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PostPosted: Tue 29 Dec 2020 7:54 pm 
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Hi All! Nollaig Shona Daoibh.

I recently saw a phrase reading "Céard iad plataí". My question is why is the pronoun "iad" necessary? As an aside, could I say "Ceard plataí" instead?

One theory I have is because I believe "Céard" can be broken down into "Cad é an rud", then the pronoun in an example like "Céard é plata" is equivalent to the latter pronoun in "Cad é an rud é plata". Is this correct?

Also, can I confirm that "Céard" can be broken down into the following:

- Cad é rud
- Cad é an rud
- Cad é an rud é
- Cad é rud é

If so, why is the definite article removed from "cad é an rud" to make "cad é rud"? Is there a difference in meaning? Are they used in different contexts/circumstances?

The link "http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/gram.htm?sonstig.htm" gives some examples under the title: "1.3. Cad / cad é / céard = What is (in classifactorial clauses)"

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed 30 Dec 2020 9:23 am 
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Joined: Sat 03 May 2014 4:01 pm
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ailig_ab wrote:
Hi All! Nollaig Shona Daoibh.

I recently saw a phrase reading "Céard iad plataí". My question is why is the pronoun "iad" necessary?


(edited)
I don't think such a question is used at all, because an indefinite plural noun seems odd here. At least I haven't seen it yet. Normally, the noun is singular:
Céard é pláta? = What is a plate? (What's the definition of plate?)
(And here céard é is invariable: Céard é fuinneoig? = What's a window?)

Céard iad plátaí ... Here's something missing, e.g.:
Céard iad plátaí mo mhamó? = What are the dishes of my granny?

Quote:
As an aside, could I say "Ceard plataí" instead?


No. I don't think so.
(Though in similar cad é rud the following é can be left out: Cad é rud plátaí?)*

Prob. due to the higher grade of lexicalization of the "word" céard. (the é in céard ceased doing the job)

*) BTW: You could say as well Cad iad na rudaí plátaí? - but only if you think that plátaí are different "rudaí". If you already expect that plátaí are "one rud" (e. g. dishes) you can't use na rudaí.

Quote:
One theory I have is because I believe "Céard" can be broken down into "Cad é an rud", then the pronoun in an example like "Céard é plata" is equivalent to the latter pronoun in "Cad é an rud é plata". Is this correct?


Yes. :good:

Quote:
Also, can I confirm that "Céard" can be broken down into the following:

- Cad é rud
- Cad é an rud
- Cad é an rud é
- Cad é rud é

If so, why is the definite article removed from "cad é an rud" to make "cad é rud"? Is there a difference in meaning? Are they used in different contexts/circumstances?


No, they mean all the same.
Esp. in this construction, the article of the subject is not necessary because the subject (rud) is definite by default. Some older prescriptive grammars forbid the use of the article here. But nonetheless it is quite common.

My theory to cad é rud vs. cad é rud é:
Another é could again be due to the felt higher or lesser grade of lexicalization of the phrase "cad é rud". If felt as one word, an additional é is used, if not felt as one word, an additional pronoun is superfluous.


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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan 2021 12:41 am 
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Joined: Sat 15 Dec 2018 1:32 am
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Thanks very much for your help here Labhrás.

You may be correct as there could be something missing in "Céard iad plataí". The reason I initially thought and still think nothing is missing is because I took the example from page 76 in Donna Wong's book "A Learners Guide to Irish" (link: http://irishwestindies.weebly.com/uploa ... ish_v2.pdf).

Quote:
I don't think such a question is used at all, because an indefinite plural noun seems odd here. At least I haven't seen it yet. Normally, the noun is singular:


Indefinite plural pronoun questions seem possible? For example, if one were to ask "What are dogs" and one answer could be "Dogs are a type of animal" or something similar.

I'm after realising something while writing this: Is the construction of the phrase "Céard iad plataí?" incorrect?
I understand we use "iad" because plataí is a plural. However my realisation is if "céard" is broken down into one of its forms like "Cad é an rud", would that not make the phrase in Donna Wong's example "Cad é an rud iad plataí?"? i.e. does the necessity of two pronouns not need to match one another e.g. "Cad iad an rud iad plataí"

Or can "céard" be broken down into "Cad iad an rud"?

Quote:
BTW: You could say as well Cad iad na rudaí plátaí? - but only if you think that plátaí are different "rudaí". If you already expect that plátaí are "one rud" (e. g. dishes) you can't use na rudaí.


I'm a bit unsure what you mean by "different rudaí". Could you give another example of "Cad iad na rudaí ___" where there might be two meanings?

Quote:
Esp. in this construction, the article of the subject is not necessary because the subject (rud) is definite by default.


Why is "rud" definite by default?

Many thanks for all your help once again.


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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan 2021 9:39 am 
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Joined: Sat 03 May 2014 4:01 pm
Posts: 1365
ailig_ab wrote:
Thanks very much for your help here Labhrás.

You may be correct as there could be something missing in "Céard iad plataí". The reason I initially thought and still think nothing is missing is because I took the example from page 76 in Donna Wong's book "A Learners Guide to Irish" (link: http://irishwestindies.weebly.com/uploa ... ish_v2.pdf).


The problem is that you can't find "céard iad + indefinite plural noun" in text corpora. All examples there have definite plural nouns.
So, at least, it is rare in written form.
There are a few examples using "Is éard iad ..." in definitions, a similar phrasing,
And searching the internet, you'll find e.g. ‘Céard iad fish fingers?’ on tuairisc.ie.
So Donna is perhaps not wrong.

Quote:
I'm after realising something while writing this: Is the construction of the phrase "Céard iad plataí?" incorrect?
I understand we use "iad" because plataí is a plural. However my realisation is if "céard" is broken down into one of its forms like "Cad é an rud", would that not make the phrase in Donna Wong's example "Cad é an rud iad plataí?"? i.e. does the necessity of two pronouns not need to match one another e.g. "Cad iad an rud iad plataí"

Or can "céard" be broken down into "Cad iad an rud"?


That's what I meant by lexicalisation: Céard isn't broken down at all. It is a word on its own.
That's why Céard iad ... is possible (whether only with definite or also with indefinite nouns)

Quote:
I'm a bit unsure what you mean by "different rudaí". Could you give another example of "Cad iad na rudaí ___" where there might be two meanings?


Perhaps:
Cad iad na rudaí iad peataí? If you expect an answer like "cait agus madraí agus muca guine"
Cad é an rud é peataí? If you expect an answer like "ainmnithe sa tigh"

Quote:
Why is "rud" definite by default?


The noun rud (and its supplements) is the subject of such copula sentences.
The predicate is the wh-word together with pronouns like é (and perhaps some words more).
So, the predicate is (at least partly) definite. (because é is definite)
Such sentences with céard, cad é rud, séard, is é rud etc. are identification sentences, i.e. subject = predicate.
That's why the subject is definite, too.
Furthermore: the "supplements" (relative clauses, nouns/pronouns in apposition, etc.) define the subject to some extend.


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