̪ˠə ˈbˠaːʃtʲiː/ "of the children", i bpríosún /ə ˈbʲɾʲiːsuːn̪ˠ/ "in prison".[1]:59[3]:109

bh[edit]

The digraph bh (also, especially in Gaelic type, ) represents in most cases /w/ when broad and /vʲ/ when slender. Examples include: bhó /woː/ "cow", scríobh /ʃcɾʲiːw/ "wrote", bhí /vʲiː/ "was", sibh /ʃɪvʲ/ "you (plural)".[1]:59[2]:223[3]:109

Word-internal abh(a) generally represents the diphthong /əu/, as in abhainn /əun̠ʲ/ "river", leabhar /lʲəuɾˠ/ "book".[1]:57[2]:222[3]:108

The group bhf represents two different pairs of phonemes depending on its position in the word. At the beginning of a word, it indicates the eclipsis of f and stands for /w/ (broad) and /vʲ/ (slender). Examples include: bhfaca /ˈwakə/ "see (past)", bhfeiceann /ˈvʲɛcən̪ˠ/ "see (present)".[1]:59[2]:223[3]:109 In the middle of a word, it occurs in the future and conditional tenses of verbs whose stem ends in bh, and stands for /fˠ/ (broad) and /fʲ/ (slender), e.g. scríobhfaidh mé /ˈʃcɾʲiːfˠə mʲə/ "I will write".[4]:121

c[edit]

Broad c stands for /k/, as in /kuː/ "hound" and mac /mˠak/ "son", while slender c stands for /c/, as in ciúin /cuːnʲ/ "quiet" and mic /mʲɪc/ "sons".[1]:59[2]:223[3]:109

ch[edit]

The digraph ch (also, especially in Gaelic type, ċ) stands for /x/ when broad and /ç/ when slender.[1]:60[2]:223[3]:109 Note that ch is always broad before t, even where t itself is slender.[1]:19 Examples: broad in chara /ˈxaɾˠə/ "friend" (lenited), loch /ɫ̪ɔx/ "lake, lough", boichte /bˠɔxtʲə/ "poorer"; slender in Chéadaoin /ˈçeːd̪ˠiːnʲ/ "Wednesday" (lenited), deich /dʲɛç/ "ten".

In Munster, slender ch is pronounced /h/ between vowels, as in oíche /ˈiːhə/ "night".[5]:48–50[6]:117–18[7]:139 In Dunquin and West Muskerry, slender ch is also /h/ in word-final position, while in Ring it is silent there: deich /dʲɛh/ ~ /dʲɛ/ "ten".[8]:68[6]:117–18[7]:139

In Cois Fhairrge, slender ch is silent word-internally and finally, and a following schwa is absorbed into the preceding vowel, which undergoes compensatory lengthening if originally short.[9]:102–103 Examples include fichead [fʲiːd̪ˠ] "twenty", droichead [d̪ˠɾˠeːd̪ˠ] "bridge", and cloich [kɫ̪ɔ] "stone (dative)".

The word cheana "already" is generally pronounced with initial /h/.[10]:210–11[1]:60

The word chonaic "see (past)" is pronounced with initial /h/, and is often homophonous with tháinig "came", in Donegal and some parts of Connacht.[11]:68[12]:118[13]:98[4]:44[9]:103[14]:158

The word chuig "to, toward" and its inflected forms chugam "to me", etc., are pronounced with /h/ in Donegal and parts of Connacht.[15]:II.139[11]:68[12]:175[13]:129[4]:43 To some extent, however, these forms have fallen together in these areas with the preposition ag "at" and its inflected forms agam, etc.[15]:II.139[9]:103n2[14]:205

d[edit]

The letter d is pronounced /d̪ˠ/ when broad and /dʲ/ when slender. Examples include /d̪ˠoː/ "two", nead /nʲad̪ˠ/ "nest", deoch /dʲɔx/ "a drink", and cuid /kɪdʲ/ "part".[1]:60[2]:223[3]:109

