"His name and her name."
Translation:A ainm agus a hainm.
I was sure that you lenited for "his." Is this weird because of vowels or something else entirely?
The adding of an "h" before vowels isn't considered leniting. Only consonants can lenite/eclipse. Vowels have a different set of mutations, h-prothesis on vowels is triggered by a meaning 'her', as is the case here.
So "his" + initial consonant causes lenition, but "her" + initial vowel causes h-prosthesis? I'm sure that's a big generalisation but I'm struggling with the whole a cat/a gcat/a chat thing.
Lenition and h-prosthesis are two distinct initial mutations, and they each have their own rules. For example, verbs are lenited in the past tense (caitheann sé vs chaith sé), but verbs that start with a vowel are marked with d' (ólann sé vs d'ól sé). If "h-prosthesis" was just "lenition for vowels", you'd have h-ól sé.
Lenition and eclipsis don't apply to vowels. When it comes to figuring out how to mutate words that start with vowels, just be aware that they don't follow the same rules as words that start with consonants.
This one set my teeth on edge for a different reason, though. Although my example is not apples-to-apples, the SOUND is what bugs me.
The two “a” sounds in adjacent words hurts me to say. “A ainm” makes me think of when someone says “a apple” (instead of “AN apple”). I realize that this isn’t a case of an article, and the rules we learn as native English speakers don’t apply to Irish, so these examples don’t really hold water.
It just SOUNDS wrong, even though it’s right. Make sense?
Indeed, and words that lenite never cause h-prothesis, neither do those that eclipse (these always cause n-prothesis). It’s the remaining ones (the ones that don’t mutate any consonants) that usually add ‘h’.
But I've see here "lena chat" with his cat. Is this a different circumstance?
Yes it is different because c is a consonant which is lenited. When a word is lenited the h is placed right AFTER the first letter. Vowels behave differently. Vowels get the h before the first letter. Plus the meaning is different.
Yes, I wondered that too! I had just kind of "got used" to the added h indicating HIM but now I am hesitating!!
a meaning "his" causes lenition. Lenition is a process that only applies to consonants.
a meaning "her" causes a h-prefix to words that start with a vowel. A h-prefix is not lenition.
a sheanmháthair agus a seanmháthair - "his grandmother and her grandmother"
a ainm agus a hainm - "his name and her name"
a cat agus a cat - "her cat and her cat"