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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun 2019 2:06 am 
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Thank you, a Bhreandáin, your accent is pretty good too, you really sound Irish (I'm not a native speaker, obviously, so I can't say exactly how good it is when you speak Irish, but your Irish English accent must be pretty good as well).

Riarthóirí wrote:
The passage read apparently comes from the first paragraph here:


Is it really that hard to understand? Listening again now, I'm sorry how pressured-sounding it came out, I will gladly re-record it if you want.

As for your pointers, I'm actually under the impression that a lot of the speakers on Teanglann aren't native speakers; two of the three at fear, for example, clearly use English r, and a lot of other words are the same way. I generally use Fuaimeanna na Gaeilge for sound recordings, all three of the speakers are native speakers. The use of /æ/ for ai and ea appears to be (semi-?)dialectal, at least, if you go to Fuaimeanna, you'll find examples of both /æ/ and /a/ in all three dialect areas, but /a/ does seem to be the most common in Ulster. And slender dh is /j/, not /ɣ/, right?


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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun 2019 12:34 pm 
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Esszet wrote:
Thank you, a Bhreandáin, your accent is pretty good too, you really sound Irish (I'm not a native speaker, obviously, so I can't say exactly how good it is when you speak Irish, but your Irish English accent must be pretty good as well).



Breandan's recording sounds great to me. :D


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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun 2019 5:25 pm 
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Esszet wrote:
As for your pointers, I'm actually under the impression that a lot of the speakers on Teanglann aren't native speakers; two of the three at fear, for example, clearly use English r, and a lot of other words are the same way. I generally use Fuaimeanna na Gaeilge for sound recordings, all three of the speakers are native speakers. The use of /æ/ for ai and ea appears to be (semi-?)dialectal, at least, if you go to Fuaimeanna, you'll find examples of both /æ/ and /a/ in all three dialect areas, but /a/ does seem to be the most common in Ulster. And slender dh is /j/, not /ɣ/, right?


/a/ for ai and ea certainly exists in Munster. Does [æ] even exist anywhere outside Ulster? Wikipedia lists it only in charts of vowel phonemes for Ulster, and not for Connacht nor Munster (EDIT: but I see words transcribed with [æ] for /a/ after palatal consonants for Cois Fharraige, eg. here and here, so it seems it exists as an allophone).

As for ‘English r’ – I believe it is quite common in Munster Gaeltachts today, listen eg. to Nell Ní Chróinín’s songs, she is a Muskerry Gaeltacht native and she has very clear [ɹ] (as does, at least sometimes, Eilís Ní Shúilleabháin – a bit older singer from Muskerry, but Séamus Ó Beaglaoich from Dingle and Iarla Ó Lionáird from Muskerry have both, as far as I can hear, a tap [ɾ], but I think all of them sometimes mix both [ɹ] and [ɾ]).

Added later: as for slender dh and gh, I believe the phoneme is typically transcribed as /j/ and the actual realization varies between [ʝ] and [j].


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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun 2019 10:33 pm 
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Esszet wrote:
And slender dh is /j/, not /ɣ/, right?

The convention in Irish "IPA" found in Learning Irish and publications by an Gúm, etc., is to use /ɣ/ for broad dh and gh and /ɣ´/ for slender dh and gh.

Similarly, /s´/ and /w´/ are used instead of /∫/ or /v/.

I don't do full-blown IPA, which is full of superfluous symbols for broad consonants that just form visual clutter and make the representation confusing, if precise, but if I did i would show it in different parentheses [ ].

I find the Irish subset of IPA to be quite adequate for explaining Irish.

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My "specialty" is Connemara Irish, particularly Cois Fhairrge dialect.
Is fearr Gaeilge ḃriste ná Béarla cliste, cinnte, aċ i ḃfad níos fearr aríst í Gaeilge ḃinn ḃeo na nGaeltaċtaí.
Gaeilge Chonnacht (GC), go háraid Gaeilge Chois Fhairrge (GCF), agus Gaeilge an Chaighdeáin Oifigiúil (CO).


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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun 2019 10:40 pm 
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silmeth wrote:
/a/ for ai and ea certainly exists in Munster. Does [æ] even exist anywhere outside Ulster? Wikipedia lists it only in charts of vowel phonemes for Ulster, and not for Connacht nor Munster (EDIT: but I see words transcribed with [æ] for /a/ after palatal consonants for Cois Fharraige, eg. here and here, so it seems it exists as an allophone).