Exceptionally, d is silent in Pádraig /ˈpˠaːɾˠəc/ "Patrick" in Connacht.[15]:II.209[9]:96[13]:123[14]:145 The prepositions de "from" and do "to" are both pronounced /ɡə/ in Connacht.[15]:II.123[9]:96[13]:123[14]:145 The verbal noun meaning "going" is pronounced /ɡɔlʲ ~ ɡɛlʲ/ in Connacht; some authors interpret this as a pronunciation of dul (which is the standard form),[15]:II.129 while others interpret it as a pronunciation of gabháil,[14]:31 and still others simply treat it as an independent word phonetically spelled goil.[16]:115

The group dl in codladh "sleeping" is pronounced /ɫ̪/.[11]:79[6]:108[9]:96[7]:129[13]:123[14]:145

The group dt occurs word-initially as the eclipsis of t- and is pronounced /d̪ˠ/ when broad and /dʲ/ when slender, as in i dtaisce /ə ˈd̪ˠaʃcə/ "in a treasury" and i dteach /ə dʲax/ "in a house".[1]:60[3]:109 Word-internally, dt occurs only in certain verb forms where a stem ending in d receives a suffix beginning with t. In such cases, the d is silent and the pronunciation is /t̪ˠ/ ~ /tʲ/, as in stadta /ˈsˠt̪ˠat̪ˠə/ "stopped" and troidte /ˈt̪ˠɾˠɛtʲə/ "fought".[1]:60

dh[edit]

The digraph dh (also written , especially in Gaelic type) represents the lenition of d, both synchronically (word-initial position only) and historically (mostly word-internally and finally). Word-initially, dh is pronounced /ɣ/ when broad and /j/ when slender, as in dhá /ɣaː/ "two" (lenited) and dhíol /jiːɫ̪/ "sold".[1]:60[2]:223[3]:109 Noninitially, broad dh is not pronounced directly at all in most circumstances, but it can have an effect on how neighboring vowels are pronounced; for example, word-internal adh(a) represents the diphthong /əi/ in a stressed syllable, as in radharc /ɾˠəiɾˠk/ "sight" and Tadhg /t̪ˠəiɡ/ (man's name).[1]:61[2]:223[3]:108 Word-final slender dh is generally /ɟ/ in Munster, silent in Galway, and /j/ in Mayo and Donegal; thus réidh "ready" is /ɾˠeːɟ/ on the Dingle Peninsula,[17]:147 /ɾˠeː/ in Cois Fhairrge,[9]:10 and /ɾˠeːj/ in Erris and Torr.[14]:35[12]:84

f[edit]

The letter f represents /fˠ/ when broad and /fʲ/ when slender, as in fuar /fˠuəɾˠ/ "cold", graf /ɡɾˠafˠ/ "graph", fear /fʲaɾˠ/ "man", stuif /sˠt̪ˠɪfʲ/ "stuff".[1]:61–62[2]:223[3]:109

In the future and conditional tenses of first-conjugation verbs, f (broad or slender) has the following effects:

  • After vowels and sonorants (/ɫ̪ lʲ mˠ mʲ n̪ˠ nʲ ɾˠ ɾʲ/) it is pronounced /h/, as in ólfaidh /ˈoːɫ̪hiː/ "will drink", léifeadh /ˈlʲeːhəx/ "would read", cuirfidh /ˈkɪɾˠhiː/ "will put".[1]:62
  • It makes a voiced obstruent (/bˠ bʲ vʲ d̪ˠ ɡ/) voiceless and converts /w/ to /fˠ/, as in stadfaidh /ˈsˠt̪ˠat̪ˠiː/ "will stop", bhogfadh /ˈwɔkəx/ "would soften", scríobhfadh /ˈʃcɾʲiːfˠəx/ "would write", snámhfaidh /ˈsˠn̪ˠaːfˠiː/ "will swim".[1]:62
  • It is silent after a voiceless obstruent (/k c x ç pˠ pʲ sˠ ʃ t̪ˠ tʲ/), as in chasfadh /ˈxasəx/ "would twist", thitfeadh /ˈhɪtʲəx/ "would fall".[1]:62

