mainoff.gif
lastdyoff.gif
lastwkoff.gif
treeoff.gif
searchoff.gif
helpoff.gif
contactoff.gif
creditsoff.gif
homeoff.gif


The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (January-June) » Doing « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Phil (159.134.209.187 - 159.134.209.187)
Posted on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 04:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I had an essay for Irish class there the other day and had the following sentences in it:

Tá sí ag crá an buachaill.
Tosaíonn sí ag fiafraí de.
Tá sí ag lorg eolas.

And my teacher made the following corrections:

Tá sí ag crá an bhuachalla
Tosaíonn sí á fhiafraí.
Tá sí ag lorg eolais.

I noticed straight away that buachalla = OF buachaill, eolais = OF eolas. So I came to the conclusion that "Tá sí ag crá an bhuachalla" means "She is at the annoying/annoyance of the boy". And that "Tá sí ag lorg eolais" means "She is at the looking-for of information. Is that the way it works? For example "I am seeing the boy" would be "I am at the seeing of the boy" == "Táim ag feiceáil an bhuachalla". Only problem I can see with this is I don't know how to change a word into an "OF word". Are fluent speakers able to do it instantly?

"Tá sí ag fiafraí de" -> "Tá sí á fhiafraí"

I don't understand this one too much. English would be "She is asking him", plus preposition would be "She is asking of him", -> "She is at the asking of him", which I THINK would be "Tá sí ag fiafraí de de". I don't know where this "á" yoke is coming from. Doesn't that mean "being", as in "Tá sé á mhilleadh", "It is being destroyed"?

The english expression "What the hell are you at!?", did that come from Irish?

Thanks.

-Phil

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Al Evans (208.188.101.145 - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post Print Post

In my (non-expert) estimation, you've got it right.

'Only problem I can see with this is I don't know how to change a word into an "OF word". Are fluent speakers able to do it instantly?'

As far as I know, there is no general way, though there are general tendencies. You've just got to learn the genitive cases of nouns.

"Tá sí ag fiafraí de" -> "Tá sí á fhiafraí"

According to Ó Siadhail, it's basically a contraction for "do a":

Tá sí do mo fhiafraí, do do fhiafraí, etc. He writes it "dhá fhiafraí" for "asking him", or "dhá fiafraí" for "asking her".

He says it is written "á" in Official Standard Irish when it has a reflexive or passive use, which doesn't really seem to fit this case. So I suppose he would claim it should be:
Tá sí dhá fhiafrai.

But you've probably already noticed that what the books say and what's actually done are not always in complete agreement.... :-)

--Al Evans

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Phil (159.134.209.178 - 159.134.209.178)
Posted on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 11:21 am:   Edit Post Print Post

BTW, the reason I'm learning Irish and like it is because it's the best language I know, about a thousand times better than English. It's just a bonus that it's also my native language.

Anyway, you know the way you've to use an "OF word". Is it okay to write "de bhuachaill" if you don't know the "OF word" for it. Obviously this is just while you're beginning. I don't wanna learn Gaeilge through books and tapes, it would take me years. I want to learn it by using it. Probably the best way would be the Gaeltacht.

In future in my essays, which one of these should I do if I don't know the "OF word":

i) Write "de" in front of it
ii) Stick "a" on the end of it and hope that's the "OF word"

Thanks

-Phil

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Al Evans (208.188.101.145 - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 01:05 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"I don't wanna learn Gaeilge through books and tapes, it would take me years. I want to learn it by using it. Probably the best way would be the Gaeltacht."

Heh -- that's a lot easier to do living in Ireland than living in Texas:-)

'In future in my essays, which one of these should I do if I don't know the "OF word"....'

I'm sure no solution is safe, but here's one that might be right a lot of the time:

If the last consonant is narrow in the plural of the word, the genitive singular is often the same as the nominative plural. If the last consonant is broad in the nominative plural, make it narrow and add "e".

That's what I'd do if I were guessing. Depending on the specific words, of course, I think you'd be right more often than you were wrong.

