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  5. "A bheil an t-àite falamh?"

"A bheil an t-àite falamh?"

Translation:Is the place empty?

March 8, 2020



So «falamh» can be pronounced two different ways - with the final syllable ending in the fricative velar "V", or with «mh» bring essentially silent (i.e. as "aw")?


I guess so. It was sure confusing for me because it sounds so much alike with falbh- (to leave) when pronounced with the "v" sound. The only way I can tell the difference, besides context, is that it seems to me the last vowel sound is softer/more slender in falamh- more like "falev" and "falbh" is more like "falav". The "Learn Gaelic" dictionary (https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary/) pronounces it with the fricative V Personally, the pronunciation "falo" makes an easier connection for me because it sounds more like "hollow" which of course connects with "empty"


Or perhaps even more obviously - if you have any rural or farming knowledge - the ‘falo’ pronunciation sounds like ‘fallow’. As in a fallow (empty) field!

They may be cognates? Cannot find any obvious etymology though.


Which word is stressed in the Gaelic question? I hear "àite", whereas in English I would stress "empty", the last word in the question? Or is the Gaelic stress on àite due to the automated voice?


Questions are not indicated through intonation in Gaelic, so the rise in pitch on "empty" in the English equivalent is not present in Gaelic. I believe there are generally slight spikes in pitch on the stressed syllable of content words, especially on long vowels, but the overall pitch contour of every Gaelic sentence usually is slightly downwards


It was very difficult to work out what the lady was saying, and I don't think we have never had this construction purely by sound in the exercises.

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