However, in the future and conditional impersonal f is often /fˠ, fʲ/, as in ólfar /ˈoːɫ̪fˠəɾˠ/ "one will drink", creidfear /ˈcɾʲɛdʲfʲəɾˠ/ "one will sweep", brisfear /ˈbʲɾʲɪʃfʲəɾˠ/ "one will break".[1]:62

The word féin "self" is generally pronounced /heːnʲ/ in Ring, Connacht, and Donegal.[2]:134[9]:102[13]:129[4]:20[11]:69[12]:175 The "expected" pronunciation /fʲeːnʲ/ is found only in western Munster and on the Aran Islands, but even in those places it has a by-form /heːnʲ/.[2]:134[6]:41[5]:30[17]:160[15]:II.109 On the Aran Islands and in Erris, it is pronounced /pʲeːnʲ/ after a prepositional pronoun ending in m (e.g. dhom féin /ɣɔmʲ pʲeːnʲ/ "to myself").[15]:II.109[14]:157

Other words in which f is pronounced /h/ in some dialects include cófra "chest", féach "look!", and ofráil "offering".[2]:134[7]:138[6]:117[13]:129[14]:31[11]:69[12]:161

fh[edit]

The digraph fh (also, especially in Gaelic type, ) represents the lenition of f and is always silent. Examples include fhuinneog /ˈɪnʲoːɡ/ "window" (lenited) and fhéasóg /ˈeːsˠoːɡ/ "beard" (lenited).[1]:62[2]:223[3]:109

g[edit]

In general, the letter g corresponds to /ɡ/ when broad and to /ɟ/ when slender. Examples include gasúr /ˈɡasˠuːɾˠ/ "boy", bog /bˠɔɡ/ "soft", geata /ˈɟat̪ˠə/ "gate", carraig /ˈkaɾˠəɟ/ "rock".

In Connacht and Donegal, word-final g after an unstressed vowel is usually devoiced to /k/ or /c/, as in Nollaig /ˈn̪ˠɔɫ̪əc/ "Christmas", easpag /ˈasˠpˠək/ "bishop".[9]:96[13]:123–24[11]:136–37

In parts of Connacht and Donegal, the g in the inflected forms of the preposition ag "by" is often elided, resulting in pronunciations like /amˠ/ for agam "at me" and /an̠ʲ/ for againn "at us".[15]:I.194[9]:96[13]:124[4]:196

The g of the progressive particle ag is elided before a consonant, as in ag caint /ə kan̠ʲtʲ/ "talking", ag troid /ə t̪ˠɾˠɛdʲ/ "fighting".[14]:146–47

In Connacht and Donegal, the g of gach "each" is elided in the phrases gach aon (Connacht /əˈxeːnˠ/ ~ /xeːnˠ/; Donegal /ˈaxanˠ/ ~ /ˈaxənˠ/) and gach uile (Connacht /əˈxɪlʲə/ ~ /xɪlʲə/; Donegal /ax ˈɪlʲə/.[14]:147[11]:144[12]:125

The groups gth and gf (the latter occurring only in future and conditional verb forms) are pronounced /k c/, e.g. leagfadh /ˈlʲakəx/ "would lay", ruaigthe /ˈɾˠuəcə/ "chased".

