A 99% Fool-Proof Way To Determine The Gender Of Irish Nouns!
Irish gender is all in the spelling!
Words where the last vowel is slender are usually feminine. For example;
An chistin, an teilifís
As well as ones that are describe females are always feminine just like most languages.
An bhean, An bhó
Also, countries and languages are NEARLY always feminine.
An Ghaeilge, An Spáinnis
Common exceptions; An mhuc, an bainne, an t-uisce are masculine.
The opposite is true for masculine nouns, they usually end in a broad vowel.
An teach, an madra
Common exceptions: An luch is feminine
However, nouns with these endings are
very likely masculine:
-án -ín -úr -ún -as -ar -(ái)ste -óir/-eoir -aire -éara -aí -adh -amh -a (with two syllables, e.g. cóta) -ach (derived from noun, e.g. Éireannach) -cht (with one syllable)
Nouns ending in the following are
very likely feminine
-óig/-eoig -áil -aíl -acht (more than two syllables e.g. Gaeltacht) -ach (mass nouns) -seach
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My counts are that of the 75 countries listed there with a gender, 20 are masculine (26.67%) and 55 are feminine (73.33%). 26.67% is a minority, but 20 of 75 isn’t a few.
EDIT: I’d missed out on Scotland initially (it doesn’t have a declension class listed).
https://www.google.com/amp/s/thegeekygaeilgeoir.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/making-sense-of-irish-gender/amp/ This seems to explain it pretty well, but I dont know how accurate it is.
I am having a lot of confusion with what is slender and broad in the first place so I am already sunk. Can anybody help me understand it better so I can understand fem and masculine and then get on to the way those are lenited, etc. (which also confuses me to pieces.)?
The vowels a, o and u are broad, while e and i are slender.
Consonants get their broadness or slenderness from the vowels that they are closest to - the s is sí is slender, the s in sú is broad.