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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jul 2019 5:43 pm 
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To add to the confusion it would be "á dhéanamh" in Cork.

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jul 2019 7:03 pm 
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An Lon Dubh wrote:
To add to the confusion it would be "á dhéanamh" in Cork.


Like in cad ’ tánn tú á dhéanamh?, an rud atáim á dhéanamh?

Ha, I did forsee this one in my first post. :P (but didn’t really expect that in Munster)


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PostPosted: Thu 04 Jul 2019 2:38 pm 
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silmeth wrote:
An Lon Dubh wrote:
To add to the confusion it would be "á dhéanamh" in Cork.


Like in cad ’ tánn tú á dhéanamh?, an rud atáim á dhéanamh?

Ha, I did forsee this one in my first post. :P (but didn’t really expect that in Munster)


:??:
I can't imagine them to be correct.
Does anybody have original examples?

I could only imagine:
Cad atá tú a dhéanamh?
Cad atá tú ag déanamh?
Cad a bhfuil tú á dhéanamh?
Cad atá á dhéanamh agat?


(in bold those forms a prescriptive grammar would recognise as correct. ;))


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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jul 2019 8:54 am 
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Basically they only say "Cad 'tá á dhéanamh agat?" never the structures with "a dhéanamh" and "ag déanamh".

Some younger speakers don't say the "agat" and say "tú" as the subject instead, but this isn't really a dialect feature I think it's just the language being in a very weak state.

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PostPosted: Sat 23 May 2020 6:12 pm 
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I’ve revisited the language notes in the Introduction to Stories from Keating’s History of Ireland and found an interesting relevant part on such relatives in Keating’s Early Modern Irish – the page xv, § Subsitutes for the relative:

Stories from Keating’s History of Ireland the page xv, § Subsitutes for the relative wrote:
(b) More important is the construction connected with verbal nouns. ‘You are building a house' may be translated in the language of Keating ataoi ag tógbháil tighe, lit. ‘thou art at erection of house.’ But we cannot turn ‘the house which you are building’ into the form ‘the house of which thou art at erection.’ The rel. implied by a verbal form is either nom. or acc. (with atá, of course, only nom.) and tógbháil, like any other noun, governs only the gen.; hence an teach ataoi ag tógbháil is as faulty as ataoi ag tógbháil teach. To avoid the difficulty there are three types in Early Modem Irish:

A. an teach agá dtaoi thógbháil.
B. an teach ataoi do thógbháil.
C. an teach atá agat dá thógbháil.

Of these A becomes rare after the Middle Irish period. C is the most logical; but it is not common in the literature,¹ and is now confined to certain districts. In B the rel. ataoi is inserted in the phrase an teach do thógbháil. There are two examples in the Stories: na bhfileadh ataoi do thafann, ‘of the poets whom thou art banishing,’ 23, 144; and an Colam Cille atámaid do luadh, ‘the Colam Cille whom we are mentioning,’ 24, I.

This is still the common idiom, with the usual colloquial reduction of do before verbal nouns to a: an obair atáim a dhéanamh; ag for a in such phrases is a solecism unknown to the speech² or the literature, and dhá is probably a pedantic assimilation to type C.


¹ Keating uses it in Three Shafts 7826: is í an ghorta so atá ag Dia dá bagar ar na peacthachaibh úd.
² At least in Ireland, but it has come into Scottish Gaelic from the non-relative construction.


So the author claims that an teach atáim a thógáil is the historically ‘correct’ form and an teach atáim ag tógáil is just a later levelling to táim ag tógáil an tí, while a thógáil in the former is a part of the construction an teach a/do thógáil (infinitive-like ‘to build a house’?).