The group gc represents the eclipsis of c- and stands for /ɡ/ when broad and /ɟ/ when slender: gcuirfidh /ˈɡɪɾˠhiː/ "will put" (eclipsed), gCeanada /ˈɟan̪ˠəd̪ˠə/ "Canada" (eclipsed).[1]:63[3]:109

gh[edit]

The digraph gh (also written ġ, especially in Gaelic type) represents the lenition of g, both synchronically (word-initial position only) and historically (mostly word-internally and finally). Word-initially, gh is pronounced /ɣ/ when broad and /j/ when slender, as in ghortaigh /ˈɣɔɾˠt̪ˠiː/ "hurt" (past) and ghearr /jaːɾˠ/ "short" (lenited).[1]:63[2]:224[3]:109 Noninitially, broad gh is not pronounced directly at all in most circumstances, but it can have an effect on how neighboring vowels are pronounced; for example, word-internal agh(a) represents the diphthong /əi/ in a stressed syllable, as in saghas /sˠəisˠ/ "kind, sort".[1]:63[2]:224[3]:108 Word-final slender gh is generally /ɟ/ in Munster, silent in Galway, and /j/ in Mayo and Donegal; thus uaigh "grave" is /uəɟ/ on the Dingle Peninsula,[17]:44 /uə/ in Cois Fhairrge,[9]:21 and /uəj/ in Tourmakeady and Rosguill.[13]:20[18]:51

h[edit]

Except when it used as the second member of a digraph, h stands for /h/, as in hata /ˈhat̪ˠə/ "hat" and na héin /nə heːnʲ/ "the birds".[1]:64[2]:224[3]:110

l, ll[edit]

The letter l and the digraph ll stand for any of various lateral consonants in Irish. Both the number of lateral phonemes and the way those phonemes are represented in the orthography vary from dialect to dialect.

When broad, l and ll represent /ɫ̪/, as in /ɫ̪aː/ "day" and halla /ˈhaɫ̪ə/ "hall".[1]:64[2]:224[3]:109 In some dialects, single broad l also represents /ɫ/ or /l/ in some positions. For example, geal "bright, white" is /ɟaɫ̪/ in Munster,[5]:6[6]:37[7]:142[17]:148 Cois Fhairrge,[16]:119 and Rosguill,[18]:3 but /ɟaɫ/ in Mayo[13]:40[14]:14 and southern and western Donegal,[11]:5[12]:41[4]:5 and /ɟal/ on Aran.[15]:II.132

Depending on dialect and position, slender l represents /l̠ʲ/, /lʲ/, or /l/, while slender ll represents /l̠ʲ/ or /lʲ/. For example, míle "thousand" is /ˈmiːlʲə/ in Munster,[5]:43[7]:50[6]:45[17]:17 Cois Fhairrge,[16]:13n2 Mayo,[13]:12[14]:10 and southern and western Donegal,[12]:6[4]:72 but /ˈmiːlə/ on Aran[15]:II.193 and in Rosguill.[18]:52 On the other hand, buille "a blow" is /ˈbˠɪlʲə/ in Munster[7]:50[6]:15[17]:18 and /ˈbˠɪl̠ʲə/ in Connacht and Donegal.[15]:I.74[11]:83[12]:77[13]:39[4]:103[9]:40[14]:163[18]:3

m[edit]

Broad m is pronounced /mˠ/; slender m is /mʲ/. Examples include mór /mˠoːɾˠ/ "big" and /ˈmʲeː/ "I, me".[1]:64[2]:224[3]:109

The groub mb represents the eclipsis of b- and is also pronounced /mˠ/ when broad and /mʲ/ when slender. Examples include na mbróg /n̪ˠə mˠɾˠoːɡ/ "of the shoes", na mbrístí /n̪ˠə ˈmʲɾʲiːʃtʲiː/ "of the trousers".[1]:64[3]:109

mh[edit]

The digraph mh (also, especially in Gaelic type, ) represents in most cases /w/ when broad and /vʲ/ when slender. Examples include: mhol /wɔɫ̪/ "praised", léamh /lʲeːw/ "reading", mhéar /vʲeːɾˠ/ "finger" (lenited), nimh /nʲɪvʲ/ "poison".[1]:65[2]:224[3]:109

Word-internal amh(a) generally represents the diphthong /əu/, as in amharc /əuɾˠk/ "sight", samhradh /sˠəuɾˠə/ "summer".[1]:65[2]:222[3]:108

The group mhf occurs in the future and conditional tenses of verbs whose stem ends in mh, and stands for /fˠ/ (broad) and /fʲ/ (slender), e.g. snámhfaidh /ˈʃnˠaːfˠiː/ "will swim".[1]:65[2]:224

n, nn[edit]

The letter n and the digraph nn stand for any of various coronal nasal consonants in Irish. Both the number of coronal nasal phonemes and the way those phonemes are represented in the orthography vary from dialect to dialect.

