Yes. The sound /r/ in 'ora' is hard, whereas the sound /rʲ/ in 'oirre' is soft, palatalized. The same happens to almost all the consonants in Slavic and some other languages:
/b/-/bʲ/ rus. бусы - бюст, pol. barka - biały
/r/-/rʲ/ rus. русский - рюмка, it. prato - tosc. prato
/n/-/nʲ/ rus. кон - конь, hun. nap - lány
/d/-/dʲ/ cz. domov - dělat, hun. dara-gyerek
In Gaelic, some consonants palatalize the same way:
/b/-/bʲ/ bun - beag
/v/-/vʲ/ a-bhàn -té bheag
/n/-/nʲ/ buna - suthain
But palatalization of some consonants (/rʲ/) changed even further like /rʃ/ in case of 'doirt' or even /rʒ/ in case of 'oirre'... Or does it sound like /ð/ here??
First of all, just to clarify,
- aige, aice etc. are from aig 'at'
- air, oirre etc. are from air 'on'
- ann, innte etc. are from ann an 'in'.
It is always really difficult translating prepositions, and it really doesn't help when Mark says that air is really three separate prepositions that merged into one over time. Having given up on trying to distil what he says, here are some guides that sound good to me but I am sure someone will be able to improve them.
Use air for
- anything you wear in English (e.g. clothing, shoes)
- anything that would be on you in English (e.g. a spider)
- anything that you have that makes you worse off (e.g. a disease)
- any attribute, whether physical or not (e.g. complexion, attitude)
- anything that is firmly attached to you (a smile, your legs, your hair) provided it is not in you (such as your bones, which would be ann an)
You use aig for anything else you have in English.
I'm sure that if other people contribute to this we can get a good list.
I’m definitely not an expert, not a native speaker, and wildly speculating here: wouldn’t dark hair rather be dubh (if very dark and blackish) or donn (if brownish) as in the lament song Ailein Duinn (voc. of Ailean Donn) translated to Dark-haired Alan and Faclair Dwelly gives 7** Dark-haired for dubh.
I also think that’s (a part of?) the reason why a black man is fear gorm – as fear dubh would rather suggest dark-haired man, not dark skin colour (but then it also might be a Scandinavian influence – blámaðr in Old Norse).
But then Colin B.D. Mark’s dictionary seems to disagree… – it doesn’t mention anything hair-related for the headword dubh (but gives Calum Dubh as dark-haired Malcolm in the examples for copula is), translates the n-word to duine dubh and doesn’t mention anything skin-related for gorm – so maybe the language changed since the times of Dwelly, or Dwelly’s dictionary was too leaning to the side of traditional language based on Irish?