If so, I still fail to see how it is any more logical that the latter. If you cannot say an teach atáim ag tógáil because you cannot say *táim ag tógáil an teach, then by the same logic an teach atáim do thógáil doesn’t make sense because you cannot say *táim do thógáil an teach nor *táim an teach do thógáil. So it still to me seems to be some confusion of ag and do and allowing an accusative direct object to verbal nouns in relative clauses, I don’t see any reason why an teach atáim ag tógáil would be a later corruption of earlier an teach atáim do thógáil.

C. is the typical passive Munster form (cad tá á dhéanamh agat?, an teach atá á thógáil agat).

But A. is an interesting one to me as well – I am not entirely sure how to understand it: it has an eclipsing relative particle a in agá (but why the second vowel long?), uses dependent taoi (instead of indep. ataoi; but interesting that still not bhfuil) and for some reason lenited thógbháil.

I guess that it lenites the verbal noun because there is a possessive pronoun a ‘its, his’ present that’s not written out?

I guess the possessive a ‘its’ is merged with ag ‘at’ and the relative particle a ‘which’ into agá ‘at whose; at-its-which’ – did this happen in Middle Irish or very early Early Modern Irish? Could this trigger lenition of a word further in a sentence? Or am I guessing entirely wrong here? Wish the book wrote more about this variant…

If I’m right, and it meant literally ‘at whose – ­you are – building = at whose building you are’, it cannot be rephrased directly in modern Irish (*an teach ag a a bhfuil tú thógáil isn’t possible) – but it would be equivalent to the indirect construction *an teach a bhfuil tú á thógáil I proposed in the first post.


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PostPosted: Mon 31 Jan 2022 5:54 pm 
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So I now have a bit more resources for Classical Gaelic and the version A. makes much more sense to me now. It is basically what I thought it was – literally “the house at whose building you are”, but to be fair I’m not entirely sure it was actually used this way with verbal nouns (it might be the editor’s invention).

As for the lenition of thógbháil, this is common in classical whose-relative clauses – they seem to generally be formed without any explicit possessive pronoun, and leniting the object depending on the relative whose (even though apparently there are exceptions).

Examples from Lambert McKenna’s appendix on relative clauses in Bardic Syntactical Tracts:

relative clauses with copula and predicative adjective (no lenition of the object owned?):
  • crann as mhaith toradh “the tree whose fruit is good”,
  • fear as fhearr clú “the man whose fame is highest”,
with the object owned being direct object of the verb (here object lenited, as it would normally be, cause it’s acc. object, the so-called réim connsaine ‘consonantal accusative’):
  • crann do bhuaileas chraoibh “the tree whose branch I struck”,
  • crann do bhuail an fear chraoibh “the tree whose branch the man struck”,
  • fear mheallaim mhnaoi “the man whose wife I deceive”,
  • fear nach measgfadh chéill “the man whose senses it would not confuse”,
and with prepositions + whose:
  • crann ar a rabhas chraoibh “the tree on whose branch I was”,
  • crann ar a raibhe an t-éan chraoibh “the tree on whose branch the bird was”,
  • fear ó dtánag mhnaoi “the man from whose wife I came”,
  • bean ór imthigheas dá fhear “the woman from whose two husbands I escaped”,
and with more complex prepositional phrases (prep. + noun + gen. being turned into prep. + whose + noun):
  • toimhsigh cia ar a dtarla thí,
  • an fáidh ar a dtámaid tí “the seer of whom we speak” (lit. the seer on whose point/alluding to we are),
  • ’s an truaill i dtámaid timcheall “… the body of which we speak” (lit. the body in whose going-around we are).

Apparently McKenna hadn’t found any examples of this type of relative clauses in progressive construction, but notes that Bergin proposed reading don dáil taoi do chothachadh as don dáil gá daoi chothachadh but McKenna notes that such “use of daoi would appear to be condemned” – I’m not sure how to understand this remark, but I think he suggests it would have to be dtaoi instead of daoi and it would have to alliterate with t and not d (so no alliteration with dáil?) – the form daoi (alliterating both with t and with d) exists and can be used in some other contexts, but not after eclipsing relative pronoun.