When broad, n and nn represent /n̪ˠ/, as in náire /n̪ˠaːɾʲə/ "shame" and céanna /ˈceːn̪ˠə/ "same".[1]:65[2]:225[3]:110 In some dialects, single broad n also represents /nˠ/ or /n/ in some positions. For example, bán "white" is /bˠaːn̪ˠ/ in Munster,[5]:10[6]:19[7]:13[17]:14 Cois Fhairrge,[16]:14 and Rosguill,[18]:3 but /bˠaːnˠ/ in Mayo[13]:110[14]:57 and southern and western Donegal,[11]:88[12]:13[4]:20 and /bˠaːn/ on Aran.[15]:I.61

Depending on dialect and position, slender n represents /n̠ʲ/, /nʲ/, or /n/, while slender nn represents /n̠ʲ/, /nʲ/, or /ɲ/. For example, tine "fire" is /ˈtʲɪnʲə/ in Munster,[5]:17[7]:7[6]:15[17]:22 Cois Fhairrge,[16]:387 Mayo,[14]:138 and southern and western Donegal,[12]:39[11]:44 but /ˈtʲɪnə/ on Aran[15]:I.12 and in Rosguill.[18]:15 On the other hand, neart "strength, a lot" is /nʲaɾˠt̪ˠ/ in Munster[5]:75 and /n̠ʲaɾˠt̪ˠ/ in Connacht and Ulster,[15]:I.20[11]:90[12]:51[13]:37[9]:39[14]:51[18]:106 while coinne "appointment" is /ˈkɪɲə/ in West Muskerry and Ring,[7]:102[6]:119 /ˈkɪnʲə/ on the Dingle Peninsula,[5]:21[17]:17 and /ˈkɪn̠ʲə/ in Connacht and Donegal.[15]:I.33[11]:90[4]:202[9]:91

In Connacht and Ulster, the letter n in the word-initial groups cn, gn, mn, tn (as well as their mutations chn, ghn, mhn, thn, gcn, ngn, dtn), as well as in word-internal mn, represents /ɾˠ/ when broad and /ɾʲ/ when slender.[10]:22–23 Examples include cneasta /ˈcɾʲasˠt̪ˠə/ "sincere", damnú /ˈd̪ˠamˠɾˠuː/ "damnation", gníomh /ˈɟɾʲiːw/ "action, deed", mná /mˠɾˠaː/ "women", tnúth /t̪ˠɾˠuː/ "envy".[2]:225

The group nc represents /ŋk/ when broad (e.g. banc /bˠaŋk/ "bank") and /ɲc/ when slender (e.g. Fraincis /ˈfˠɾˠaɲcəʃ/ "French").[1]:66[2]:225

The group nd represents the eclipsis of d- and is pronounced just like word-initial n, i.e. /n̪ˠ/ when broad (e.g. ndúnann /ˈn̪ˠuːn̪ˠən̪ˠ/ "closes" (eclipsed)) and /n̠ʲ/ or /nʲ/ (depending on dialect) when slender (e.g. ndéanann /ˈnʲeːn̪ˠən̪ˠ/ "does" (eclipsed)).[1]:66[3]:109

ng[edit]

The pronunciation of the group ng varies according to its environment within the word and according to dialect. The five most important positions to be distinguished are:

  1. Word-initial position
  2. Intervocalic position
  3. Word-final position after a stressed vowel
  4. Word-final position after an unstressed vowel
  5. The ending -ingt

