- Irish phonology is characterized by the persistent contrast between velarized and palatalized consonants. Almost all consonants make a phonemic contrast between a velarized (or “broad”) and a palatalized (or “slender”) variant. The vowels are as follows:
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Irish phonology varies from dialect to dialect; there is no standard pronunciation of Irish. Therefore, this article focuses on phenomena shared by most or all dialects, and on the major differences among the dialects. Detailed discussion of the dialects can be found in the specific articles: Ulster Irish, Connacht Irish, and Munster Irish .
Velarisation (Broad), Palatalisation (Slender) and Glides
Talk about velarisation, palatalisation and glides here
Fortis and Lenis
Talk about fortis and lenis here
Talk about labials here
Talk about monophthongs here
Talk about diphthongs here
Talk about triphthongs here
Talk about phonotactics here
Talk about epenthetic vowels here
Talk about elision here
- History of The Discipline
- Phonological Processes
- Processes Relating to /x/
- Comparison with Other Languages
File:Die araner mundart.djvu Until the end of the nineteenth century, linguistic discussions of Irish focused either on the traditional grammar of the language (issues like the inflection of nouns, verbs and adjectives) or on the historical development of sounds from Proto-Indo-European through Proto-Celtic to Old Irish. The first descriptive analy...
Most dialects of Irish contain at a minimum the consonant phonemes shown in the following chart (see International Phonetic Alphabet for an explanation of the symbols). The consonant /h/is neither broad nor slender.
The vowel sounds vary from dialect to dialect, but in general Connacht and Munster at least agree in having the monophthongs /iː/, /ɪ/, /uː/, /ʊ/, /eː/, /ɛ/, /oː/, /ɔ/, /a/, /aː/, and schwa (/ə/), which is found only in unstressed syllables; and the falling diphthongs /əi/, /əu/, /iə/, and /uə/. The vowels of Ulster Irishare more divergent and are ...
The most interesting aspects of Irish phonotactics revolve around the behavior of consonant clusters. Here it is important to distinguish between clusters that occur at the beginnings of words and those that occur after vowels, although there is overlap between the two groups.
Vowel-initial words in Irish exhibit behavior that has led linguists to suggest that the vowel sound they begin with on the surface is not actually the first sound in the word at a more abstract level. Specifically, when a clitic ending in a consonant precedes a word beginning with the vowel, the consonant of the clitic surfaces as either broad or slender, depending on the specific word in question. For example, the n of the definite article an ('the') is slender before the word iontais ('won...
Lengthening before fortis sonorants
Where reflexes of the Old Irish fortis sonorants appear in syllable-final position (in some cases, only in word-final position), they trigger a lengthening or diphthongization of the preceding vowel in most dialects of Irish.The details vary from dialect to dialect. In Donegal and Mayo, lengthening is found only before rd, rl, rn, before rr (except when a vowel follows), and in a few words also before word-final ll, for example, barr /bˠaːɾˠ/ ('top'), ard /aːɾˠd̪ˠ/ ('tall'), orlach /ˈoːɾˠl̪ˠa...
Where a voiced obstruent or /w/ comes into contact with /h/, the /h/ is absorbed into the other sound, which then becomes voiceless (in the case of /w/, devoicing is to /fˠ/). Devoicing is found most prominently in the future of first conjugation verbs (where the /h/ sound is represented by the letter f) and in the formation of verbal adjectives (where the sound is spelled th). For example, the verb scuab /sˠkuəbˠ/ ('sweep') ends in the voiced consonant /bˠ/, but its future tense scuabfaidh /...
General facts of stress placement
An Irish word normally has only one stressed syllable, namely the first syllable of the word. In IPA transcription, a stressed syllable is marked with the symbol [ ˈ ] to the left of the syllable. Examples include d'imigh /ˈdʲɪmʲiː/ ('left' [past tense of leave]) and easonóir /ˈasˠən̪ˠoːɾʲ/ ('dishonor'). However, certain words, especially adverbs and loanwords, have stress on a noninitial syllable, e.g. amháin /əˈwaːnʲ/ ('only'), tobac /təˈbak/('tobacco'). In most compound words, primary stre...
The nature of unstressed vowels
In general, short vowels are all reduced to schwa ([ə]) in unstressed syllables, but there are some exceptions. In Munster, if the third syllable of a word is stressed and the preceding two syllables are short, the first of the two unstressed syllables is not reduced to schwa; instead it receives a secondary stress, e.g. spealadóir /ˌsˠpʲal̪ˠəˈd̪ˠoːɾʲ/ ('scythe-man'). Also in Munster, an unstressed short vowel is not reduced to schwa if the following syllable contains a stressed /iː/ or /uː/,...
The voiceless velar fricative /x/, spelled ⟨ch⟩, is associated with some unusual patterns in many dialects of Irish. For one thing, its presence after the vowel /a/ triggers behavior atypical of short vowels; for another, /x/ and its slender counterpart /ç/ interchange with the voiceless glottal fricative /h/in a variety of ways, and can sometimes ...
The following table shows some sample sentences from the Aran dialect The first eight chapters of Peadar Ua Laoghaire's autobiography Mo Sgéal Féin at Wikisourceinclude recordings of the text being read by a native speaker of Muskerry (Munster) Irish.
Scottish Gaelic and Manx
Many of the phonological processes found in Irish are found also in its nearest relatives, Scottish Gaelic and Manx. For example, both languages contrast "broad" and "slender" consonants, but only at the coronal and dorsal places of articulation; both Scottish Gaelic and Manx have lost the distinction in labial consonants. The change of /kn̪ˠ ɡn̪ˠ mn̪ˠ/ etc. to /kɾˠ ɡɾˠ mɾˠ/ etc. is found in Manx and in most Scottish dialects. Evidence from written manuscripts suggests it had begun in Scottis...
Irish pronunciation has had a significant influence on the features of Hiberno-English. For example, most of the vowels of Hiberno-English (with the exception of /ɔɪ/) correspond to vowel phones (which may or may not be phonemes) of Irish. The Irish stops [t̪ˠ d̪ˠ] have been taken over (though without distinctive velarization) into Hiberno-English as common realizations of the English phonemes /θ ð/. Hiberno-English also allows /h/ to appear in positions where it is permitted in Irish but exc...
IRISH PHONOLOGICAL FEATURES IN IRISH ENGLISH List of Contents Abstract - page 2. List of Contents - page 3. List of Tables - page 5. List of Figures - page 5. Acknowledgements - page 5. Declaration - page 6. 1. Introduction – page 7. 1.1. Overview – page 7. 1.2. Aims and Objectives – page 8. 1.3. Research questions – page 9. 2.
A rhetorical grammar of the English language calculated solely for the purpose of teaching propriety of pronunciation and justness of delivery, in that tongue. Dublin: Price. Todd, Loreto. 1984. ‘By their tongue divided: Towards an analysis of speech communities in Northern Ireland’, English World-Wide 5: 159-80.