--Al Evans

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Pádraig Mac Gafraidh (205.244.12.81 - 205.244.12.81)
Posted on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

This is the sort of question that led Seosamb Mac M. To point me toward An Foclóir Beag on the University of Limerick website. As long as you know the nominative singular of the noun, you can plug it in and it will take you to a table of all the inflections including the genitive singular and plural. It's also a good way to improve your vocabulary, because the text is in Irish.

www.csis.ul.ie/focloir

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Pádraig Mac Gafraidh (205.244.12.170 - 205.244.12.170)
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 12:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Chairde,

Well, it's finally happened. I'm responding to my own post. I'm talking to myself. It seems I had just about come to accept the prospect of locating nouns in An Foclóir Beag each time I needed to know the genitive form when the site refused to connect with the server (mine or Limerick's I'm not sure) and being left adrift and to my own devices, and being not a little obsessive-compulsive, I decided to tackle the matter once more on my own.

Hoping to discover some pattern or system by which nouns are inflected, I turned to Christian Brothers (the grammar, not the brandy) and deciding to take on the world of nouns one declension at a time, I discovered the following sentence regarding First Declension:

The Genitive Singular is formed by Attenuation. Now, I know what attenuation means. It means slenderizing the final consonant in this case. In its simplest form it means sticking an I in front of it. Thus Bád becomes Báid.

Hats and Horns! Break out the other Christian Brothers. Houston, we have lift-off!

But:

Bád becomes báid
Fear becomes fir
Sceach becomes sceiche
Éan becomes éin
Bacach becomes bacaigh
Beithíoch becomes beithígh

And on and on it goes, slender, slender, slender, but no pattern. Will somebody just shoot me? What I mean is, if indeed there is no rhyme or reasonable pattern to this and all other occasions for inflection, would someone who is absolutely sure of it just say so right out loud? Then along with the many other poor souls who secretly wonder how native speakers know how and when to inflect this language, I will set about committing to memory every last noun, pronoun, adjective, and prepositional pronoun in the lexicon along with every variation thereof including times when they're aspirated, syncopated, and eclipsed.

Or perhaps I'll just take a long meandering stroll out on Gleann Head, Dún na nGall some quiet night in the fog.

One last thing, whoever you are, dear, thoughtful soul who chooses to respond to this plea, go raibh etc from the bottom of my heart, and please respond as Béarla. My brain hurts. I began talking to myself and now I babble. It's best I cease now upon the midnight qwith minimal pain ...

Beannacht Dé oraibh,
Pádraig

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.162 - 193.122.47.162)
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 02:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Pádraig, thank's for your entertaining post. Bhain tú gáire asam. I don't know the answer bit I have to say that I've not found the genitive singular much of a problem. It's the genitive plural that's really in the twilight zone.

All I can say is that with regular usage (speaking, reading , writing, hearing) every day it eventually becomes automatic. It must do, if 3yr olds in the West of Ireland (and Dublin)have no difficulty with it. It's beacuse they don't expect there to be any rules.

The UL site seems to be down all weekend, I cn't get onto it either, and Im totally dependant on it atthis stage.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Al Evans (208.188.101.145 - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 09:56 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Duirt Pádraig,

Bád becomes báid
Fear becomes fir
Sceach becomes sceiche
Éan becomes éin
Bacach becomes bacaigh
Beithíoch becomes beithígh

And on and on it goes, slender, slender, slender, but no pattern.


Sure there is. In all these cases, the genitive singular is the same as the nominative plural. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure the genitive plural is the same as the nominative singular for all of them.

Mar shampla, bád, plural báid, genitive singular báid, genitive plural bád.

--Al Evans

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Pádraig Mac Gafraidh (63.161.61.31 - 63.161.61.31)
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 05:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Al, A Chara,

I checked out your observation that there appears to be a pattern of inflection in the nouns cited in the prior post; ie, "bád, báid, báid, bád." You're right up to a point. This pattern appears to be consistent for First Declension nouns. However, it breaks down everywhere else.

Unfortunately, even where the pattern exists, it requires knowledge of how to form the nominative plural which is the same as the genitive singular.