In word-initial position, the group ng represents the eclipsis of g- and is pronounced /ŋ/ when broad (e.g. a nglúine /ə ˈŋɫ̪uːnʲə/ "their knees") and /ɲ/ when slender (e.g. ngrian /ɲɾʲiən̪ˠ/ "sun" (eclipsed)).[1]:66[3]:109

In most dialects, ng between two vowels (intervocalic position) is pronounced /ŋ/ when broad (e.g. teanga /ˈtʲaŋə/ "tongue") and /ɲ/ when slender (e.g. aingeal /ˈaɲəɫ̪/ "angel").[11]:106–108[12]:55–56[6]:144[7]:141[13]:132[14]:162 However, in Cois Fhairrge, and sometimes on the Dingle Peninsula and the Aran Islands, ng is this position represents /ŋɡ/ and /ɲɟ/, thus /ˈtʲaŋɡə/ and /ˈaɲɟəɫ/.[15]:I.62–64[9]:108[17]:17–18

In word-final position after a stressed vowel (basically, in monosyllabic words), ng represents /ŋ/ and /ɲ/ on the Aran Islands and in Mayo and Donegal (e.g. long /ɫ̪ʊŋ/ "ship", moing /mˠɪɲ/ "mane; marsh"),[15]:I.62–64</ref>[11]:106–108[12]:55–56[13]:132[14]:162 while in Cois Fhairrge and Munster it represents /ŋɡ/ and /ɲɟ/, thus /ɫ̪uːŋɡ/, /mˠiːɲɟ/.[5]:22–25[6]:144[7]:141[9]:108[17]:17–18

In word-final position after an unstressed vowel, ng is pronounced as if it were spelled nn. Broad ng is rare in this position, but is attested for éalang "defect" in Cois Fhairrge as /ˈeːɫ̪ən̪ˠ/[9]:108 and for fulang "suffering" (a Munster by-form of fulaingt) in Ring as /ˈfˠɔɫ̪ən̪ˠ/.[7]:141 Slender ng in this position, like slender nn, represents /ɲ/ in West Muskerry and Ring (e.g. scilling /ˈʃcɪlʲəɲ/ "shilling"),[6]:144[7]:141 /nʲ/ on the Dingle Peninsula (/ˈʃcilʲənʲ/),[17]:227 and /n̠ʲ/ in Connacht and Ulster (/ˈʃcilʲən̠ʲ/).[11]:83[12]:52[13]:132[14]:162

The ending -ingt is pronounced as if spelled -int, as in tarraingt /ˈt̪ˠaɾənʲtʲ/ "pulling, tugging".[1]:66

The word pingin "penny" is exceptionally pronounced /pʲiːn̠ʲ/ (as if spelled pínn) in Connacht and Ulster.[11]:107[12]:51[13]:132[4]:44[9]:108[14]:162[18]:286 In Munster, the pronunciation is predictable from the spelling: /pʲɪɲənʲ/[6]:119[7]:141[17]:227 or /pʲɪɲɟənʲ/.[5]:40

p[edit]

The letter p stands for /pˠ/ when broad and /pʲ/ when slender. Examples include póg /pˠoːɡ/ "kiss" and suipéar /ˈsˠɪpʲeːɾˠ/ "supper".[1]:66[2]:225[3]:109

ph[edit]

The digraph ph (also, especially in Gaelic script, ) stands for the lenition of p and is pronounced /fˠ/ when broad and /fʲ/ when slender. Examples include phós /fˠoːsˠ/ "married" (past) and phionna /ˈfʲɪn̪ˠə/ "pin" (lenited).[1]:66[2]:225[3]:109

r, rr[edit]

The letter r stands for /ɾˠ/ when broad and /ɾʲ/ when slender, e.g. rud /ɾˠʊd̪ˠ/ "thing", tirim /ˈtʲɪɾʲəmʲ/ "dry".[1]:67[2]:225[3]:110 The determination of when written r is broad or slender, however, is more complicated than with most other letters. There are many instances where r is broad even though the nearest vowel letter is i or e, and in some dialects there are instances where r is slender even though the nearest vowel letter is a, o, or u.

