Isn't "cait" supposed to sound more like "quit" (according to other duolingo examples)?
hope they fix it! As if the spelling wasn't confusing enough for a beginner!
I would say 'catch' would be a nearer approximation in English than 'quit', but it depends on the dialect.
Wiktionary says [katʲ] or (Cois Fharraige) [kɪtʲ]. On Forvo, I'm hearing [kɪtʲ], [kæt], and [katʲ]. Seems regional (like most of Irish pronunciation).
I have no idea where you're getting that -- the vowel combination "ai" is never mentioned in the article you've linked...
I think what I got from it is "ai" would be pronounced /a/ if the "i" was just orthographic like in the example "Caileafóirnia", where "i" is just there because of the slender "e" that comes after.
In "cait" there's no such vowel, so I just assumed the "a" was the one who was merely there for spelling reasons (that completely fly over my head). So, since "ai" is not a diphthong and there's no slender vowel to justify the "i", by process of elimination I would go with /kit/.
Now if that's the case, I would really like to know what the hell that "a" is doing there, instead of simply writing "cit". :)
Melhael: The "a" is there because the basic word is "cat" (cat). In the plural the final consonant is palatalized [made 'slender'] -- /t/ becomes /tʲ/ -- indicated in writing by the insertion of the letter "i". Had the word been written "cit" then the initial "c" would have been palatalized too ...but in "cait" it isn't.. It remains 'broad', as it was in "cat".
Are there different versions of Irish Duolingo for desktop computers? I feel like my version is missing the audio portion. Could you hear this example before you clicked on the comments?
Yes, I could hear the audio example before I clicked the on comments. When there is audio available there is a loudspeaker symbol on the left of the sentence. Sometimes when my internet connection is slow (or Duolingo's servers are overloaded, maybe) then the audio is not played at all or played with a delay.
My version didn't even have the loudspeaker symbol. Sometimes, I have to read Duo's mind. ;-)
Because 'cait' is the plural form of 'cat', and the plural is necessary to agree with 'iad', giving the meaning 'they are cats'. If you wanted to say 'she is a cat', for instance, you could use the singular 'cat', but you would also need a singular pronoun, 'í'.
I'm very confused why "Is" isn't pronounced "she" - doesn't "i" and "s" touching make the "sh" sound?
Usually, yes, but not in this case. It is pronounced 'iss' rather than 'ish'.
No, With the copula (is and its other forms), you always use é/í/iad instead of sé/sí/siad.