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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul 2021 10:47 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
Ade wrote:
Are any of the examples I gave permissible in general usage?


You mean, you're seeking the permission of a committee of learners in Dublin? In that case, the Christian Brothers Grammar (the Irish version, Graiméar Gaeilge na mBráithre Críostaí) gives you all the information you need.

Maybe the committee of learners in Dublin produce rules for Chinese, Arabic and Somali too?


djwebb2021 wrote:
I have to say what I like most about Father Peter is his personality. It shines through in his letters. He stood for nonsense from no-one. He would have made very short work of the Coiste Téarmaíochta! He spoke and wrote as he did, not in order to promote himself, but because he saw the Irish language falling under the domination of arrogant committees of learners - agus is geárr go rabhadar súd curtha 'na gcónaí aige! Maith an fear!


Do I detect a hint of distaste for An Coiste Téarmaíochta? :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

I don't mind An Coiste, myself. For those of us who have to translate awkward, technical terms and phrases from time to time which have no generally agreed Irish equivalent, An Coiste Téarmaíochta do great work. Sure, they get things wrong sometimes, and they regularly suggest awkward terminology which doesn't match what's generally used by speakers. Just ignore it. At the end of the day the terminology which is actually used by speakers is what matters most.

In any case, I don't know if An Coiste Téarmaíochta even really come into this issue. They decide on terminology and vocabulary to be used in an official capacity, not grammatical constructions as far as I'm aware. And at any rate, while your stereotypical 1920s - 1980s Irish teacher may have pedantically insisted on questionable grammatical rules because they were printed in his book, I don't think An Coiste would suggest that the terminology they do not approve is somehow incorrect. They're a collection of well intentioned, intelligent people doing a very specific job, not oligarchs prohibiting the usage of terminology already in common usage.

It's interesting to see you joke that "maybe the committee of learners in Dublin produce rules for Chinese, Arabic and Somali too?" because, of course, many other languages do have similar groups, some of which dictate grammar rules as well as terminology in a much more obtuse way. Arabic has the Academy of the Arabic Language and French has the Académie Française, for example.

Quote:
Maybe he was being a bit obtuse claiming to think cluiche ollscoil na hÉireann meant "the University of Ireland is a game". But by employing the claimed rule of non-concatenation of genitives, a copular sentence is produced: the university of Ireland is a game. To avoid that you have to say: cluiche ollscoile na hÉireann. That gave me a chuckle. That certainly knocks the Christian Brothers out of the park!


:LOL:

It certainly is an amusing example. But linguistic ambiguity is a factor in most languages I know of. It's not unusual for a reader to have to interpret the semantics of a phrase or sentence from context rather than just syntax. I have no doubt that his argument about the standard of compulsory Irish coming out of University education in 1915 was perfectly valid, but whether or not I can trust a the guidance of an Caighdeán Oifigiúil, and various grammar books a century on can hardly be drawn into question.

In any case, when I ask if any of my examples are permissible, I mean in no way to ask permission to use them. I just want to know if any of them would not typically be used by those who speak Irish, whether they learned it natively at home, in gaelscoileanna, or from the Christian brothers themselves.


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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul 2021 11:06 pm 
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Ade wrote:
It's interesting to see you joke that "maybe the committee of learners in Dublin produce rules for Chinese, Arabic and Somali too?" because, of course, many other languages do have similar groups, some of which dictate grammar rules as well as terminology in a much more obtuse way. Arabic has the Academy of the Arabic Language and French has the Académie Française, for example.


But the rulings of the Arab academy are by native speakers of Arabic. The rulings of the French academy are by native speakers of French.

The trouble is that because Ireland is a nation, and Irish was once spoken by all, so it is the ultimate heritage of all (you could quibble about places like Wexford that spoke Middle English centuries ago, but let's not be too exact about it), they all claim rights to Irish. And so a learner in Dublin, even a very fluent one working as a professor in a university, will claim the right to sit on a committee and pronounce on words. And, as you say, the committee determining the so-called standard was not the same - it probably sat only in the 1950s? Or maybe a committee was reformed for the athbhreithniú.