You should look at Learning Irish by Mícheál Ó Siadhail and The Irish of Iorras Aithneach County Galway by Brian Ó Curnáin instead of Wikipedia. ;)

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WARNING: Intermediate speaker - await further opinions, corrections and adjustments before acting on my advice.
My "specialty" is Connemara Irish, particularly Cois Fhairrge dialect.
Is fearr Gaeilge ḃriste ná Béarla cliste, cinnte, aċ i ḃfad níos fearr aríst í Gaeilge ḃinn ḃeo na nGaeltaċtaí.
Gaeilge Chonnacht (GC), go háraid Gaeilge Chois Fhairrge (GCF), agus Gaeilge an Chaighdeáin Oifigiúil (CO).


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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun 2019 10:56 pm 
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Esszet wrote:
I generally use Fuaimeanna na Gaeilge for sound recordings, all three of the speakers are native speakers.


Thanks for that link. (Not sure why the Ceathrú Rua speaker drops the r in a Bhriain or thréad.)

I think you should study the recordings in Learning Irish by Mícheál Ó Siadhail. (Later you might expand to The Irish of Iorras Aithneach County Galway by Brian Ó Curnáin.) You'll get a broader subset of Conamara native pronunciation that way.

_________________

WARNING: Intermediate speaker - await further opinions, corrections and adjustments before acting on my advice.
My "specialty" is Connemara Irish, particularly Cois Fhairrge dialect.
Is fearr Gaeilge ḃriste ná Béarla cliste, cinnte, aċ i ḃfad níos fearr aríst í Gaeilge ḃinn ḃeo na nGaeltaċtaí.
Gaeilge Chonnacht (GC), go háraid Gaeilge Chois Fhairrge (GCF), agus Gaeilge an Chaighdeáin Oifigiúil (CO).


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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun 2019 8:13 am 
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Breandán wrote:
silmeth wrote:
/a/ for ai and ea certainly exists in Munster. Does [æ] even exist anywhere outside Ulster? Wikipedia lists it only in charts of vowel phonemes for Ulster, and not for Connacht nor Munster (EDIT: but I see words transcribed with [æ] for /a/ after palatal consonants for Cois Fharraige, eg. here and here, so it seems it exists as an allophone).

You should look at Learning Irish by Mícheál Ó Siadhail and The Irish of Iorras Aithneach County Galway by Brian Ó Curnáin instead of Wikipedia. ;)


I asked those questions genuinely because I wanted to know the answers, because sources available to me – An Ghaeilge by Aidan Doyle and Edmund Gussmann, abair.ie, fuaimeanna.ie, Wikipedia (of which Wikipedia is the easiest to link in a forum post) – don’t suggest any /æ/ (phonemic) or even [æ] (phonetic).

If my post sounded aggressive or dismissive, I’m sorry, didn’t intend it too, I formed it as questions in the hope of getting answers to them, not having them dismissed with titles of two books dealing with specifically Galway Irish – not very helpful, and not sure whether you intended it, but also somewhat passive-aggressively sounding answer.

I don’t have the books you mention, so can’t check them, and Wikipedia is the best resource on various dialects phonology I have at hand. And I am not that much interested in Galway Irish so won’t buy them just to check what exactly they claim about a single phoneme. So let’s try again:

In my previous post I noticed that [æ] occurs in phonetic transcription of words from Cois Fharraige and I guessed that it is realization of the phoneme /a/ (perhaps only after slender consonants? or everywhere?) – is that true?
Does [æ] exist in all dialects? An Ghaeilge, Wikipedia, and Fuaimeanna.ie, by consistently using /a/ as the transcription of the phoneme, suggest that no – [a] is the default and probably most prevalent sound, but maybe I am reading too much into the phonemic transcription and the true realization is different. I would gladly test that myself by listening to native recordings, but, to be honest, I don’t hear the difference between [a] and [æ] that well – my native language has a very limited vowel inventory so I’m not trained in hearing it so well as English native speakers are, so I don’t trust myself here.

You very confidently claimed theas is /hæːs/ (with long vowel) and one has to say it that way to sound like a native, while An Ghaeilge gives /has/ (with short /a/) (and I’m pretty confident in this book for Munster Irish pronunciation), as does abair.ie for all dialects. But then, those are just phonemic transcription (not “full-blown IPA” for a phonetic one), so they might simplify the view.