Anyway, perhaps Bergin knew more such examples, or just believed such usage was logical and common against lack of examples – and hence his form A in the introduction to Stories… above.

As for the form an teach ataoi do thógbháil being the oldest – McKenna gives some (but really just few) examples of this kind – but from bardic poetry, and at least one old because from the 14th c. Magauran manuscript) and characterizes them as “rel. form assumed by a clause of the type: féadaim, &c. a mholadh or a-tú, &c. aga mholadh” (translations of examples mine here):
  • fagha nar fhéad d'iongabháil “a shaft that was unavoidable, a shaft that he could not avoid, defend himself against”,
  • cuimhne an bhráithris bhím do mhaoidheamh “the memory of the kinship I’m speaking of (boasting about?)”,
  • (from Mag. MS) is tú an ógh a-tú do thogha “you are the virgin I am choosing”,
  • a dhuine a-táim do theagasg “o man, whom I’m teaching” (this one has a-táim in place of a-tú, so it must be late and not metrical).

So apparently the form ⟨antecedent⟩ + bí + do + ⟨verbal noun⟩ is indeed old (and then an taigh a tha mi a’ togail is a Scottish innovation that perhaps got popular in Ulster too).

EDIT:

Coincidentally, the first type of whose-relatives explains a completely different thing I struggled a lot to understand years ago – phrases like:
  • na daoine is lú ciall in Éirinn… (a line from a verse cited by PUL in Mo Sgéal Féin) ‘the least reasonable people in Ireland, the people with least sense’,
it now makes sense – if this phrasing continues directly the classical usage, as it would be a fairly standard way to say “the people whose sense is smallest” in the bardic poetry, cf. the fear as fhearr clú example above.


Last edited by silmeth on Tue 01 Feb 2022 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb 2022 5:19 am 
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silmeth wrote:
Coincidentally, the first type of whose-relatives explains a completely different thing I struggled a lot to understand years ago – phrases like:
  • na daoine is lú ciall in Éirinn… (a line from a verse cited by PUL in Mo Sgéal Féin) ‘the least reasonable people in Ireland, the people with least sense’,
it now makes sense – if this phrasing continues directly the classical usage, as it would be a fairly standard way to say “the people whose sense is smallest” in the bardic poetry, cf. the fear as fhearr clú example above.


O'Nolan explains such sentences as having the "accusative of specification". Is lú ciall - who are the least in terms of sense.

It is not "the people whose sense is smallest", as this has other translations - na daoine gur lú a gciall.

Now I don't know if O'Nolan's view can be proven by Old Irish, i.e. what if the noun occupying the place of ciall were a noun that had a morphologically apparent accusative in Old Irish? Do you have any examples proving that either way?

Also the examples you have, including "as fhearr clú" have lenition. What rule was there on this in Old Irish (or Middle Irish)?


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PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb 2022 11:54 am 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
O'Nolan explains such sentences as having the "accusative of specification". Is lú ciall - who are the least in terms of sense.

It is not "the people whose sense is smallest", as this has other translations - na daoine gur lú a gciall.

O’Nolan’s explanation works synchronically – I believe him that’s how an early 20th c. speaker would understand it, but it does not explain where this phrasing comes from diachronically. And gur lú a gciall would not be possible in the bardic standard, this kind of “indirect relative” clause is a relatively modern innovation (it’s popular in prose of 16th c. manuscripts, maybe even earlier, but not present in Middle Irish or bardic standard of Classical Gaelic poetry at all, also the Scottish Gaelic form is different, so never developed there). The only way in Classical Gaelic to express this was (na) daoine is lú ciall.

(and perhaps something like *na daoine isa gciall lú, or *isa lú ciall – which apparently continues some other Old Irish type¹)

djwebb2021 wrote:
Now I don't know if O'Nolan's view can be proven by Old Irish, i.e. what if the noun occupying the place of ciall were a noun that had a morphologically apparent accusative in Old Irish? Do you have any examples proving that either way?