In word-initial position, r is generally broad regardless of the following letter. Thus, both rud /ɾˠʊd̪ˠ/ "thing" and /ɾˠiː/ "king" have a broad r.[1]:67[2]:225

R is generally broad in the groups rd, rl, rn, rs, and rt. cuairt /kuəɾˠtʲ/ "visit", oirthear /ˈɔɾˠhəɾˠ/ "east", airde /aːɾˠdʲə/ "height", coirnéal /ˈkoːɾˠnʲeːɫ̪/ "corner", duirling /ˈd̪ˠuːɾˠlʲənʲ/ "stony beach"

In rth, broad in verbal adjectives and some other words (uirthi, oirthear)

sr sreang /sˠɾˠaŋɡ/ "string"

The group rr is /ɾˠ/ when broad, e.g. farraige /ˈfˠaɾˠəɟə/ "sea". Historically, slender rr has become broad in most circumstances, but the spelling has usually been altered to indicate this. For example, farraige had a slender rr in Old Irish and was spelled fairrge until the mid-20th century.[19]:419 cairr /kaːɾˠ/ "car" (genitive)

Chart[edit]

Letter(s) Phoneme(s) Examples
s broad /sˠ/
(Always broad word-initially before m, p, r.)
Sasana /ˈsˠasˠən̪ˠə/ "England", tús /t̪ˠuːsˠ/ "beginning", speal /sˠpʲaɫ̪/ "scythe", sméar /sˠmʲeːɾˠ/ "blackberry", sreang /sˠɾˠaŋɡ/ "string"
slender /ʃ/ sean /ʃan̪ˠ/ "old", cáis /kaːʃ/ "cheese"
sh broad /h/ Shasana /ˈhasˠən̪ˠə/ "England" (lenited)
slender /h/
/ç/ before /aː, oː, u(ː)/
shean /han̪ˠ/ "old" (lenited)
Sheáin /çaːnʲ/ "John" (genitive), sheol /çoːɫ̪/ "sailed", shiúil /çuːlʲ/ "walked", shiopa /ˈçʊpˠə/ "shop" (lenited)
t broad /t̪ˠ/ taisce /ˈt̪ˠaʃcə/ "treasure", ceart /caɾˠt̪ˠ/ "correct"
slender /tʲ/ tír /tʲiːɾʲ/ "country", beirt /bʲɛɾˠtʲ/ "two (people)"
See Special pronunciations in verb forms for -t- in verbal adjectives
th broad /h/ thaisce /ˈhaʃcə/ "treasure" (lenited), athair /ˈahəɾʲ/ "father"
slender /h/
/ç/ when lenited from /tʲaː-, tʲoː-, tʲu(ː)-/
theanga /ˈhaŋɡə/ "tongue" (lenited)
theann /çaːn̪ˠ/ "tight" (lenited), theocht /çoːxt̪ˠ/ "heat" (lenited), thiúilip /ˈçuːlʲəpʲ/ "tulip" (lenited), thiocfadh /ˈçʊkəx/ "would come", thiubh /çʊw/ "thick" (lenited)
Silent at the end of a syllable bláth /bˠɫ̪aː/ "blossom", cith /cɪ/ "shower", cothrom /ˈkɔɾˠəmˠ/ "equal"
See Special pronunciations in verb forms for -th- in verbal adjectives
ts
(special lenition of s- after an 'the')
broad /t̪ˠ/ an tsolais /ən̪ˠ ˈt̪ˠɔɫ̪əʃ/ "of the light"
slender /tʲ/ an tSín /ənʲ tʲiːnʲ/ "China"
v broad /w/ vóta /ˈwoːt̪ˠə/ "vote"
slender /vʲ/ veidhlín /ˈvʲailʲiːnʲ/ "violin"

References[edit]

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