Talk:Munster Irish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Ireland (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Ireland, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Ireland on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Languages (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Languages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of standardized, informative and easy-to-use resources about languages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.


A great deal of work needs to be done on this article as there are some inaccuracies in the text, for example the claim that "bh" or "mh" are pronounced as [v] in initial position and not as [w] even though both pronunciations exist in the spoken language of the remaining Gaeltachtaí in the said position. Unfortunately, I don't get much time these days to edit but I will try to do a little bit each day.

That would be great! Keep in mind, however, that whatever we write here has to be backed up with reliable sources that are cited so that the information can be verified. I've described the West Muskerry dialect as it's given in Ó Cuív's book; if other things are true in other parts of Munster, be sure to cite sources for additional information. I'm afraid it's not allowed to state things in Wikipedia articles based only one's own personal experience without published sources to back it up. User:Angr 13:46, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I understand what you are saying. The provision of reliable sources of information pertains to any topic of study. As for my own credentials on this topic, I used to teach a course in Trinity College, Dublin entitled "Phonology and Morphology of West Munster Irish". This is still something that interests me greatly and am currently compiling a Munster dictionary of lexical and semantical features peculiar to Munster, particularly the western half of the province. I come from Co. Cork originally but not from a Gaeltacht area, alas, although Corca Dhuibhne is as familiar to me as Dublin. The main texts currently available are:

  • The Irish of West Muskerry, Ó Cuív
  • Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne, Diarmuid Ó Sé
  • Gaeilge na Mumhan in Stair na Gaeilge, Eag. Kim Mc Cone
  • The Irish of Ring, Co. Waterford, Ristead Breatnach
  • An Teanga Bheo: Gaeilge Chléire, Breandán Ó Buachalla
  • Irish Dialects and Irish speaking Districts, Ó Cuív

etc. etc.

Might I suggest that the article be divided between West Munster Irish and East Munster Irish (which today remains only in Rinn Ó gCuanach although if Ó Cuív is correct East Munster Irish stretched in a broad band from the Déise across Tipperary and east Limerick and on into Clare. See Irish Dialects and Irish speaking Districts.) as the two show a number of significant differences. This is the approach taken by Mícheál (?) Ó Siadhail in Modern Irish:Syntactic and Dialectal Variations.

I wish I had more time to contribute further to the articles. I'll add anything I think would be relevant and provide sources where applicable.

Thank you. An Muimhneach Machnamhach 12:02, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

In addition to the works you listed above, there's also Phonétique d'un parler irlandais de Kerry and Description d'un parler irlandais de Kerry by M. L. Sjoestedt(-Jonval), which I have photocopies of. And of course it would be great to have both East Munster and West Munster discussed in the article. The only reason I stuck to Ó Cuív's book originally is that I didn't have a lot of time and wanted to get something coherent and more or less cohesive down. User:Angr 14:47, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Sjoestedt-Jonval's text is one I've been eager to get my hands on for several years now but of course it's been out of print for many years. Let me say that I think that you've made an excellent job of the article and have not fallen into the habit of making blanket statements about Munster Irish which are often at best half true. Good work! I'll carry out a few edits when I get the time. Let me know what you think good or bad. Thanks again. An Muimhneach Machnamhach 15:16, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

She died in 1940, meaning the works will enter the public domain on 2011-01-01. Once that happens I'll see about putting them up at Wikisource. Hope you can wait five more years! As for "making blanket statements about Munster Irish which are often at best half true", I have the advantage that I didn't grow up in Ireland, so I don't even know what stereotypes there are. All I know about Munster (or any other dialect; I also wrote Connacht Irish and Ulster Irish) I got from reliable linguistically oriented books! User:Angr 15:19, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Well as far as "blanket statements that are only half true", this is a plea not to say anything. If someone feels any blanket statements are here, he should edit, or if he really has no sources, he could at least go to the discussion page and comment. I frequently look on Wikipedia discussion pages for more information. I know from listening to Guth Mhúscraí, the programme from the Cork Gaeltacht, that the standard Irish is influencing some speakers in the Gaeltacht -- there is a lot of anseo by the anchor of that programme, instead of the historically correct and local dialectal form anso. Similarly, in terms of morphology, some of the forms are becoming aligned, so you could get molaid siad, or molaid or molann siad, although the "deep" dialectal form is molaid siad. Some of the absolute and dependent forms are going to depend on the age of the speaker: plenty of Munster speakers will say d'itheas, but the historically correct form of duas is not completely dead either etc. So there is plenty of basis for discussion of half-truths, but it is much better to edit and explain the full reality if you believe there are half-truths. Djronnqvist (talk) 02:55, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

