The new speaker (2016) sounds like she's saying "an mairteoil." No?
(I think I recall reading that we learners aren't supposed to file reports on audio bugs, but fixing - or simply removing - inaccurate audio can take a while, and in the meantime I'd really rather know whether it's actually wrong or whether there's an aural distinction between "her beef" and "their beef," since there isn't a written distinction.)
A hull is her apple, yet a mairteoil is her beef. I thought a + lenition = her?
That's way too simplified. Not everything lenites, and not everything eclipses.
Thank you for the reply, but I still can't find the answer to my question. I'm pretty sure that mairteoil lenites -> mhairteoil
A (her) + word, does not lenite. A (her) + word starting with a Vowel, DOES get the 'h' added, but that doesn't technically count as lenition. It's just a separate distinction that occurs to help you differentiate between his, hers, and theirs (all use 'a') especially when starting with a vowel, as no lenition or eclipsis can occur on a vowel-beginning-word. So with vowel-beginnings, it's:
his - a + úll = a úll hers - a + h + úll = a húll theirs - a + n- + úll = a n-úll
and with consonant beginnings:
his - a + lenition (if possible) hers - a + word (no change) theirs - a + eclipsis (if possible)
his beef, a mhairteoil / a líomóid her beef, a mairteoil / a líomóid their beef, a mairteoil / a líomóid
as you can see, in most cases of consonant-words that can't be lenited or eclipsed, you just have to decide whose it is based on context.
I don't know how the question was presented to you because everyone gets it in a different format, but if I had to guess, was it "fill in the blank from a drop-down menu"?
If that's the case, then Duo glitched in at least one major way. Foremost is that it should provide exactly one correct answer when presenting a drop-down menu. Doing otherwise puts the user in a no-win situation.
I was going to link you to the discussion at https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6964344 but I see you already posted there.
I had the same problem for a while with this as a 'Type what you hear' question. I'm getting the audio file now most times, so I guess they fixed that bug.
My new problem is that I can't hear any difference at all between the pronunciation of "a mhairteoil" or "a mairteoil". Both sound like "an mairteoil" to me. I think most people struggle badly with 'possessives' by the looks of things.
Yes, "a" can be "his" or "her" or "their". But it's what happens to the start of the next word that differentiates. "A mairteoil" can only mean "her beef".