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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun 2019 3:11 pm 
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silmeth wrote:
Breandán wrote:
silmeth wrote:
/a/ for ai and ea certainly exists in Munster. Does [æ] even exist anywhere outside Ulster? Wikipedia lists it only in charts of vowel phonemes for Ulster, and not for Connacht nor Munster (EDIT: but I see words transcribed with [æ] for /a/ after palatal consonants for Cois Fharraige, eg. here and here, so it seems it exists as an allophone).

You should look at Learning Irish by Mícheál Ó Siadhail and The Irish of Iorras Aithneach County Galway by Brian Ó Curnáin instead of Wikipedia. ;)


I asked those questions genuinely because I wanted to know the answers, because sources available to me – An Ghaeilge by Aidan Doyle and Edmund Gussmann, abair.ie, fuaimeanna.ie, Wikipedia (of which Wikipedia is the easiest to link in a forum post) – don’t suggest any /æ/ (phonemic) or even [æ] (phonetic).

If my post sounded aggressive or dismissive, I’m sorry, didn’t intend it too, I formed it as questions in the hope of getting answers to them, not having them dismissed with titles of two books dealing with specifically Galway Irish – not very helpful, and not sure whether you intended it, but also somewhat passive-aggressively sounding answer.

I don’t have the books you mention, so can’t check them, and Wikipedia is the best resource on various dialects phonology I have at hand. And I am not that much interested in Galway Irish so won’t buy them just to check what exactly they claim about a single phoneme. So let’s try again:

In my previous post I noticed that [æ] occurs in phonetic transcription of words from Cois Fharraige and I guessed that it is realization of the phoneme /a/ (perhaps only after slender consonants? or everywhere?) – is that true?
Does [æ] exist in all dialects? An Ghaeilge, Wikipedia, and Fuaimeanna.ie, by consistently using /a/ as the transcription of the phoneme, suggest that no – [a] is the default and probably most prevalent sound, but maybe I am reading too much into the phonemic transcription and the true realization is different. I would gladly test that myself by listening to native recordings, but, to be honest, I don’t hear the difference between [a] and [æ] that well – my native language has a very limited vowel inventory so I’m not trained in hearing it so well as English native speakers are, so I don’t trust myself here.

You very confidently claimed theas is /hæːs/ (with long vowel) and one has to say it that way to sound like a native, while An Ghaeilge gives /has/ (with short /a/) (and I’m pretty confident in this book for Munster Irish pronunciation), as does abair.ie for all dialects. But then, those are just phonemic transcription (not “full-blown IPA” for a phonetic one), so they might simplify the view.

I'm sorry, silmeth, my only intention is to be helpful. Your answer came across as a very verbose refutal of my post, based on a very limited set of internet resources.

If I am brusque, it is because I really don't have time nowadays to do much more than point people to the best sources. I certainly don't have time to get into great long debates.

The biggest problem with information on the internet is that it doesn't go through any real form of peer review or editing process. Most people posting about Irish cannot even speak the language properly.

The books I quoted deal with real Irish. There was also an excellent book in German on Conamara Irish with full phonetic transcription but I only receive photocopies of it back in the eighties and I don't know its title. I do remember that ai and ea were /æ/ in those transcriptions because they agreed well with what is given in Learning Irish.

Abair.ie is a speech emulator and while it is remarkably good for a computer, one shouldn't try to deduce native speech or phonemes from a computer program.

Wikipedia also suffers editing problems. If no one who has the relevant knowledge notices a mistake, it will stay there until someone does notice it.

Another thing I should warn you about is the danger of trying to extrapolate over the three dialects. Ulster Irish is so completely different from the other two dialects phonetically and grammatically that it could actually be treated as a separate language. There is far less variance between Conamara and Munster Irish (though human beings like to zoom in on the differences rather than the similarities.)

If you mix Ulster grammar with Conamara or Munster grammar, you will end up with a mess (although there is a bit of bridging in Mayo dialect). If you mix Conamara and Munster grammar it is no big deal as they are very similar on the whole.

Similarly, Conamara and Munster pronunciation aren't that different but Ulster pronunciation is quite different.

I checked out the pronunciation on Fuaimeanna for words where I expected /æ/, such as ainm, airgid, athair, etc. They are also pronounced /æ/ in the Munster recordings even though the transcriptions use /a/. My conclusion is that the transcriptions are very sloppy on that site. They haven't indicated lengthening of vowels in the Conamara transcripts even though the speaker is lengthening them.