See, ciall is one of such nouns. All 2nd declension feminine nouns had their acc. equal to dat. (see the example fear nach meagfadh chéill above – chéill is the direct object in accusative, lenited because of réim connsaine – direct object of a verb had to be lenited if it had a accusative form separate from nom., I believe this was not a rule in Old Irish, no idea where it comes from originally). But it does not prove anything, as the verse cited by PUL is modern, not classical (so it wouldn’t use old accusative anyway).

djwebb2021 wrote:
Also the examples you have, including "as fhearr clú" have lenition. What rule was there on this in Old Irish (or Middle Irish)?

Relative clauses in Old Irish were pretty complex. Feel free to skip below to the summary of Classical Gaelic instead.

Here a (much simplified, I’m afraid) overview based on de Vries’ A Student’s Companion to O.Ir. Grammar, Thurneysen’s A Grammar of Old Irish, and Stifter’s Sengoídelc.

There were two types of “direct” relative clauses (OIr. grammars generally only call those “relative clauses”) – leniting and nasalizing ones. Leniting relative clauses were used when the antecedent was the subject of the relative verb and they could be used when it was the direct object, nasalizing relative clauses could be used when it was the direct object and were required when the antecedent expressed an adverb, time, manner, etc. (the mode) of the verb. There was also the relative form of simple verbs in 3rd persons and 1st. pl. that originally was not lenited but later could be either left unlenited or lenited – they were used instead of leniting/ecplising relative clauses in those persons. And there was the eclipsing “relative particle” or “relative pronoun” a used after prepositions, its usage is generally not considered to be “relative clauses” in Old Irish grammars (but rather is called “prepositional relative construction” and similar, and I won’t touch it here at all).

Leniting relative clauses required the conjunct form of a verb, lenition was applied to the second element of the verb, after it’s first prefix, or if the verb was a simple one, a dummy meaningless prefix no· was added:
  • in lebor no·chrenai ‘the book that you buy’ (direct object) vs non-relative crenai in lebor ‘you buy the book’
  • in claideb no·bir /noˈv´ir´/ ‘the sword that you carry’ (direct object) vs non-relative biri /b´ir´i/ in claideb ‘you carry the sword’
  • in fer ad·chí inna echu ‘the man who sees the horses’ (subject) vs non-relative ad·cí in fer inna echu ‘the man sees the horses’
  • in fer crenas lebor or … chrenas lebor ‘the man who buys a book’ (subject with the simple relative form)

The nasalizing relative clauses were similar, they had eclipsis on the verb (and also could eclipse the relative form):
  • in lebor no·mbir ‘the book that you carry’ vs non-relative biri in lebor ‘you carry the book’
  • in claideb no·mbir ‘the sword that you carry’ vs non-relative biri in claideb ‘you carry the sword’
  • ind eich ad·cí /adˈɡiː/ in fer ‘the horses that the man sees’ vs non-relative ad·cí /adˈkiː/ in fer inna echu ‘the man sees the horses’
  • in claideb mbeires in fer ‘the sword that the man carries’ (direct object with the simple relative form)

Now, the 3rd person copula (there are other forms in OIr. that work differently – they existed in Classical Gaelic too, but rarely used) did not have any preverbs, and did not ever take any preverbs. But it also was itself unstressed. So it kinda worked as a prefix to the predicative. And because of that, the predicative itself was mutated, when the copula was relative – the mutation “jumped over” the copula:
  • do rétaib ata chosmaili ‘or things that are similar’ (ata is the plural form of the relative copula)
  • aní as chotarsnae ‘that which is contrary’
  • céin bas mbéo ‘so long as he is (will be) alive’ (bas = future relative copula)

As for their history – the lenition in leniting relative clauses is caused by old relative pronoun *i̯o ‘who, that’ that was inserted before the verb but got eroded by apocope and syncope before Old Irish times (leaving only lenition behind). As for the nasalizing one – I’m not entirely sure, but my guess would be that the (masculine, feminine) accusative of this relative pronoun ended in -om or similar ending, and that caused eclipsis.