A small error[edit]

in aon chur (Corca Dhuibhne, West Muskerry, Waterford) or ar aon chor (Clear Island, West Carberry) "at any rate" (other dialects ar chor ar bith (Connacht) and ar scor ar bith (Ulster)

Ar chor ar bith means "at all" in Connacht (at least Connemara) Irish. Ar aon chaoi means "at any rate." That being the case, I imagine that ar scor ar bith must also be incorrect. ColmCille (talk) 07:21, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

An Caighdeán Oifigiúil[edit]

Is Munster Irish the basis for the caighdeán? GeneralBelly (talk) 18:32, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Not really. The caighdeán attempts to be as pan-dialectal as possible: if a feature is present in two of the three dialects and absent in the third, the caighdeán will usually take it. As a result, the caighdeán often gives the impression of being based on Connacht Irish, because there are many features that Connacht and Munster share as opposed to Ulster, and many features that Connacht and Ulster share as opposed to Munster, but not too many that Munster and Ulster share as opposed to Connacht. —Angr 18:44, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. That doesn't seem to be true. The caighdeán is not as pan-dialectal as possible, although the Dublin government may make that claim. In fact there appears little systematic logic to the CO in the forms it chose. It claims they were pan-dialectal, but often ignored forms chosen in 2 of 3 dialects (eg the absolute form of feicim, or the relative form of the verb, or t-prefixation after sa in the dative singular--in all of these cases 2 of 3 dialects concurred but were rejected by the CO anyway). It would be truer to say that it is based on Connacht, with noun morphology largely from Munster, and then with very few overt nods to Ulster. Why would they reject forms shared by Munster and Ulster and that were historically correct as shown by 17th and 18th century literature? The reason would probably be a) to choose the simplest forms, and b) because Connacht has the majority of native speakers. So the claim that the CO is pan-dialectal and based on a kind of dialectal vote is false. It is not based on historical views on what was correct grammar either. It does not always choose the simplest forms (otherwise why have a vocative case that is hardly used?). Neither does it clearly establish one real dialect as a standard. Rather, it mixes these four elements together in a confused and ill-thought-out way. Djwebb1969 (talk) 05:39, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Some comments[edit]

Peadar Ua Laoghaire's comment that Séadna was specifically written to show the correct Irish was made in the text of Mo Sgéal Féin, but I don't think it is in the first 8 chapters transcribed on Wikisource, but later in the book. I will nail down the exact reference some time. As for verb morphology - most of those forms in the chart are long gone. Ní dhearnag? Bheirim? Time for a prune - and you can state Stair na Gaeilge as the reference for a prune.Djwebb1969 (talk) 05:42, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Aibreán and epenthetic vowels[edit]

Someone has edited to say there is no epenthetic vowel in Aibreán/Abrán. I can't work out from the page edits who is responsible for this assertion. The Irish of West Muskerry , paragraph 234, says there is an epenthetic vowel, and the phonology section of the article on Munster Irish is specifically sourced to IWM. IWM is Cork Irish. The book Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne paragraph 27 says there can either be or not be an epenthetic vowel in Kerry Irish - speaker 1 in that book has no epenthetic vowel, but speaker 9 (a man born on the Great Blasket before 1920) has an epenthetic vowel. Should the section be edited to make clear that the assertion is at variance with IWM? I have edited the page to put Gaeilge Chorca Duibhne in the references, by the way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Indirect rel. particle[edit]

From the article: "One significant syntactic difference between Munster and other dialects is that in Munster, go ("that") is used instead of a as the indirect relative particle". East Munster (Rinn Ua gCuanach) uses "a" here.Murchadh (talk) 19:20, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Gaoluinn / Gaeilinn[edit]

While I'm a native of Waterford myself, I don't actually know what the correct spelling for Gaeilinn/Gaoluinn/Gaelainn is in Waterford. The article states that "Gaeilinn" is the correct spelling, but I often see "Gaoluinn" used, including on the Waterford Gaeltacht website ( I know there is no standard form for "Gaelainn/Gaeilinn/Gaoluinn" - But does anyone have a reference for "Gaeilinn" for Waterford? Dornálaíocht (talk) 13:08, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Not directly, but Breatnach (1947) says the word has a slender l in Waterford ([ˈɡeːlʲiɲ] or in his system ɡe:l′iŋ′), which is better represented by Gaeilinn than by Gaelainn or Gaoluinn. —Angr (talk) 13:32, 9 October 2010 (UTC)