For example, the prefix an- "very" should be /a:N/ in Conamara (as is pronounced that way by the speaker) but they have transcribed it as /​ˈ​a​n̪ˠ​./. The lengthening is deas and theas are optional (dialect specific) but since Fuaimeanna doesn't correctly indicate any lengthening, it is impossible to tell from the transcriptions.

In summary, I think the combination of poor phonetic transcription in your sources, specifically using /a/ for both /a/ and /æ/, and a difficulty distinguishing /a/ from /æ/ has led you to the incorrect conclusion that the sound is /a/ when it should be /æ/. (If it is any consolation, I have difficulty distinguishing between u and ü in German.)

As for your other questions and comments, Irish broad r is semi-rhotic, i.e., it is like an English r but also flapped. Sometimes it is hard to hear the flap but it is there (Esszet is flapping a little too hard). The Irish slender r is flapped but is light and buzzy almost like a z or zh.

I am not familiar with An Ghaeilge. Can you please give me some more details?

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WARNING: Intermediate speaker - await further opinions, corrections and adjustments before acting on my advice.
My "specialty" is Connemara Irish, particularly Cois Fhairrge dialect.
Is fearr Gaeilge ḃriste ná Béarla cliste, cinnte, aċ i ḃfad níos fearr aríst í Gaeilge ḃinn ḃeo na nGaeltaċtaí.
Gaeilge Chonnacht (GC), go háraid Gaeilge Chois Fhairrge (GCF), agus Gaeilge an Chaighdeáin Oifigiúil (CO).


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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun 2019 3:15 pm 
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After re-listening to Esszet’s recording and re-reading your post, I think there was a bit of misunderstanding on my and Esszet’s part about the a-vowel, due to using different phonemic conventions.

What I believe (but correct me if I still interpret you wrong) you mean by /æ/ and /a/ (and their longer counterparts) is transcribed as, respectively, /a/ and /ɑ/ in many other resources (An Ghaeilge, Fuaimeanna, abair.ie, Wikipedia, Wiktionary among them).

What An Ghaeilge claims about Munster Irish (and what I believe is true also for at least parts of Connacht) is that Irish has two a-like sounds, a back vowel /ɑ/ (or actually /α/ as it is typeset in the book) and a front one /a/. Only the back one can be long (so á is always /ɑː/, eg. táim /tɑːm’/), but when short, the vowel is /ɑ/ between broad consonants, /a/ between slender ones. The book does not go into details of the exact sound of those vowels, but suggests that /a/ is basically the same as the Polish sound, which suggests [a]. But it seems [æ] might also be a common one, /ɑ/ is generally pronounced as [ɑ]. I think it might be different for Ulster where the long vowel seems to be front (tá [tæː] or even [tɛː], so using this convention, phonemically /taː/).

If what I’m saying is right, you would transcribe táim as /taːm’/ and eg. adharc as /æirk/.

If so, what you were pointing out when commenting on Esszet’s pronunciation was not that it shouldn’t be exactly [a] (as I initially understood your post) but that it is too back (like their /ɑ/ in eg. Áise).

(I’ve written the post before you posted your most recent reply, perhaps will edit it after reading it, but now posting it as is.)

EDIT: and after reading your most recent post I’ll be a little bit snarky and suggest that maybe you should read a few more books and acknowledge there are different conventions that aren’t wrong but are incompatible with yours and you shouldn’t reject Internet resources that easily. ;)

As for An Ghaeilge, it is a Polish textbook by Aidan Doyle (a PhD lecturing at University College Cork, and I think, but cannot verify this, Munster native) and Edmund Gussmann (Polish Celticist) for Munster Irish, written for Celtic studies on Polish universities, generally praised on the Internet, and I believe there once were also some mailing discussion groups learning from a bootleg translation of it. It teaches Munster Irish as it is spoken by older people in Kerry, but with quite caighdeánized orthography (eg. they use Gaeilge as the written form of the name of the language instead of Gaelainn/Gaoluinn).

And EDIT 2:

Quote:
I checked out the pronunciation on Fuaimeanna for words where I expected /æ/, such as ainm, airgid, athair, etc. They are also pronounced /æ/ in the Munster recordings even though the transcriptions use /a/. My conclusion is that the transcriptions are very sloppy on that site. They haven't indicated lengthening of vowels in the Conamara transcripts even though the speaker is lengthening them.

For example, the prefix an- "very" should be /a:N/ in Conamara (as is pronounced that way by the speaker) but they have transcribed it as /​ˈ​a​n̪ˠ​./. The lengthening is deas and theas are optional (dialect specific) but since Fuaimeanna doesn't correctly indicate any lengthening, it is impossible to tell from the transcriptions.


