"His name and her name."

Translation:A ainm agus a hainm.

June 13, 2015


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I was sure that you lenited for "his." Is this weird because of vowels or something else entirely?

June 13, 2015


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.

June 13, 2015


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.

February 10, 2019

  • 1222

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.

February 10, 2019


Great explanation!

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?

May 13, 2019


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’.

July 31, 2015


But I've see here "lena chat" with his cat. Is this a different circumstance?

January 15, 2018


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.

August 10, 2018


Yes, I wondered that too! I had just kind of "got used" to the added h indicating HIM but now I am hesitating!!

April 27, 2018


Like "a daidí" and "a dhaidí"...

April 27, 2018


a sheanmháthair agus a seanmháthair. a ainm agus a hainm. a cat agus a cat. ??? His _ and her _

October 3, 2019

  • 1222

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"

October 4, 2019
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