https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benfitz17

Attributive nouns

Would someone please oblige in explaining to me what the grammatical equivalent of attributive nouns in Irish and its proper usage are? This gap in my knowledge is really irking me and I'd like to engage with someone instead of floundering aimlessly on other sites. Since I haven't gotten far in the Irish course yet, please also tell me if it is covered later and in which skill. Go raibh maith agaibh.

May 1, 2018

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Irish has attributive nouns, but they’re typically in the genitive case —
e.g. bia cait (“cat food”), where the attributive noun cait is genitive singular.

Note that Irish doesn’t allow all consecutive genitive nouns in a noun phrase to take genitive inflections, so in a noun phrase with multiple attributive nouns like rinse ceann bosca (“box end wrench”), ceann is “nominative in form, genitive in function” — it takes the nominative form instead of the genitive form cinn, despite its genitive function, because it’s followed by the genitive noun bosca (bosca is both the nominative form and the genitive form). Usually only the last genitive noun in a string of consecutive genitive nouns takes a genitive form. (A more complicated example was explained in detail here, but one of the participants in the discussion was subsequently banned from forum participation, and a side effect of that ban is that his comments, and other people’s replies to his comments, are no longer rendered; the example was in a reply to that participant.)

There isn’t a skill in the Duolingo course that is dedicated to attributive nouns, but there is a skill on genitive nouns.

May 1, 2018
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