Quick Question about Compound Words in Irish

In English, there are distinct differences in meaning between a short story and a story that happens to be short.

Would I be correct in believing that the same differences could be communicated by gearrscéal and scéal gearr?

And if so, would I be correct in taking this further in that the same distinction is true for all compound words, and that putting a modifier before a noun is a grammatical tool that alters the noun's identity instead of simply modifying it?

2 years ago

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I think that you’re correct in the difference between “short story” and “story that is short” being akin to the difference between gearrscéal and scéal gearr.

I have no idea if that same distinction would hold for all compound words; in some cases, the correspondence wouldn’t directly translate — e.g. for “long shot” and caolseans (“slim chance”), I don’t think that seans caol would have a distinct meaning, while “shot that is long” could be used to describe something that a marksman could attempt (and is undoubtedly the source of the metaphor).

2 years ago
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