During Middle Irish the leniting relative clauses mostly took over. Also the relative form was levelled to them, always being lenited. And when the Classical Gaelic standard was codified somewhere in late 12th century, the relative copula always lenited the following word (predicate or subject). That is, wherever it could, … as tú… “that is you” still had unlenited because of delenition rules. See eg. Irish Grammatical Tracts i §90 (following Mac Cárthaigh’s edition and his translation):
IGT i, §90 wrote:
An úair bhíos ‘nī’ ar a dhiúltadh so: ‘as’, lomadh as cōir ’na dhíaigh, mur so: ‘as fearr mé inā thú’: fearn lom air.

An úair bhíos ‘nac[h]’ ar a dhiúltadh so: ‘as’, séimhiog[h]adh as cōir ’na dhíaigh, mur so: ‘as mór as fhearr mhé inā thú’, ōs ‘nac[h]’ a-tá ar a dhiúltadh so: ‘as fhearr’ ann.

[When is its negative counterpart, as should be followed by non-mutation, like this as fearr mé iná thú, with an unlenited f.

When nach is its negative counterpart, as should be followed by lenition, like this: as mór as fhearr mhé iná thú, since it is nach that is the negative counterpart of as fhearr there]

What this rule says is that when the copula is not relative (ie. when its negative would be expressed with ), it does not cause lenition: ‘I am better than you’ is is fearr mé iná thú. But when it is relative (its negative would be nach) it lenites: ‘greatly I am better than you’ is as mór as fhearr mhé iná thú (though, to be honest, I don’t know the reason why mhé is lenited here). Mac Cárthaigh notes that the same rule is present in other texts, including Bardic Syntactical Tracts and in 17th c. Ó hEódhasa’s Rudimenta Grammaticae Hibernicae (where the wording suggests that this lenition might be optional – but again, Mac Cárthaigh notes he knows only a few metrical examples breaking the rule, and all late; while the majority of bardic poetry adheres to it).

But interestingly, the prose text of the grammatical tracts (which were written probably in 15–16th c., the surviving manuscripts mostly being later, from 17th+ c.) ignore this rule (which just shows that by ~15th century the rule wasn’t part of the spoken language, and the prose text is not required to adhere to poetical norm).

So to sum up: … as fhearr … is the regular classical relative ‘that is better’, lenition is expected after the relative copula.

And na daoine is lú ciall in Éirinn still looks to me very much like those classical examples above. Of course, the question is whether this usage really continues this classical type or something else, but it seems to me to be a pretty good fit.

¹ McKenna notes: “Of the O.I. constructions where, after asa (rel. cop. & poss. adj.) a pred. may be put followed by the subject, or a subject may be put followed by the pred. (cf. Rev. Celt. xxxii 447), the only traces known to me are: AiD 87 31 an t-Iarla isa hobair soin, DD xviii 22 Íosa Críosd isa chorp sain, and (in prose) Desid. 1652 an mhaighden-so ’s a hainm an tnúith.” I don’t know anything more about this type.


Last edited by silmeth on Wed 02 Feb 2022 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb 2022 12:37 pm 
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Yes, I see. I expect you're right. It's a shame that there is no good textbook of Classical Irish.


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PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb 2022 12:43 pm 
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What about "do mo bhualadh"?

Tá sé am bualadh - does this derive from do or ag? (this is the pronoun object of the verbal noun)

Táim am bualadh - does this derive from do or ag? (this is the passive object of the verbal noun)

Compare beidh mé ag úr n-iompar, “I will be carrying you”, with sibhse atá dúr n-iompar, “you who are being carried”, in Peadar Ua Loaghaire's Isaiah 46:3-4. Was he wrong to make such a distinction?


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