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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2001 (July-December) » Ni changes Mh in certain counties? « Previous Next »

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dryad (ool-18bccf44.dyn.optonline.net - 24.188.207.68)
Posted on Thursday, November 08, 2001 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I was a summer student at Cambridge University this summer and took a course called 'Ancient Irish Sagas' as my major is Mythology and Folklore of the British Isles. My professor's name was Dr. Máire Ní Mhaonaigh. She said that in her home county, Ní made Mh sound completely different than it would normally in Irish Gaelic. Unfortunately, my NY-bred ears could not catch the sound she made. Could anyone please tell me how her last name would be pronounced with the idea that Ní changes the Mh sound? Phonetically, at that!

Thank you.

--Sarah

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james (host2165.scotlandhealth.org - 207.59.152.165)
Posted on Friday, November 09, 2001 - 04:31 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Sara,

I'm just learning this language but in one of the books I'm using they address this, albeit obliquely. The "Mh" gets pronounced more like a "V" although not as harsh as the English sound as in "Victory." It's softer with more aspiration.

My guess, and please note that this is only a novice's attempt, is that her Anglicized surname is Mooney but with the "Ni" it becomes "vhooney". I'm sure Liam or Seosamh (two of the stalwarts of this site) can offer better information.

Hope this helps until they chime in.

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