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  5. "You have an animal."

"You have an animal."

Translation:Tá ainmhí agat.

June 5, 2015

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerardd88

How come mh is pronounced as /v/?! I just love this system :D


[deactivated user]

    In Irish and Scottish Gaelic, h technically isn't a letter--it's an indicator of lenition, when the consonant before it is lenited, slenderized, softened or weakened, however you want to describe it (usually we say lenited or slenderized). When m is slenderized it becomes a /v/ sound.

    "Lenition" comes from the Latin word for weak or weakened - lenis. And that's all it is. It's just a weakening of that consonant sound, and with initial consonants, it's to indicate a particular function in the sentence, like grammatical gender, case, possession, etc.

    In ainmhí you have m bracketed by two slender vowels- i and i. That will slenderize the m, which is one of the consonant that lenition affects. That slenderization is marked in the orthography here by the h. (N is a liquid consonant and plays by different rules--you will not see n, l or r followed by an h and the whole topic of liquids in Irish/Gaelic phonology is pretty complex, so just know for now that they will never have an h following them.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerardd88

    Thank you for your answer and for the explanations :) I know there is logic behind most of those spellings. I try to make sense of them from the beginning so I had read about phonetics before I started the tree and I keep things like this (under Irish pronunciation) or the tools with IPA transcriptions open all the time while working on the tree. It's just very often funny when the words are pronounced so differently from what I could expect from the perspective of any language I know. Celtic languages seem to have truly unique spelling systems :)


    [deactivated user]

      Yep. I was completely befuddled by the orthography when I started learning Scottish Gaelic--none of it made much sense to me and I just had to go along with it until it did make sense. The orthography of Modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic uses is based around broad vs. slender vowel sounds and uniquely fits these languages' distinct phonology. I have yet to come across another language with a similar orthography. It's a different approach but it works for these languages and the more you learn Irish, the more it will make sense.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lolover4

      Search up chaol le chaol and lathain le lathain


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AllieC490376

      Caol le caol agus leathan le leathan


      [deactivated user]

        BTW, there's is a unit on lenition specifically--it's a few lessons after the Animal one. There's some good notes there.


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

        Why is beíthioch not acceptable here?


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

        ainmhithe is the plural of ainmhí.

        ainmhí - "animal"
        ainmhithe - "animals"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoisinRyan4

        Oh great thank you. I always thought í was the plural.... back to the classroom for me! :)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AllieC490376

        I was wondering about this too!!! Actually, check this comment : https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/4904829/Ainmh%C3%AD Dim-ond Dysgwr points out that ainmhí comes from the Old Irish ainmide, so pre-spelling reform, it was probably spelt ainmhidh. So since the idh was just an í in all 3 dialects, it was changed to better reflect this pronunciation... Cool to finally realise it - and it helps me to make sense of the spelling!

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