I am Russian :) We don't have any articles too. I don't know Gaelic at all. And I don’t know if there are indefinite and definite articles in it. I just wanted to clarify, is this word really meant "a kitten"? Cannot the same word mean "the kitten" in other cases? And I would also like to know if it is planned to include grammar and phonetic notes in the course?
I understand that this course is apparently primarily for Scots who do not know very well, but still know a little Gaelic. If one doesn’t know anything about phonetics, spelling, or grammar, then this is very difficult. Everything is very unusual, especially phonetics/spelling right from the beginning of the course. I cannot identify any patterns. And the dialect differences in the pronunciation that are found in the course, of course, are useful to the native Scots who study the language, but they still confuse me even more. I would really like for Tips and Notes to appear in the course as soon as possible.
Indeed, I get where you're coming from. Tips and Notes will be coming soon, but they take some time to get written up. For now though, this might help:
You have two options to get the notes on a phone. One is to use the web version on your phone. You call it the 'computer version' but anyone can use it if they have web browser. Using the web version you can have two tabs open so you can switch between the notes and the exercise.
But what I find easier, and will work however you are accessing the exercise, is to go to https://duome.eu/tips/en/gd where all the notes are assembled. You can just keep it open and move down section by section, or you can click where it says 'Table of Contents' to find links to each section. Or you can use the text-search function to look for a word you are interested in.
Note that the table of contents does not work if you are zoomed in too far (I have just discovered why it doesn't always work) and it does not work on the phone version at all. However, if you are on a phone you can go into the settings for the browser page and choose 'Desktop site'. Then it works if you are not zoomed in too far.
If you want the notes for another language, you can either go to the top of the page and click 'Tips and Notes', or you could try guessing what to change the last two letters of the link above to — good luck.
Well MacBain derives it from English puss and the -eag is a diminutive suffix that would change a puss into a kitten.
As for the i in Gaelic, I am not sure what is going on, but all I can say is that there are lots of words for 'the other sort of pussy' in many languages including Gaelic that start pi-. The word in Greek has a υ (upsilon) which is basically a u that sounds like an i, or to put it another way, a slender u. This sound is represented in IPA as /y/ because the Romans used a y to represent this slender u sound that did not exist in Latin. Compare super (from Latin) and hyper, the same word from Greek. The same word in German is über, where ü is yet another representation of this 'slender u that is almost an i'.
So basically I am pretty sure that the vowel was originally this slender u (y in Greek words, ü) that could easily become either a u or an i.