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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (April-June) » 1999 » Help! « Previous Next »

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Vance Nelson
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 1999 - 09:40 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I have tried for sometime now to find the correct pronunciation of the word
feileacan. From people "who know", I have been told three different ways. I can't
seem to find a dictionary that contains a phonetic pronunciation of this word. I
would be most grateful for any help you could provide.


slainte,
Vance Nelson

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Seosamh
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 1999 - 04:41 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

It's written féileacán in the official standard. Unless you have a preference for a specific dialect, the pronunciation would be (roughly) FAY-luh-kawn. The 'l' is slender, a bit like the 'l' in lit.

The stress on the word could be thrown to the final syllable in Munster, in the south: fay-luh-KAWN.

In the north the 'f' is often a 'p': peileacán, pronounced FAY-luh-kahn or PEY-luh-kun (I think this is close). (In this spelling, I've seen it mistaken for pelican which is then a homonym.)

Féalagán and péileacán are other variants. As in English, there are variations of pronunciation.

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Seosamh (2cust108.tnt10.nyc1.da.uu.net - 63.16.19.108)
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 1999 - 09:25 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I asked two native speakers from Donegal for their pronunciation of 'féileacán' (showing them a picture of a butterfly, not the word so they wouldn't change their pronunciation to fit the spelling). Both pronounced it with an 'f': roughly FAY-luh-kuhn by someone from around Gaoth Dobhair, closer to FELL-uh-kan by someone from another area, not sure which. (He repeated the word with a longer 'e'.) Séamus Ó Grianna also wrote the word with an 'f', so I correct myself.

A very fluent speaker from Cork I know has FAI-luh-kawn (FAI as in 'fie'). He hears the word with a 'p' in the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry, and was even corrected by a native speaker there.

I think that nails down an older spelling I've seen: peidhleacán. It's the new spelling (without the 'dh') that can lead to a mistake, then, and not any pronunciation of it.

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