Thanks! I didn’t know about that lengthening, and it really isn’t indicated in most Internet resources, interesting. I guess they don’t indicate it, as it appears consistently depending on the position in words and thus doesn’t make a phonemic distinction (there are no minimal pairs differing in the length), so it’s not worth marking in the phonemic transcription. Wikipedia even mentions it:

In the variety spoken in Cois Fharraige (the area along the north shore of Galway Bay between Barna and Casla), underlying short /a/ is realized as a long front [aː] while underlying long /aː/ is realized as a back [ɑː].


Last edited by silmeth on Mon 10 Jun 2019 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Question
PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun 2019 4:30 pm 
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silmeth wrote:
EDIT: and after reading your most recent post I’ll be a little bit snarky and suggest that maybe you should read a few more books and acknowledge there are different conventions that aren’t wrong but are incompatible with yours and you shouldn’t reject Internet resources that easily. ;)

Silmeth, I've been studying Irish since before there was an internet and I have a good collection of books and online resources to compare. I also have a pretty good ear and native speakers have confirmed that my pronunciation is acceptably close to native, so I have been at this a bit longer than some and there are pretty good indications that I may have somehow got something right. With regard to the appropriateness of transcriptions, clearly a "convention" that causes confusion and generates the wrong result is problematic, to say the least.

silmeth wrote:
After re-listening to Esszet’s recording and re-reading your post, I think there was a bit of misunderstanding on my and Esszet’s part about the a-vowel, due to using different phonemic conventions.

What I believe (but correct me if I still interpret you wrong) you mean by /æ/ and /a/ (and their longer counterparts) is transcribed as, respectively, /a/ and /ɑ/ in many other resources (An Ghaeilge, Fuaimeanna, abair.ie, Wikipedia, Wiktionary among them).

What An Ghaeilge claims about Munster Irish (and what I believe is true also for at least parts of Connacht) is that Irish has two a-like sounds, a back vowel /ɑ/ (or actually /α/ as it is typeset in the book) and a front one /a/. Only the back one can be long (so á is always /ɑː/, eg. táim /tɑːm’/), but when short, the vowel is /ɑ/ between broad consonants, /a/ between slender ones. The book does not go into details of the exact sound of those vowels, but suggests that /a/ is basically the same as the Polish sound, which suggests [a]. But it seems [æ] might also be a common one, /ɑ/ is generally pronounced as [ɑ]. I think it might be different for Ulster where the long vowel seems to be front (tá [tæː] or even [tɛː], so using this convention, phonemically /taː/).

If what I’m saying is right, you would transcribe táim as /taːm’/ and eg. adharc as /æirk/.

If so, what you were pointing out when commenting on Esszet’s pronunciation was not that it shouldn’t be exactly [a] (as I initially understood your post) but that it is too back (like their /ɑ/ in eg. Áise).


No, sorry, you have still missed the point. What I am about to say applies to both Connacht and Munster Irish:

There are three "a" sounds in Irish: /ɑ:/, /a/, and /æ/ (in order from back to front in the mouth).

Compare the following: cás /kɑ:s/; cas /kas/ (which might better be transcribed as /kʌs/); and ceas /kæ(:)s/.

/ɑ:/is pronounced at the back of the mouth. It is between /ʌ/ and BRP /o/ (not the American "o" which is actually an /ʌ/).

/a/ = /ʌ/ is open and at the top of the mouth.

/æ/ is forward between /ʌ/ and /ɛ/.

I would transcribe táim as /tɑ:m´/, adharc as /airk/, and airgead as /æ(:)r´əg´əd/.

I think Esszet has the /ɑ:/ sound okay, but he tends to pronounce all other a's as /ʌ/, instead of distinguishing between /a/ (/ʌ/) and /æ/.

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WARNING: Intermediate speaker - await further opinions, corrections and adjustments before acting on my advice.
My "specialty" is Connemara Irish, particularly Cois Fhairrge dialect.
Is fearr Gaeilge ḃriste ná Béarla cliste, cinnte, aċ i ḃfad níos fearr aríst í Gaeilge ḃinn ḃeo na nGaeltaċtaí.
Gaeilge Chonnacht (GC), go háraid Gaeilge Chois Fhairrge (GCF), agus Gaeilge an Chaighdeáin Oifigiúil (CO).


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