However, in linguistic terms, a language belongs to its native speakers. The territory of Irish is not Ireland as a whole, but the Gaeltacht alone. Issues of national identity of L2 learners have nothing to do with it. From this point of you, the natives are the Gaeltacht L1 speakers only. The people in Dublin are the foreigners linguistically speaking - which is why they live in what is called the Galltacht. You can say, "but they're not foreigners", but that intrudes political issues into it that cannot be accepted as relevant in academic linguistics. In linguistic terms, everyone who is not an L1 speaker is Gallda. (Dubliners are Gallda when it comes to learning French. They are just as Gallda when it comes to learning Irish. It is linguistically irrelevant that the city they live in once spoke Irish.) So from that point of view, the people drawing up the standard in the 1950s had no more locus standi with respect to Irish than they did with respect to Somali. So they might as well have decreed whether Somali should have a vocative or a dative or a concatenation of genitives.


Last edited by djwebb2021 on Sun 25 Jul 2021 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul 2021 11:11 pm 
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Quite literally, the only person on this forum who is not Gallda is Bríd Mhór.

Chun na fírinne a reá, is é an t-aon duine amháin ar an bhfóram so nách Gallda ná Bríd Mhór. Tá sí 'na Gaelthacht aonair anso.


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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul 2021 12:38 am 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
Your committee of learners in Dublin did not cover all possible circumstances in their book, it seems. I mean -- if you are aiming to write in the Irish of the committee of learners in Dublin, what difference does it make if you get it right (according to them), or not? You still won't have good Irish, as the beloved Caighdeán isn't good Irish.


I think I mentioned above that, in my own spoken Irish I'd prefer to emulate that spoken in the Muskerry gaeltachtaí. Whether you consider it fortunate or unfortunate, though, the caighdeán exists, and its generally required that I follow it when I have to translate for work purposes, regardless of my personal preferences.

I'm fully aware of the "problems" with it, and yet, the majority of Irish speakers in Ireland today use aspects the Caighdeán to some extent in their speech, perhaps having learned it either in school, or from parents who learned the same way. If that's how Irish is spoken, I'm happy to consider it equally legitimate to what might be found in gaeltacht areas, even if it came about originally as a result of some mistake or lack of specificity in a grammar book.

Language change happens over time. A large portion of the unique features of Munster Irish came about as a result of interaction with French through the Anglo-Normans. Are we to expunge terms like garsún from our dictionaries? To shift the stress to the first syllable of the majority of words to match what is done in other Gaeltachtaí which were not affected in the same way? What about Gaeltacht speakers who frequently use English terms in their Irish speech, ag an mback, ar mo bhicycle, isteach sa fhridge? Am I to up and tell them they're wrong, or is that more permissible than lenition where its not strictly necessary? Or is it only in publications that are over a century old that we can find good Irish? Is the language not allowed change beyond that format with new generations of speakers, both inside and out of the gaeltacht? Certainly, people may want to emulate it, but even in English, if I tried to speak and write like Oscar Wilde, I'd get some strange looks. Never mind if I did so like Shakespeare or Chaucer. So why should I try to do so like Peadar Ua Laoghaire or Seathrún Céitinn with my Irish?

djwebb2021 wrote:
But the rulings of the Arab academy are by native speakers of Arabic.


Not really, the Arabic determined by the Academy of the Arabic Language is a highly standardised form based on the various dialects. In a sense, there may be no such thing as a native speaker of Arabic, because most native speakers will be fluent in Egyptian Arabic, or Syrian arabic, or some other dialect and consider themselves a native speaker of that. The dialects of Arabic are much more divergent than those of Irish. Just consider the differences between the Arabic spoken in Morocco and that of Saudi Arabia given the geographical spread. Each Arabic country or region speaks their own local dialect, much like Irish, with the standard form produced by the Academy being primarily used by learners and in official documents. In a sense Arabic is very comparable to the Irish Caighdeán Oifigiuil, only people don't seem to take exception to the notion that there should be a common standard form to teach learners and use in documents.

djwebb2021 wrote:
The trouble is that because Ireland is a nation, and Irish was once spoken by all, so it is the ultimate heritage of all (you could quibble about places like Wexford that spoke Middle English centuries ago, but let's not be too exact about it), they all claim rights to Irish. And so a learner in Dublin, even a very fluent one working as a professor in a university, will claim the right to sit on a committee and pronounce on words. And, as you say, the committee determining the so-called standard was not the same - it probably sat only in the 1950s? Or maybe a committee was reformed for the athbhreithniú.


