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  5. "Go away, Fergus!"

"Go away, Fergus!"

Translation:Thalla, Fhearghais!

April 30, 2020

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kanders9

What is the difference between Talla, a Fhearghais & Talla Fheargais ?


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

Well, the difference is that you put a in the first one and you didn’t in the second one (also, you left unlenited g in Fheargais there) – neither is correct in the meaning go away, Fergus.

The correct sentence is thalla, Fhearghais, (with thalla go away) no a there, as the vocative of Fearghas is Fhearghais (it starts with a vowel – the lenited fh is silent – and so there is no a in front of it).

(Your second example – talla Fhearghais – with the lenition of g fixed, could actually make sense in Gaelic, but it would mean Fergus’s hall; the hall of Fergus.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MilanN940755

My understanding is that the vocative particle 'a' is also allowed with 'fh' in written Gaelic.


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

It really depends on the sound. If the name after lenition starts with a consonant, then you say it (and write it), that includes eg. a Fhriseil /ə r´iʃɪʎ/ (o) Fraser – since it starts with the consonant /r´/ (but that’s not because of fh which is silent, it’s because of r).

In case of Fearghas the vocative is Fhearghais /ɛrɛɣɪʃ/ – it starts with a vowel and thus the vocative particle disappears in speech (in older texts it is sometimes written, as it is before other vowels, eg. a athair instead of athair – but Duolingo sticks to the modern practice of omitting it when it’s not pronounced).

Compare how in English you write a history but an hour, and a university but an ultimatum – because the choice between a and an depends only on phonology, not orthography, and you use an before vowels.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MilanN940755

Makes sense, tapadh leat!

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