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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 11:03 am 
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On teanglann.ie some Connacht speakers pronounce words like beag as "byug" but a few say "bug", and for words like go dtí some say "gu-dee", others "gu-jee", and for final-mh, some leave it silent, others pronounce it "v". To my ear at least.

Is this because only speakers in certain parts of Connacht slenderise initial consonants or pronounce mh, and the speakers in the other part always pronounce broad initial consonants and silent mh? Or is there a grammatical or other difference I'm missing?

Does it follow that natives who say "byug" will also say "go-jee", because they are in the we-clearly-slenderise-initial-consonants region of Connacht? Or if natives slenderise "byug" but not "go-dee", how do they decide which initial consonants to slenderise and which not?

Examples like beag:


Examples like go dtí:


In school Irish, I remember pronouncing go dtí as "gu-dee", but go deas as "gu jass". Is this a sin in gaeltacht Irish?

Examples ending in "mh":

(This part is less important; I think I found the answer.)


So is lámha "lawva"?

(Reminder: when making a link, you have to replace the accented characters with the codes:
  • á -> %C3%A1
  • é -> %C3%A9
  • í -> %C3%AD
  • ó -> %C3%B3
  • ú -> %C3%BA
For example:
[url=http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/beag%C3%A1n]beagán[/url]
)

Any help appreciated. I've been going in circles for months. I'm making a table to summarise the main differences between the dialects and the sub-dialects, so any help I get for my questions here will eventually be made into something that can help everyone.

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 12:09 pm 
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Our man in Brussels wrote:
On teanglann.ie some Connacht speakers pronounce words like beag as "byug" but a few say "bug", and for words like go dtí some say "gu-dee", others "gu-jee", and for final-mh, some leave it silent, others pronounce it "v". To my ear at least.

Is this because only speakers in certain parts of Connacht slenderise initial consonants or pronounce mh, and the speakers in the other part always pronounce broad initial consonants and silent mh? Or is there a grammatical or other difference I'm missing.


beag /bʲɔɡ/ (or rather /bʲɞɡ/, /bʲɜg/ or similar)

Between and ɔ there's an offglide-j which might be stronger or weaker.
/jɔɡ/
That's the only difference I can hear. As far as I can say, all labial plosives are slender .
One shouldn't try to imitate the glide and produce something terrible like "/bjɔɡ/" (though probably all learners do so, including myself when not speaking attentionally)
It is better to try to produce a slender quality of . The glide is secondary and comes automatically.

Broad -mh is different in different syllables.
In noun endings like -amh (talamh, creideamh, etc.) mh it is often silent, the suffix is pronounced /ə/
In other syllables it is /v~w/

isn't an affricate "j" /dʒ/ as it is in Ulster (compare the pron. of díbh in Ulster/Connacht).
At least I don't hear /dʒ/ in the Connacht versions.


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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 2:23 pm 
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Interesting about "ámh" versus "amh". I mean, I guess somewhere inside me I have some rule because I do know how to pronounce them, but I never thought about why. Perhaps it is vowel length after all.

One note -- for pronunciation I strongly recommend that instead of using teanglann you go to forvo.com and listen to recordings by BrídEilís. She has done many recordings of Irish (and does more regularly, if you request them). I listen to every recording she makes. Everything is always consistent (unlike teanglann which has different speakers from different places and sometimes I swear they mix up which recording is from where... maybe...) and everything is 100% authentic.

There are many amateurs on forvo also (as well as perhaps some authentic speakers from the north or south), so in general if anyone else records something I request that it be redone by someone else until Bríd does it because she is the only person I trust. There is a lot of misinformation out there about pronunciation of Irish, so I basically don't trust anything or anyone except her. She is highly, highly recommended.

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Last edited by Cúmhaí on Wed 11 Apr 2018 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 2:32 pm 
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Labhrás already explained it better, but I think it is just your trying to equate them with English sounds that is the issue with "bug" v "byug" and "dee" v "jee" in those recordings. To me they all sound consistent, bj and dj.
I think the secret here is knowing that the consonant is not one in English, and which English sound it is closest to may vary, but in reality it is consistently a different sound other than any English one.

I feel like I just wrote nonsense so sorry if it is not comprehensible hahaha

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 4:01 pm 
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Cúmhaí wrote:
One note -- for pronunciation I strongly recommend that instead of using teanglann you go to forvo.com and listen to recordings by BrídEilís. She has done many recordings of Irish (and does more regularly, if you request them). I listen to every recording she makes. Everything is always consistent (unlike teanglann which has different speakers from different places and sometimes I swear they mix up which recording is from where... maybe...) and everything is 100% authentic.

There are many amateurs on forvo also (as well as perhaps some authentic speakers from the north or south), so in general if anyone else records something I request that it be redone by someone else until Bríd does it because she is the only person I trust. There is a lot of misinformation out there about pronunciation of Irish, so I basically don't trust anything or anyone except her. She is highly, highly recommended.