Returning to the rule which states that First Declension nouns form the genitive by slenderizing the final consonant, the problem still revolves around what appears to be an arbitrary method of accomplishing that slenderization.

For example:

(1) Bád to báid -- insert an i

(2) Fear to fir -- insert an i and delete the two vowels which precede the consonant

(3) Bacach to bacaigh -- insert an i, delete the consonant, and replace it with g

(4) Beithíoch to beithígh -- delete the consonant and the vowel which precedes it and replace the consonant with a g.

Each one is different. No pattern. Back to the drawing board or perhaps to following Oliver's advice. Three year olds in Gleann Colm Cille don't seem to trouble themselves with rules. They just learn to talk.

However, Oliver, mo chara, there must be such a thing as baby-talk among them.

Slán
Pádraig

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Maidhc (68.168.83.24 - 68.168.83.24)
Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
A three year old points to an object and says,"Dréimire." He points to another and says,"Eitleán." Still another, he points and says,"Seadóg."
I may now know the nominative singular of these three new words he has taught me, but still have no idea of which declensions they fall into. So, now what? I can't pluralize, genitize, or make any use of these new words except in the nominative case, singular form unless I carry my dictionary with me everyplace I go.
Even the discussions above are moot and useless to me unless I am first able to solve this problem of declension prediction in the spoken language.
A Páidraig, le do thoil. Pass me the Christian Brothers - no, the brandy.
Slán,
Maidhc.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Páadraig Mac Gafraidh (63.175.172.143 - 63.175.172.143)
Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 06:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Fan bomaite, mo chairde,

I think I'm on to something regarding this inflection business. First I have to make sense of it myself, but I don't want this thread to slip into the oblivion of neglected topics until I get back. Suffice it to say I think there really is a predictable pattern at least most of the time, agus is maith sin!

Meanwhile, practice saying "caolú, leathnú, 's coimriú."

Slán,
P.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Pádraig (205.244.12.194 - 205.244.12.194)
Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Here we go.

Digging through some old notes given me by a Gaeilgeior who lives in Dublin, I discovered the observation that inflection involves one of three changes:

(1) caolú = slenderizing
(2) leathnú = broadening
(3) coimriú = omission (of vowels)

For the time being, keeping only to First Declension nouns and the process of forming the genitive by slenderizing, we have the following possibilities and the ways in which they change:


(1) ea -- i fear fir
(2) ea -- ei each eich
(3) éa -- éi éan éin
(4) ia -- éi iasc éasc
(5) ia -- iai rian riain
(6) ío -- í íol íl
(7) io -- i fionn finn
(8) iu -- i fliuch flich(e)


Those are the difficult ones. The rest just call for the insertion of the letter I between the vowel and the final consonant. A typical example is "bád" which becomes "báid."

"Fan bomaite!" says one careful observer. "That table has two "ea" and two "ia" vowel combinations with differing caolú. That blows your pattern. See? Right there. Number (1) & (2) and number (4) & (5)."

Well. If the rule is valid, then perhaps here we have some exceptions to the rule. It's like the English rule that says I before E except after C. Then somebody shows you NEIGHBOR.

And I most royally shall now to bed to sleep off all the nonsense I've just said.

