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PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2016 8:56 am 
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Hello, I am learning Irish and from time to time I wonder if other Gaelics have analogous constructions to it. And I cannot find anything about something like Irish passive construction with verbal noun in Scottish.

For example, if one wants to say in Irish that “a book is being read by me”, they might say:
Tá leabhar á [= ag a] léamh agam,
or, if they want to say “I am being kissed by her”:
Táim am’ pógadh aici (Munster) or Táim do mo phógadh aici (Caighdeán Oifigiúil), where am’ and do mo are different ways to write what’s originally been ‘ag mo’.

Is there an analog of this in Scottish Gaelic? Something like:
*Tha leabhar ga leughadh agam
and:
*Tha mi gam phògadh aice?

I know that regular active constructions with verbal noun (eg. tha mi a’ leughadh leabhar) in Scottish can express both progressive and habitual aspects (both “I am reading a book” and “I read a book”), unlike in Irish (where they are used only to mean progressive action), so perhaps the passive equivalent is unnecessary here and does not exist. If so, then how is it express, by something along the lines of *tha e a’ bhidh leughte agam?


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PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2016 10:11 am 
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Quote:
Is there an analog of this in Scottish Gaelic? Something like:
*Tha leabhar ga leughadh agam
and:
*Tha mi gam phògadh aice?


Looks like both are possible.
Actually I found examples of sentences like "Tha an leabhar ga leughadh" and "Tha mi gam phògadh" in my grammar; they didn't include the "agam" part though.

Quote:
If so, then how is it express, by something along the lines of *tha e a’ bhidh leughte agam?


I don't think "ag bheith" or "a' bhith" exists in any of the Gaelic languages...

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PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2016 11:52 am 
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silmeth wrote:
Is there an analog of this in Scottish Gaelic? Something like:
*Tha leabhar ga leughadh agam
and:
*Tha mi gam phògadh aice?


First, some terminology:
Short passive -- something where the doer is not mentioned e.g. "the sheriff was shot"
Long passive -- the doer is mentioned, but not emphasised e.g. "the sheriff was shot by Bob Marley"

I don't come across a lot of long passives in Gaelic -- if you want to say who did it, you tend to just use an active voice.

This isn't actually surprising from a grammar perspective, because Gaelic doesn't really have a "passive" at all, but what's called an "impersonal", and impersonal forms don't tend to take a long passive.

As well as the form you use above, there's another form that's typically only used in the past:
Chaidh an leabhar a leughadh -- word for word that's "went the book its reading", essentially meaning "the reading of the book occurred".
Chaidh mo phògadh -- "went my kissing" -- "kissing of me happened"

and an impersonal verb inflection that wouldn't work with the first but does with the second: (but again doesn't really work in the present
Pògadh mi -- "kissed(indeterminate person) me"
However, it does exist, and the most common preposition is le, which is also used for naming presenters on TV or authors of books, so equivalent to a certain sense of English's "by".

Quote:
I know that regular active constructions with verbal noun (eg. tha mi a’ leughadh leabhar) in Scottish can express both progressive and habitual aspects (both “I am reading a book” and “I read a book”),

Urk, no! That's a book error and a worryingly persistent myth, arising from the teaching of other languages and a misinterpretation of English grammar. Tha mi a'... is about now. It can me that you're sitting reading it at this very minute, or that I'm currently in the process of reading a particular book, but if you want to say "I read a book every night", you'd use the habitual, which uses the future tense.

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PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2016 12:04 pm 
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Quote:
Urk, no! That's a book error and a worryingly persistent myth, arising from the teaching of other languages and a misinterpretation of English grammar. Tha mi a'... is about now. It can me that you're sitting reading it at this very minute, or that I'm currently in the process of reading a particular book, but if you want to say "I read a book every night", you'd use the habitual, which uses the future tense.


Maybe it's not a myth. I remember I asked a native speaker from Lewis how he'd say something like "I read a book every night" (it wasn't that sentence but something like that) and he answered "Tha mi a' leumhadh leabhar 'ach uile feasgar"). I was surprised but it looks like in his dialect at least, the -(a)idh ending is now only used for the future tense...

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PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2016 12:37 pm 
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NiallBeag wrote:
I don't come across a lot of long passives in Gaelic -- if you want to say who did it, you tend to just use an active voice.


Sure, that makes sense, and it’s probably also the more common way in Irish. I was more interested if such construction is possible and intelligible in Scottish.

NiallBeag wrote:
As well as the form you use above, there's another form that's typically only used in the past:
Chaidh an leabhar a leughadh -- word for word that's "went the book its reading", essentially meaning "the reading of the book occurred".
Chaidh mo phògadh -- "went my kissing" -- "kissing of me happened"


That’s an interesting way of expressing an action. Thanks. :)

NiallBeag wrote:
and an impersonal verb inflection that wouldn't work with the first but does with the second: (but again doesn't really work in the present
Pògadh mi -- "kissed(indeterminate person) me"
However, it does exist, and the most common preposition is le, which is also used for naming presenters on TV or authors of books, so equivalent to a certain sense of English's "by".


OK, that is also common with Irish, pógadh mé for “one kissed me”/“I was kissed”. But Irish does have present autonomous form: pógtar mé – “I am kissed”, “one kisses me” (repeatedly, habitually). As I understand that is not true in Scottish Gaelic – it has only past-autonomous?

NiallBeag wrote:
Urk, no! That's a book error and a worryingly persistent myth, arising from the teaching of other languages and a misinterpretation of English grammar. Tha mi a'... is about now. It can me that you're sitting reading it at this very minute, or that I'm currently in the process of reading a particular book, but if you want to say "I read a book every night", you'd use the habitual, which uses the future tense.


Oh, thank you for pointing that out. I knew that some verbs may use the future form to indicate habitual actions (like chì mi for “I see”), but I thought it’s true only for a small set of them, and read somewhere that verbal-noun construction is used for both. Does it mean that nì mi e can mean both “I do it (every week)” and “I’ll do it (tomorrow)”, depending on context?

I also just checked in taic, that it’s quite the opposite to what I thought – a small set of verbs can have a habitual, repeated meaning in vn-construction (tha mi a’ smaointinn, ‘I think’), and “the Future Tense of a verb must be used to express an immediate future action as well as a repeated action in the present” – but, again, only repeating action examples are with the future form of bi, eg. Bidh iad a' cluich anns a' phàirc a h-uile là - They play in the park every day

Anyway, thank you very much for your answers, I think it clears an image in my head. From what I believe right now, such construction is possible in Scottish, but is uncommon, and (nearly?) always it is expressed by other means (like autonomous verbs) – that would explain why I had such hard time trying to Google any example of it. :)


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PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct 2016 12:44 pm 
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Ouch, I was wrong, there are examples of future tense used for repeated actions on taic that I missed:
Quote:
Gabhaidh e bracaist a h-uile madainn - He takes breakfast ever morning
Sgrìobhaidh sinn litir thuige a h-uile là - We write (to) him a letter every day


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