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  5. "An scríbhneoir nó an t-údar?"

"An scríbhneoir an t-údar?"

Translation:The writer or the author?

February 11, 2015

19 Comments


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

What's the specific distinction in Irish here? What is the difference between a scríbhneoir and an údar?


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

An údar is a published scríbhneoir.


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

Go raibh maith agat!


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

It’s the same distinction as in English — not every writer is an author.


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

If I wanted to say 'he is an author' rather than 'he is a writer,' would the 't-' still stand before 'údar'? So, would I write (for example 'Údar is ea í' or T-údar is ea í'? And if the latter, what is the 't-' for?

And if I was to say 'I am' (etc) would the pronoun be 'mé'? I think it would be, but given the other pronouns (sí, sé, síad) lost their first letter, becoming 'í,' 'é' and íad' I wanted to make sure.


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

The t- is used before singular masculine nouns that begin with a vowel following an not governed by a preposition, so “He is an author” would be Is údar é, “She is an author” would be Is údar í, and “I am an author” would be Is údar mé.

The historical reason for the t- can be found here.


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

Why is is scríbhneoir rather than scríobhnóir?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cathal42

Scríbhneoir is in the nominative (default) case, scríobhnóir is in the genetive (possessive) case


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

I think you missed the point of the question. The verb is scríobh. Why was the o dropped in the nominative?


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

The ‘o’ in the original verb is only written to show that the following ‘bh’ is broad. The suffix ‘-eoir’ slenderises it, so the ‘o’ is no longer needed. Also, the genitive of ‘scríbhneoir’ is ‘scríbhneora’.


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

That's rather circular logic. Obviously, if you drop the o from scríobh, you have to change the ending from óir to eoir. If the o is "only there to show that the "bh" is broad", why isn't it kept broad by using a óir ending?

In short, how come the verb scríobh has a broad bh, but the noun scríbhneoir has a slender bh?

No doubt the n plays a role, somehow.


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

I can't reply directly to your comment - Duolingo restricts nested replies to 5 or 6 levels.

There is a rule when spelling words in Irish, *leathan le leathan agus caol le caol". Broad with broad, and slender with slender. In it's simplest form, the vowel following a consonant must be the same "width" as the vowel immediately preceding it.

If the vowel before a consonant is e or i, then the vowel following it must be e or i. If the vowel before the consonant is a, o or u, the first vowel after it must also be from a, o or u.

So, for example, you have múinteoir for teacher, but léachtóir for lecturer - the i before the nt consonants must be followed by an i or an e, and the a before the cht cluster must be followed by an a, o or u.

The "width" of the consonants can change the pronunciation too, in some cases.


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

(Replying to DSDragon's question about the meaning of broad and slender)

Slender means palatalized, broad means velarized - so it's rather like the hard-soft distinction in most Slavic languages.


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

Knocksedan: You mean it's a vowel harmony rule?


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

What does "broad" and "slender" mean in terms of this discussion? I'm studying linguistics, and I don't even know!


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

The eDIL shows that scríbneóir has been used for a long time, with the b softening to bh in the Annals of the Four Masters and the 17th century translation of the Old Testament. Perhaps the scríbneóir spelling was influenced by scríbnid (“scribe”)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tadhg-Monabot

I thought the 1st ‘an’ was a verbal question mark, so how would I know there was a ‘the’ before “scríbhneoir”?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

In a normal sentence, the verb comes first, and an before a verb is the interrogative particle that turns a statement into a question, so when a sentence starts with an it's usually a question. But scríbhneoir is a noun, not a verb, and an before a noun is usually the singular definite article "the".

The obvious exception to this is a copular classification question - An scríbhneoir thú? - "Are you a writer?", because the interrogative form of the copula doesn't use an interrogative particle, it's just an. But this sentence isn't a copula - in fact, you could argue that it isn't really a sentence, because it doesn't have a verb, a subject or an object!

So in this case, the an comes before a noun, and it's just the singular definite article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tadhg-Monabot

SatharnPHIL Go raibh maith agat

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