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  5. "Léann sí na nuachtáin dheacr…

"Léann na nuachtáin dheacra."

Translation:She reads the difficult newspapers.

September 29, 2014

37 Comments


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

Why is here lenition in deacra? Few sentences before there was same sentence but without lenition. And the translation was same. So where is the difference?


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

It's because it's a weak ending plural that ends with a slender consonant.


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

It doesn't make sense because ValaCZE is right. This exact translation was just a few problems back and difficult was deacra. Everything else was the same except that word. I write them down so I can study off line so I know the words, except for the one for difficult is exactly the same.


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

Thanks for highlighting this - Léann sí na nuachtáin deacra must be what we call a "ghost sentence", meaning that it is a typo we have deleted but which is still showing up in the course. The correct form is Léann sí na nuachtáin dheacra. We will report the bug.


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

Thanks for the answer :).


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

So is it acceptable with or without lenition?


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

No. I should have lenition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryLea11

My ear must be off, but it sounded like she said 'léim sí...' Which is obviously incorrect, so I answered it accurately, but... hm.


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

Does not the DeNTaLS rule apply here? The juxtaposition of the "n" in "nuachtan" should cancel out the lenition of "deacra."


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

In another discussion thread to this same sentence scilling (I think, unless I totally remember wrong) voiced the opinion, that dental dots don't apply to attributive adjectives. I reported this discussion with the request for a possible clarification in the tips and notes section of "lenition" (provided it doesn't make the whole topic utterly complicated).


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

yes please clarify this - does it not apply?


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

Please would someone explain this rule, or give me a relevant link.


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

Sure thing. First, you should understand that lenition exists in Irish because its the leftover of an earlier form of the language. When a consonant followed a vowel, it became natural for speakers to pronounce that consonant more loosely and casually than otherwise and that's where lenition - replacing a stop with a spirant - originated. The first consonant of a word in Modern Irish is lenited usually when the word immediately before it ended in a vowel (now often lost) in older forms of the language.

Losing those final vowel sounds brought consonants together that previously were separated. When last consonant of the first word and the first consonant of the second come from basically the same point of articulation in the mouth - in this case, around the teeth - the similarity between them interferes with the wider process of lenition and cancels it out.

So, in situations where consonants would otherwise be lenited, the consonants D, T, and S are NOT lenited after D, N, T, L, or S.

Because "nuachtain" ends in N, the D of "deacra" should not be lenited.


[deactivated user]

    The first consonant of a word in Modern Irish is lenited usually when the word immediately before it ended in a vowel (now often lost) in older forms of the language.

    I grew up saying ana-dheas but now one has to say an-deas.


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

    Travelling across the various Gaeltacht districts I find town-by-town variations, and people who insist that they have the "correct" pronunciation and grammar. The same applies in other countries where dialects vary subtly or enormously. If the language has a widely-agreed, standard, spoken and/or grammatical version, then being pedantic about these rules is fair enough. English isn't standardised totally. I doubt that Irish has an agreed 'standard' for the oral or written form. The rules are a helpful guide for me, but not carved in stone.


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

    Thanks, Daniel, that's very helpful.


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

    Most of what you said is correct, except the dots-dentals rule applies only in certain cases, and postposited adjectives is not one of them, so “dheacra” is the correct form here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
    Mod
    • 1445

    All adjectives in Irish are "postposited".

    Predicative adjectives are not modified, so you have Tá an nuachtán deacair - "the newspaper is difficult" and Tá na nuachtáin deacair - "the newspapers are difficult".

    Attributive adjectives agree with their nouns in case, number and gender. Nuachtán is masculine, so lenition doesn't arise in the singular: Tá an nuachtán deacair ar an mbord - "the difficult newspaper is on the table".

    But the plural nuachtáin ends in a slender consonant, which lenites the plural adjective:
    Tá na nuachtáin dheacra ar an mbord - "the difficult newspapers are on the table"

    The DNTLS-DTS rule does not apply for attributive adjectives, so the plural adjective remains dheacra even though nuachtáin ends in n.


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

    I worked my way along this explanation. Additional details:

    -> I think here 'difficult' is attributive

    Does lenition only occur in adjectives following these nouns, or also in other kinds of words following these nouns???

    A. Broad/ Slender Consonant

    Broad consonants are velar(ized) [o, u] slender are palatized [a, e, i] (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_phonology ).

    Whether a consonant is broad or slender depends on the closest vowel. Generally, there won't be a broad vowel on the left and a slender on the right (et vv). http://angaelmagazine.com/pronunciation/consonants.htm

    -> Looking at "nuachtáin", I would say that the last "n" is slender.

    Is that correct, or is there some special rule for vowel clusters/ diphthongs?

    B. Weak/ Strong Plural

    • strong: The genitive plural is similar to the nominative plural.

    • weak: The genitive plural is similar to the nominative singular.

    Weak plurals often: - are slenderized versions of their respective nominative forms (eg fear -> fir), or - are created by adding "a" to the singular (eg bróga).