That's so nice of you to say that. Thank you. :D :GRMA:


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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 4:23 pm 
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Cúmhaí wrote:
One note -- for pronunciation I strongly recommend that instead of using teanglann you go to forvo.com and listen to recordings by BrídEilís. She has done many recordings of Irish (and does more regularly, if you request them). I listen to every recording she makes. Everything is always consistent (unlike teanglann which has different speakers from different places and sometimes I swear they mix up which recording is from where... maybe...) and everything is 100% authentic.


Thanks for posting this information, Cúmhaí. It will be an incredible resource for a beginner like me.

And thanks, Bríd, for taking the time to record and upload all those sound files. I know that's a lot of work.

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 5:03 pm 
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In those examples the sound isn't consistent. I think maybe Teanglann use the real voice for some of the words and use artificial voice for others, or a combination of both.

Beag:
The Conamara one sounds ok and the other two dialects sound natural too. It's not really "bug", listen to the Munster one and you'll hear a diphthong, the Conamara one has that too but she is saying it so fast you don't hear it.
I heard before that we do tend to speak faster in Conamara. :)

Beag bídeach:
Sounds a bit odd, I don't hear the ACH sound properly. Possibly they used a computer to put the two words together so it sounds a titch artificial.

Beagaigeanta:
That's correct, a real voice.

Beagnach: Sounds a bit rushed, but ok.

beagchúram: That's correct, a real voice.

Beagán: As normal the G here goes to the second syllable. And the first syllable loses the diththong so it's pronounced like Beh (in English).


D:
In Conamara unlenited D sounds like a D, not quite the same as an English D, a bit softer I suppose. I'm not able to explain grammar or phonology, sorry.
But in Ulster it sounds like a J.

Dí:
As in the prefix, that sounds ok.

Deas:
Sounds ok to me.

Go dtí go:
Sounds rushed so you're not really hearing it clearly.


Lámh / Láimh
This was explained to me before :)
But if I'm explaining it incorrectly, please correct me.
Apparently we often use the dative as the nominative in Conamara.
So words like Lámh in Standard Irish are pronounced in Conamara as Láimh.
We say úlla for apple, instead of the standard úll.
Éirinn is the name of our country not Éire. ETc.


Edit:Another thing you might have noticed is the É isn't pronounced as you might expect in all words. Like "he" and "me" - in speech the "sé" is like seh (English sound) and "mé" sounds like meh (English sound). Applicable to Conamara, I can't speak for the other dialects. Listen to Máirtín Tom Sheainín on Ard Trathnóna on Raidió na Gaeltachta, or "Comhrá" on youtube.


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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 5:06 pm 
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Brús Liam wrote:
And thanks, Bríd, for taking the time to record and upload all those sound files. I know that's a lot of work.


You're welcome.

I've been a bit lazy lately, not doing enough work here or on Forvo.


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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 6:18 pm 
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Brús Liam wrote:
Thanks for posting this information, Cúmhaí. It will be an incredible resource for a beginner like me.

And thanks, Bríd, for taking the time to record and upload all those sound files. I know that's a lot of work.


Believe me, even when you are a highly advanced student or even a teacher, these are still extremely helpful. Unless you live in the Gaeltacht, or listen consistently to only one or two people on TG4, it is very difficult to perfect a consistent and accurate Irish.

The Irish language community is like a horrible echo chamber (especially duolingo) where nobody is doing it exactly right and everyone is learning it imperfectly from one another. That is the unfortunate drawback of the language having many more learners and second language speakers than first language speakers. It does not mean the community is evil or you shouldn't be apart of it or anything, just that you have to be super careful.

Anyway, everyone already knows that I am a Bríd fanatic.

Bríd Mhór wrote:
You're welcome.

I've been a bit lazy lately, not doing enough work here or on Forvo.


Take a break whenever you want! You have already done all of us so much.

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr 2018 7:38 pm 
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Thanks for these great replies! I've read them all twice but I'll have to go through them again tomorrow. Thanks to Bríd and Labhrás for the pronunciations and to Cúmhaí and Bríd for the comments about teanglann.ie recordings.

I see now that I'll have to set my sights lower in terms of how good an accent I can learn here on my own - the IPA doesn't evoke a particular pronunciation for me and I seem to not have my ear tuned to all the nuances of the recordings.

For my initial b's and d's, I think the best I can do is imagine a spectrum, and aim for here:

dee--------X---------------------------------jee

bug--------------------X---------------------byug

I agree that thinking in terms of English sounds is a bad approach, but it's the only option until I find a gaeltacht native speaker in Brussels who'll help me. (Internet video chat wouldn't work.)

But even if I amn't getting the sounds right, it won't stop me trying to develop a consistent or coherent pronunciation and a large vocabulary.

I'll have more questions in a day or two :-) Thanks again.

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