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


The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (January-March) » An English phrase based on Irish? « Previous Next »

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

Dennis Leyden (12.76.238.225 - 12.76.238.225)
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2004 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I recently learned that my great grandfather came from County Kerry and Bantry in County Cork and that he had several brothers and a sister. His sister, in a letter she wrote on All Saints Day 1918 to a sister-in-law in Australia remarks "today for years we were expecting your mother's death. She lived to see her 82nd birthday - and since she went it has been one after another of her children". The phrasing seems a bit odd for English, because of the intimation that the mother's death occurred some time ago, and because another letter written in 1920 sending condolences suggests that the sister-in-law's mother died later. I wonder if the mother being referred to is the letter writer's but she uses the "your" because she is treating her sister-in-law as a sister (the letter closes with "from your loving sister"). I also wonder about the meaning (1) because the odd phrasing (especially given the letter was written on All Saints Day) seems more consistent with the phrase "today as each year on this date we remember our mother's death", and (2) because I know that two of the letter writer's brothers died in 1916. Is anyone familiar with such a phrase? Is it possible that this construction is the result of an Irish construction being translated into English? Or should I look elsewhere for an explanation for the phrasing?

Go raibh maith agaibh for any light you can shed!

le meas,

Dennis

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Fear na mBróg (159.134.109.115 - 159.134.109.115)
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 08:37 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Fancy English a gceapfainnse

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Eleanor (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 03:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Dennis, a chara,

I think what you're looking at is called "Hiberno-English." And you're right when you say the construction is based on Irish. I don't think you have to look any further for an explanation. The "odd" phrasing of Irish people of that generation speaking English is most certainly based on Irish sentence structure and phrasing.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Dennis Leyden (152.13.196.199 - 152.13.196.199)
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 01:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Eleanor, a chara,

Thanks for your feedback. It turns out that my great-great aunt appears to have been a wonderful woman, and I have been touched by being able to get a window to my family through her eyes and heart. Her letters are all the more precious because much of my family legacy had been lost through some unfortunate early deaths and a drifting away from the Leydens that followed.

Go raibh maith agat aris,

Dennis

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


©Daltaí na Gaeilge