"Thit an choinneal agus thosaigh tine."

Translation:The candle fell and a fire started.

4 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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From a purely English perspective, “a fire started” in this sentence is passive in meaning — it really means “a fire was started” (i.e. by the candle having fallen). Is the meaning of thosaigh tine properly active in Irish? (I know that its phrasing is active.) Is the sense of, say, bhí tine ar tosú implied?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rentriki
rentriki
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I've been taught to call this sort of construction "middle voice" in English:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_(grammar)#Middle

No idea whether it's acceptable in Irish or not.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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The way that I see it, “A fire started.” would be in the English middle voice only if the fire started itself, to reflect both its agency and its patiency. My view is that the sentence implies that the falling of the candle was the agent for the starting of the fire, so I see the fire as being only a patient. In the case of my musing on “an eclipse started” elsewhere in this discussion, I’d see that as being in the middle voice.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
talideon
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A better, more precise term in this case might be 'mediopassive voice'. 'A fire started' would be mesiopassive voice (no actual agent mentioned), while 'the eclipse started' would middle voice (same agent and patient).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Wouldn’t it depend upon how one interprets the full sentence? That is, if the falling of the candle was understood to be the cause of the fire, then that would be where the agent for starting the fire was mentioned.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PookaGar
PookaGar
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For what it's worth, the system took "The candle fell and started a fire," which (if DL is correct in accepting that interpretation) is a point in favor of the candle as agent, and of the mediopassivity of tosaigh.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moloughl
moloughl
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I was wondering if "Thit an choinneal agus d'adhnadh tine" or "Thit an choinneal agus d'adhain sí tine" would be more appropriate than "thosaigh tine"?

See http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/adhain

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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It’s fine for tosaigh and tine to be used together — see the NEID entry for “start” as “set in progress”.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moloughl
moloughl
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In spite of tosaigh being given in other dictionaries Ó Dónaill in the entry for "tine" does not mention "tosaigh" in relation to it. Instead he gives beoigh, tóg (11d), adhain, fadaigh. For initiating a fire unintentionally I think tóg is the more likely candidate - Thit an choinneal agus thóg tine.

I am looking at it from the point of view of what would native speakers have used in times gone by before they became over-influenced by English. Just because "start" is used in English doesn't mean that the translation of "start" has to be used in Irish even though there is a temptation to do so.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Fair enough. Note that de Bhaldraithe’s 1959 definition gives only tine a adhaint for “to start a fire”, if you would prefer 18 fewer years of English influence to Ó Dónaill’s definitions of 1977.

For unintentional fires, McKenna’s 1922 examples of “it went on, took fire” are {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt}do ċuaiḋ sé trí ṫeiniḋ, do ġlac sé teine.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

it's not yet known how the fire started - ní fios go fóill conas a thosaigh an tine (focloir.ie)

The fire originated under the floor faoin urlár a thosaigh an tine. (FGB, under originate).

So, it seems it can be used that way.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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I was thinking about the sentence above earlier today, wondering if the two statements in the sentence were intended to be cause and effect or not — if my response would have been the same if the sentence were, say, “The candle fell and an eclipse started.” instead. I think that your reply has clarified that it was the choice of the English verb “started” that got me to open this discussion, since the “originated” example from the FGB seems to better exemplify the lack of an agent.

4 years ago
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