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  5. "Cé hé an captaen?"

" an captaen?"

Translation:Who is the captain?

September 26, 2014



I am the captain now.


Probably the guy shaking a jar of dirt and yelling. Just a hunch.


Is this Pól's question as he flees the country on the first ship?


Is "Cé hé" a gender neutral thing, or does it denote that the captain is presumed male?


Yeah, 'cé' will take 'hé, hí, hiad' etc. depending on the gender and number of people in question.


Tom Crean was a hero


Where's the 'h' before 'é' coming from? I'm guessing that it's inserted between two vowels for a smoother flow of sound (like lenition)?


It's important to note that a h- prefix isn't an example of lenition. While lenition originally developed as a pronunciation helper many centuries ago, it no longer serves that purpose - it has been retained in the language for other reasons entirely, so you have an bheach and an beachaire, an cailín and an chailleach, where lenition does cause a change in pronunciation, but it doesn't do so for the purposes of making "a smoother flow of sound".

In the case of cé hé (and to a lesser extent in cé hí and cé hiad), the h-prefix serves to separate the two vowels, and maintain the existence of the pronouns in speech. It can be considered a "pronunciation helper" in those two cases.

doesn't require a h-prefix before other vowels, as these examples from the NEID entry for "who" demonstrate:
"who's there?" - cé atá ansin?
"who that letter from?" - cé uaidh an litir sin?
"who in God's name will tell your mother?" - cé in ainm Dé a inseoidh do do mháthair é?
"who would have imagined it?" - cé a cheapfadh é?
"who else?" - cé eile?


So is it optional or is their a rule: particularly, cé hé vs cé eile?


Is this a question rather about the name of the captain that is standing in front of us, or about who is going to be the captain?


It’s about identifying which person is the captain.


Female captains all the way!

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