I had there are no skirts before us and was marked wrong. I'm having trouble understanding why
I suppose DL want a more exact translation. Your sentence would be Níl aon sciortaí romhainn.
The pronunciation of romhainn: it seems the "mh" is mute; but in other words, sometimes it seems like a "w" and some times like a "v". Assuming the speaker is doing it right, what are the rules regarding the pronunciation of "mh"?
Asking the same question, but it seems in some cases they are mute, in others they are not.
A good explanation of the sounds in Irish are given in chapter one of Graiméar Gaeilge na mBráithre Críostaí
The sound of mh varies depending on whether:
- it affects the preceding vowel
- it combines with the preceding vowel to form a diphthong
- it is sounded as a consonant
Affecting the preceding vowel:
Sometimes in the combination omh or omha the effect of mh is to lengthen the vowel 'o' making the whole combination sound like ó. Examples are: chomh, comharsa, comhla, romham, tomhas, comhairle, romhainn, thomhais.
Similarly with the combination umh or umha. Examples are : ciumhais, cumhacht, cumhra, Mumhain, umhal. These sound like ciúis, cúcht, cúra, Múin, úl respectively.
Combining with the preceding vowel:
In a multi-syllable word but not ending in mh, if mh or mha is preceded by the vowel 'a' it combines with it to form an 'au' sound. Examples are: amhras, gamhain, macasamhail, ramhar, cleamhnas, sleamhain, Teamhair, namhaid. This is where you get the impression that mh sounds a bit like a 'w'.
Sounded as a consonant:
Here mh has a 'v' sound. Examples are: neamh, talamh, gaineamh, amh, grámhar, amháin, nimh, ríomh, riamh, mheáigh, deimhin, naimhde.
Also it varies with dialect. For example, where I grew up mh in grámhar and amháin was sounded like a 'w'. In deimhin and naimhde the mh was silent.
In the case it affects the preceding vowel, it is mute and the vowel is lengthened?
Yes. This only applies to the vowels 'o' and 'u'.
I don't think it applies to 'bh'.
'bh', 'dh' and 'gh' are covered in chapter 1 of the link I posted.
I have to back up a level to reply to your question about 'bh'.
bh combines with the preceding vowel 'a' in the same way as 'mh' to form an 'au' sound. Examples are: cabhair, fabhra, gabhar, labhair, leabhar, Cabhán, cabhlach, fabhair, tabhair, abhaill, creabhair, meabhair.
Similarly bh combines with the vowel 'o' to form an 'ou' sound, for example cobhsaí, tobhach.
bh sounded as a consonant has a 'v' sound like mh. Examples are: bhain, bhrúigh, tarbh, brobh, ubh, scríobh, bhí, luibh, deilbh.
In the word faobhar only the 'ao' sound is made; the bh is silent.