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

A doubt with eclipsis.

So, taking this exaple “Tá leabhar ag an bhfear”. My question is, if I want to say “The man and the woman have a book”. Is it necessary to eclipse both subjets “man and woman”, or should I only eclipse the first one?

June 23, 2018

13 Comments


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

As far as I know, you need to repeat the prepositions and therefore also eclipse the second noun, if required. There is at least one sentence in DL that illustrates that issue.

If you google “ag an bhfear agus ag an mbean”, you find a number of reliable examples.

I also googled “ag an taoiseach agus” just to find a more commonly used phrase. And whenever the Taoiseach was doing something with somebody else and the expression requires “ag”, the preposition is repeated. E.g.

Bhí cruinniú 30 nóiméad ag an Taoiseach agus ag Rúnaí an Státchiste in Washington, DC an tráthnóna roimh cheiliúradh Lá Fhéile Pádraig sa Teach Bán.

There was a 30 minute meeting between the Taoiseach and the Secretary of the Treasury in Washington, DC, on the evening/afternoon before the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the White House.

The examples with “taoiseach” do not show eclipsis because there is no eclipsis after an with masculine nouns starting with t and no definite article is present for the second noun in the example above, but they illustrate the need to repeat the preposition triggering the eclipsis.

June 23, 2018

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

Completely aside from (and not to take away from) the grammatical issue, it may be worth noting that "Taoiseach" should not be translated as "President".

Taoiseach is the same word in English and Irish, and is the head of government (more or less the same role as a Prime Minister in other parliamentary governments, which is presumably why it is translated to that by some people, but not by the Irish Government). See https://www.taoiseach.gov.ie

The President of Ireland, Uachtarán na hÉireann in Irish, is the head of State. See http://www.president.ie

June 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1274

Bunreacht na hÉireann quite explicitly states that the title Taoiseach will be used to refer to "the head of the Government or Prime Minister". In other words, the Taoiseach is, by definition, the Irish Prime Minister.

Airteagal 13.1.1: Ceapfaidh an tUachtarán an Taoiseach .i. an Ceann Rialtais nó an Príomh-Aire, arna ainmniú sin ag Dáil Éireann.
Article 13.1.1: The President shall, on the nomination of Dáil Éireann, appoint the Taoiseach, that is, the head of the Government or Prime Minister.

and
Airteagal 28.5.1: An Taoiseach is teideal do cheann an Rialtais, .i. an Príomh-Aire, agus sin é a bheirtear air sa Bhunreacht seo.
Article 28.5.1: The head of the Government, or Prime Minister, shall be called, and is in this Constitution referred to as, the Taoiseach.

June 25, 2018

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

Thanks for the references, they are helpful.

I would only wish to clarify that the function of the Taoiseach is, by definition, to be the Irish Prime Minister; the English title of the Taoiseach is, by definition, Taoiseach. So, if one were translating from Irish to English, 'Taoiseach' would be the best choice unless it might cause confusion, in which case, 'Prime Minister' would be a better choice unless it would cause confusion, in which case, 'head of government' would be a better choice. Similarly to calling Elizabeth II 'Queen' preferentially to 'King' (for societies that do not differentiate between male and female monarchs) and 'head of state'.

June 25, 2018

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

Thanks for the quotes in Irish and English. Now I know what Aire means. :)

June 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1274

You are absolutely correct, David - the Taoiseach's role is to be the Prime Minister, and the title Taoiseach should be used when it will be recognized, as it always is in Ireland and often is in the UK. For international media, a short article might just use the function, a longer article might introduce the title by explaining the function.

June 25, 2018

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

Thanks for the correction and info!

Edited for corrections.

June 25, 2018

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

Thank you so much. That was a nice research

June 23, 2018

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

It's up to you, really.

Grammatically speaking, you should eclipse both of them as both of them are affected by the same preposition ('Tá leabhar ag an bhfear agus an mbean'), but it's now relatively common to find only the first of a series of nouns eclipsed/lenited ('Tá leabhar ag an bhfear agus an bhean'). The reason for neglecting to lenite is perhaps the feeling that, without the preposition immediately preceding, lenition just seems odd to the ear and this leads to it being dropped.

For the sake of clarity though, it would be better to lenite both and, indeed, to repeat the preposition ('Tá leabhar ag an bhfear agus ag an mbean').

June 23, 2018

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

I’m inclined to believe that the governance of conjoined nouns by a single preposition, such as ag an bhfear agus an mbean, is a borrowing from English; I couldn’t find any example of this sort in the Irish grammar books that I have access to (e.g. discussing whether or not only the first such noun should be eclipsed).

As an anecdote in favor of using a preposition for each noun, I found “thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger” (“them” referring to wine grapes still on the vine, no “the” between “and” and “stranger”) translated as Fág ag an mbocht agus ag an deoraí iad.

June 23, 2018

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

That is what I've always heard as well, that you need to repeat the preposition.

June 23, 2018

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

One repeats the preposition, not doing so is very rare in native Irish

July 5, 2018

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

Awesome thanks, now that is clear to me

June 23, 2018
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