You're making a lot of questionable assumptions here. You seem to be suggesting that a right to speak Irish and be knowledgeable about it is inherited, which does not stand up to scrutiny. Who is an anglophone whose parents were born in Ireland to correct the Irish learned in school by someone, even if they have no ancestry in Ireland? Nobody at all would seriously suggest that just anybody can be an authority on Irish simply by birthright. The "committee of learners in Dublin" you talk about earned the right to speak with authority about the grammar and vocabulary of the language by researching it and studying it for years or decades, not just by saying "I'm Irish, therefore this is mine". But aside from that, you're assuming that none of the people who decide on official terminology or who write grammar books for Irish are native speakers themselves. They could well be. Moreover, it's quite possible that authorities for other languages include people who, while not native speakers of the language in question, simply studied it to the point of becoming an expert.

djwebb2021 wrote:
However, in linguistic terms, a language belongs to its native speakers. The territory of Irish is not Ireland as a whole, but the Gaeltacht alone. Issues of national identity of L2 learners have nothing to do with it. From this point of you, the natives are the Gaeltacht L1 speakers only. The people in Dublin are the foreigners linguistically speaking - which is why they live in what is called the Galltacht. You can say, "but they're not foreigners", but that intrudes political issues into it that cannot be accepted as relevant in academic linguistics. In linguistic terms, everyone who is not an L1 speaker is Gallda.


In linguistic terms, this is incorrect. Anyone who learns to speak Irish as their first language is an L1 speaker, even if they learn it from parents who taught themselves from books, or learned it in a gaelscoil in Dublin. Anyone who speaks Irish at home with their parents, and did so growing up, is an L1 speaker. In one sense you are correct, though, "issues of national identity of L2 learners have nothing to do with it". It has nothing to do with territory or ancestry or identity whatsoever, merely which language is an individual's first language. As long as there are L1 speakers who use Caighdeán forms, and there are many, those forms are legitimate, viable Irish forms because they will continue to be used in Irish, just like French borrowings and stress patterns before them.

This is aside from the fact that the Gaeltacht is an administrative region, and one specific to the Republic of Ireland. If people native to Feonach, Cúl Aodha or Rinn move to Dublin for work, but raise their children speaking Irish, are those children not native speakers? If someone learns Irish in school in Dublin and retires to Dún Chaoin, is their Irish to be considered L1, though it wasn't before, because of the place they now call home?

I'm by no means trying to diminish the necessity of relying on the expertise of native speakers, but your line of thinking here simply doesn't add up. By this stage, the caighdeán is undeniably valid Irish. New terminology created and approved in the modern day by language authorities may come and go, but only that which is used, be it in Dublin, Dingle, Donegal or Derry, will form a part of the long story of the Irish language. Geographic regions, identity, and ancestry have nothing to do with it. Usage is the final word in language.

Now, I'm sorry to drag the topic back on track, I completely accept that there are other ways to say what I'm looking for. And, thank you for your suggestion, it gives me real insight into what can be done with constructions like this in Irish. For my purpose here, though, I really need only to know if any of the examples I gave were acceptable in accordance with the Caighdeán, or in any of the dialects.


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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul 2021 1:31 am 
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I wrote a long reply, but have deleted it, because I don't think you, Ade, would be interested, and that is your right. I will say for other readers that I don't think the gá bhliain, dul amac and tá mé fear forms found in some people brought up speaking the CO in the Galltacht are good Irish. I'll leave it there, as I am just one person and I cannot on my own restore good Irish in Ireland. Good luck Ade.


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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul 2021 2:35 am 
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Nobody at all would seriously suggest that just anybody can be an authority on Irish simply by birthright. The "committee of learners in Dublin" you talk about earned the right to speak with authority about the grammar and vocabulary of the language by researching it and studying it for years or decades, not just by saying "I'm Irish, therefore this is mine". But aside from that, you're assuming that none of the people who decide on official terminology or who write grammar books for Irish are native speakers themselves. They could well be. Moreover, it's quite possible that authorities for other languages include people who, while not native speakers of the language in question, simply studied it to the point of becoming an expert.