    (https://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/irish/blas/education/beginnersblas/plurals.shtml)


    Finally, the DNTLS-DTS exception doesn't apply to adjectives. This means that the final'n' in nuachtáin does not prevent lenition in the 'd' of deacra.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
    Mod
    • 1445

    Looking at "nuachtáin", I would say that the last "n" is slender. Is that correct, or is there some special rule for vowel clusters/ diphthongs?

    The final n in nuachtáin is, next to a slender vowel, therefore it is slender.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
    Mod
    • 1445

    Does lenition only occur in adjectives following these nouns, or also in other kinds of words following these nouns???

    You have misquoted the rule - the page that you link to says

    lenition of an adjective is used: … after femin. and masc. nouns in the nominative plural, that end in slender consonants (only possible in the weak plural) e.g.: fir mhóra = big men.

    The rule as stated is a rule for adjectives. An adverb, for example, would not be affected by this rule.


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

    Huh? But earlier in this thread it is stated that "The correct form is Léann sí na nuachtáin dheacra. " So which is it?!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
    Mod
    • 1445

    Daniel is wrong, the exercise is correct.

    The DNTLS-DTS rule does not apply for attributive adjectives, so the plural adjective remains dheacra even though nuachtáin ends in n.

    (You can downvote Daniel's answer, - it might prompt people to read the other responses if they see that other people didn't like the answer).


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

    Really, Duolingo should make users learn the genitive and plural exercises before learning Lenition. And clicking on a word should show whether it's masculine or feminine.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
    Mod
    • 1445

    Duolingo already causes problems for learners by using an bhean before the lenition skill. Given that masculine singular definite genitives are lenited (hata an fhir), and plural genitives are eclipsed (hata na bhfear), it really wouldn't help to attempt to learn genitives or plurals before getting a firmer grasp on lenition and eclipsis.


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

    And clicking on a word should show whether it's masculine or feminine.

    Courses that emerged from the Incubator (such as the Irish from English course) use a different infrastructure than the courses that Duolingo employees developed (such as the Spanish from English course). The latter contain more data than the former; among those extra data are noun genders. Thus, your clicking idea could not be implemented in the Irish course without a great deal of preparatory infrastructure work being completed first.


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

    Why is "she reads the hard news not correct?


    [deactivated user]

      Because nuacht is "news" and nuachtáin are "newspapers".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
      Mod
      • 1445

      The fact that "hard news" is usually the opposite of "soft news", whereas nuacht dheacair is the opposite of "easy news" might be a factor too.

      The NEID actually has an entry for "hard news", and suggests nuacht théagartha or nuacht dháiríre.

      téagartha can mean "substantial" or "comfortable", but "substantial" is the intended meaning in this phrase.

      dáiríre means "serious"


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

      The expression "difficult newspapers" is nonsensical... There has been an entire string of nonsense sentences from which to learn in this section, and I'm really having a difficult time learning from them... Would it be possible to have less literal, more usable translations to English, please? I have to ask, does this sentence make sense in Irish?


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

      The expression "difficult newspapers" is nonsensical...

      I disagree. As an example, for someone learning German, newspapers like the Berliner Gerichts-Zeitung are certainly more difficult than newspapers like Bild.


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

      It's actually useful to have nonsensical sentences, because that prevents us from guessing based on meaning - and thus bluffing our way through the exercises without learning the language :D


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Codester3

      I think the Raven has a point here. Having realistic phrases would be much more helpful to a semi-serious student like me (more than a casual learner, but not ready for immersion just yet). To me, putting logical phrases together helps me to truly understand what I’m saying...not just rote memorization of isolated words.

      A sentence like “Snabhann na nuachtain gach feoil” might be correct syntax (well, if it had fadas...but that’s a different story), but it wouldn’t help me to learn/remember any of the words.

      It would be easy enough to bluff your way through these lessons, if that’s your goal. (Looking at your stats, I’m quite sure that it’s not.)


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

      I just realized that learning whether a word is masculine or feminine might be useful for knowing when to apply Lenition.

      The teanglann.ie entry for newspaper says "nuachtán, m. (gs. & npl. -áin, gpl. ~)".

      Does anyone know what the squiggly line after gpl. means? Does it mean that it's the same as npl.?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
      Mod
      • 1445

      The squiggly line (a tilde) is used whenever the headword (nuachtán in this case), is repeated. The online version is a faithful rendition of the original paper version, which used the tilde to save space, as the headword would be repeated many times in entries with lots of examples.

      In this case, it means that the genitive singular and nominative plural are nuachtáin, and the genitive plural is nuachtán.

      Just to clarify, the "headword" is nuachtán, not nuacht. "-áin indicates that you use nuachtán as far as the first letter of the added part, so án is replaced by áin.

      A tilde ~ is used in mathematics to indicate similarity.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
      Mod
      • 1445

      Note that the "Look inside" selection of the book "A Learners Guide to Irish" on Amazon includes a section on "The Ó Dónaill Dictionary" (aka FGB) that explains the key symbols used in the dictionary.

      Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.