Oiche Mhaith,
Pádraig

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Maidhc (68.168.83.24 - 68.168.83.24)
Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:25 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Pádraig,
I see a simple pattern within those exceptions. If "ea" follows a consonant, it becomes "i". If "ea" is at the beginning of a word or doesn't follow a consonant, it becomes "ei". FEAR _ FIR : EACH _ EICH
And if "ia" follows a consonant, it becomes "iai". But, if it is at the beginning of a word or doesn't follow a consonant, it becomes "éi". RIAN _ RIAIN : IASC _ ÉISC
You will also note. In the second declension, that this exact pattern which Pádraig has pointed out repeats itself, only with the letter "e" added to the end of the word.
However, it appears, to me, that the rules concerning consonants preceding the letters "ia" and "ea" are now, in the second declension, reversed. PIAN _ PÉINE : SCEACH _ SCEICHE
The addition of "e" at the end of the word remains.
Then in the third declension, the patterns Pádraig described appear to be completely reversed. In stead of slenderizing, we now broaden the vowels. And instead of adding "e", we now add "a" to the end of the word.
And in the fourth declension, singular,(Just to remind us of where we've been concentrating our efforts.) the genitive is the same as the nominative.
The remainder are irregular and we're on our own so far as noun conjugation. Which brings me to my original querie. If I don't know the declension of the noun in question, how can I begin to conjugate said noun?
AAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Slán,
Maidhc.
P.S.
Formulas for performing the conjugations of nouns into the plural and genitive cases can be found at www.erinsweb.com
First declension: Lessons 79-83
Second declension: Lesson 92
Third declension: Lessons 95-97
Fourth declension: Lessons 99 and 100
Overview: Lesson 101
Though, I think this lively dicussion is far more helpful than just simple formulas. PPS. I haven't actually had a chance to read those lessons fully yet. I'd just skimmed through and found them. ;))

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Pádraig Mac Gafraidh (205.244.12.74 - 205.244.12.74)
Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 07:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Maith Thú, A Chara!

Agus go raibh maith agat, A Sheáin in Baile Átha Cliath for popping the top on this can.

Mike, you've leapt ahead with giant steps to do what I planned to spend the next 100 years doing. I haven't had time to look at your data carefully, but it looks like you've cracked the code.

Just a thought about "knowing the declension in advance." If one is reading, the context should help. If one is speaking ... You can speak?!

Sláinte!
Pádraig

PS: No wonder nobody wants to tackle this question. It's dissertation material.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Maidhc (68.168.83.24 - 68.168.83.24)
Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
Credit to crdit is due.Were it not for Pádraig giving us his notes from his friend, I'd still be pounding my head against the wall over this.
And there's still much work to be done towards this, a chairde. Wouldn't it be nice to come up with something handy and readily accessible to ourselves and others in the future. Something like the verb tables we have in the grammar section, complete with all the rules for all the cases and declensions, followed by examples?
Slán,
Maidhc.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Pádraig Mac Gafraidh (63.175.172.197 - 63.175.172.197)
Posted on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 11:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

By Phil (159.134.209.187 - 159.134.209.187) on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 04:29 pm:

A Philib, A Chara,

This is in reference to your post of 02/07/03. It seems you had a better grasp of your question than some of us who attempted to answer it for you. I'd like to hear your response to all the responses, because, at least to me, the question remains unanswered.

Slán,
Pádraig

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Phil (159.134.224.80 - 159.134.224.80)
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I would definitely approach this thinking about sounds rather than spelling. When I started learning Irish, I thought that urú's and h's were a load of shite. I intentionally didn't pronounce them because I myself wouldn't have "recognized" the word if it had an urú or h on it. For example, in class one day, we were playing a tape. There was a family at the dinner table talking to each other. "Ar mhaith leat prátaí?". "Níor mhaith, b'fhearr liom stéig". Nobody in the class recognized "b'fhearr" as "Ba fhearr". I myself only began to recognize when I started using it myself. For example, Gailimh. Bhí an fear i nGailimh. You look at that and you see that an 'n' has been put before Gailimh. But what's happening in your head is "change the 'g' into an 'n'". Now I always use urú's and h's when I'm speaking Irish. I don't even have to know any specific rules, I just say what sounds best. The word "Eolas". When you want to say "Alot OF information", you WRITE "Alán eolais". Now you go looking through a rule book and you see something like "slenderize the last consanant". What's really happening is an "s" turns into an "sh". save -> shave. Bád becomes Báid. Turn a 'd' into a 'j'. Codarsnacht becomes Codarsnachta. Stick an 'a' sound on the end.

Is é an modh is fearr teanga a fhoglam ná é a labhairt. An Gaeilge go háirithe. Ní fhoglaimeoidh sibh urú nó 'h' a úsáid gan labhairt an Gaeilge. Ceapaim gurb é dul chuigh an Gaeltacht an modh is fearr an Gaeilge a fhoghlam.

Go raibh maith agaibh do bhúr bhfreagairtí.

Phil

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.


©Daltaí na Gaeilge