I do want to point out that this is a very common attitude in Ireland, actually. Many people think they're fluent (and will often say they're fluent in the CO), when they're not and make basic mistakes. But they think they have as much right to determine what is 'proper' Irish as those raised among traditional Gaeltacht speech simply because they're Irish. In fact, you'll hear many say "It's my native language", when they can't speak a lick of it. The sociolinguistic issues around Irish, especially in this regard, are very skewed from what we would consider normal elsewhere in the world.


Quote:
Anyone who learns to speak Irish as their first language is an L1 speaker, even if they learn it from parents who taught themselves from books, or learned it in a gaelscoil in Dublin. Anyone who speaks Irish at home with their parents, and did so growing up, is an L1 speaker.


The issue is -- can what they speak be considered 'Irish'? When they're not intelligible to native, Gaeltacht speakers (and vice-versa), is it the same language? Or is it some new creole that has yet to stabilize? My thoughts lie towards the latter. If you can't be understood/understand by a native from the Gaeltacht, you're speaking a different language, no matter how much you think it might be Irish. It's actually fairly common issue in Ireland (See the article Scishm Fears for Gaelgeoirí, along with Ó Béarra's "Gaeilge: A Moribund Language?").

But, really, it all comes down to the nationalisation of the language in Ireland completely skews up normal sociolinguistic distinctions that exist in other languages and even in other minority languages. It's difficult to pry this all apart, because, quite frankly, most teachers (primary level) in Ireland have atrocious Irish, but teach kids who grow up believing it's their native language and that saying things like "Taw may far" is good, quality Irish. The education system and nationalisation of the language has, really, probably had a net negative impact on the preservation of the language in my opinion, both in terms of traditional, quality Irish and just for the sociolinguistic beliefs that have fostered that make it much more difficult to actually focus on stablising and spreading from the Gaeltacht.


But, that's neither here nor there. As for chained genitive, I am grateful you asked this question. It's always something that gets on my nerves, dealing with whether it's bracketed or not, but you could just take the (change in progress) Connemara route and just ditch the genitive all together.


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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul 2021 2:39 am 
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Galaxyrocker, I could not regard someone who pronounces leabhar and leabhair identically as a native speaker, even if he grew up speaking poor Irish as his first language. It's like Indian English, where they pronounce Canada as Ganada. They learnt the language wrong - but some of them are L1 speakers of (a poor kind of) English.


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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul 2021 2:52 am 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
I wrote a long reply, but have deleted it, because I don't think you, Ade, would be interested, and that is your right. I will say for other readers that I don't think the gá bhliain, dul amac and tá mé fear forms found in some people brought up speaking the CO in the Galltacht are good Irish. I'll leave it there, as I am just one person and I cannot on my own restore good Irish in Ireland. Good luck Ade.


Well I have to agree with you there, I don't think that is good Irish. But equally, I don't think such people as would use "Irish" like that are the type to go and work with An Coiste Téarmaíochta and other such groups.

Anyway, like I said above, thanks for your help in this thread. I do appreciate the answer you gave to the question, I just know I'll be told to revise it if I go with it.


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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul 2021 2:56 am 
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Ade wrote:
Anyway, like I said above, thanks for your help in this thread. I do appreciate the answer you gave to the question, I just know I'll be told to revise it if I go with it.


???

But the answer I gave you was the same as the one Labhrás then gave you. De thoradh tionnscadail éagsamhla ollscoile. I recommended the Bracketed Construction without lenition the same as he did. Maybe you didn't notice it was identical.


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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul 2021 2:58 am 
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Ade wrote:
djwebb2021 wrote:
gá bhliain, dul amac and tá mé fear forms found in some people brought up speaking the CO in the Galltacht


Well I have to agree with you there, I don't think that is good Irish. But equally, I don't think such people as would use "Irish" like that are the type to go and work with An Coiste Téarmaíochta and other such groups.


Er, no, now, don't be shifting your ground here, Ade. You said that if someone grew up in the Galltacht speaking Irish as his first language, and then all his "mistakes" have become part of the natural change of Irish and his Irish is equal to the Gaeltacht natives. If so, surely tá mé fear is now good Irish?


Last edited by djwebb2021 on Mon 26 Jul 2021 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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