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  5. "The red crab and the black c…

"The red crab and the black crow."

Translation:A' chrùbag dhearg agus an fheannag dhubh.

December 28, 2019



Why are the words crùbag and feanbag lenited here?


They are feminine nouns


... and they follow the definite article (which I believe is what triggers the lenition of most such feminine nouns)


In the nominative case. And they begin with c and f


Why does "fheannag" use "an" instead of "am"? I thought "am" was used for words beginning with b, f, m and c? Or have I got that mixed up?

And when can am or an be shortened to a' ?


"am" is used before labial consonants (i.e. b, f, m and p). This is rather like the way the English prefix "in-" becomes "im-" before labials (e.g. inelegant, intangible BUT impossible).

The thing about initial 'f' is that the lenited version, 'fh' is actually silent. So "fheannag" is pronounced as a vowel-initial word, not one with a labial consonant; as such the default form of the article ("an") needs to be used. Note that the lenition happens only because "feannag" is feminine; a masculine noun like "falt" (hair) becomes "am falt" because masculine nouns are not lenited by the article.

As I understand it, the form "a' " is applicable only before FEMININE nouns whose initial consonant is a lenitable labial (b, p, m) or velar (c, g). It is not a question of shortening as such, and it is not an optional process. The form "a' " accompanies lenition and only happens with a feminine noun.


Marry me, Nicko.


Fheannag is feminine. "Am" before b, f, m, and p are before masculine nouns.


I noticed that all the animals introduced in this section are feminine and not very complementary. Snake, crab, bat, crow, cow.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence.


I suspect the feminine thing is so that the pattern with the lenition is clear. I suspect it also depends on which lesson you go into. As to what you consider complimentary, I don't see anything wrong with those animals.


They're perfectly good animals, but just try them as terms of affection for your wife, and see what happens.


To be fair, if you called someone a dog, horse, spider, rat - all of which are masculine nouns - you might not get such overwhelmingly positive responses either. But I see your point, an interesting observation!


crùbag or partan for a crab?


Faclair says they're different types of crab - partan was the one I knew before, as in "partan bree"


This keeps saying I am wrong but what I have matches the response. Been stuck for days!!

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