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PostPosted: Mon 17 Jan 2022 1:38 am 
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If you have 3 indefinite nouns, then you need to spot the division into units of meaning, as Labhrás has said:

1. [tigh tábhairne] baile: a townland's pub
2. tigh [sagart paróiste]: a parish priest's house

These units of meaning may have lenition within them for reasons that relate to the pattern of lenition on the unit of meaning as a separate phrase:

1. [clann mhac] duine: a man's sons [mhac lenited after the feminine noun clann in the 'inead brí']
2. tigh [bean chaointe]: a wailing woman's house

In all four examples, the genitive is not declined.

If you decline for the genitive (a rarer choice, as the genitive is definitely on the way out in Irish):
tigh pobail bhaile (lenited according to 4.14), tigh sagairt pharóiste (lenited according to 4.14, but I have found the definite "an tsagairt paróiste" in Muskerry literature; Seanchas Chléire has both "an tsagairt paróiste" and "an tsagairt pharóiste", so the unlenited versions may be typos; note that there are examples of "an tsagairt paróiste" on gaois.ie), clann mhac duine, tigh mná caointe.

Now if the governing noun is feminine, there is an argument to lenite after it. But note this sentence from Peadar Ua Laoghaire:

Quote:
"Tá giolla agam," ar seisean, "agus inghean mic inghíne file ab eadh seana-mháthair a mhná."


"I have a manservant, and his wife's grandmother was a daughter of a son of a daughter of a poet".

The link to that passage is https://archive.org/details/guaire02olea/page/146/mode/2up (right-hand page, p147, line 66)

Ua Laoghaire has "iníon mhic" in a different passage in his works - the issue of whether to lenite after a feminine noun is bedevilled, and there may be a typo in the passage above. [Iníon mhic] as a unit of meaning would call for lenition. Possibly, the fact that iníon mic stands in a longer concatenation of genitives (iníon mic iníne file) may rupture the feeling of iníon mhic as an inead brí and this may explain non-lenition?

Also note this from Peadar Ua Laoghaire's Mo Sgéal Féin:

Quote:
Ar an ngaraidhe prátaí iseadh mhaireadh gach aon duine bocht an uair sin, agus ar pé braon bainne a gheibheadh sé ó'n bhfeirmeóir go mbíodh slígh fir oibre aige uaidh


Slí is feminine, but does not lenite fir oibre (a declined genitive). ([Slí bheatha] and [slí mhaireachtaint] do have lenition, because there is an inead brí.)

For this reason, I feel that "oifig [pobail bhaile]" is right, without lenition, at least where the genitive is declined. Where the genitive is not declined, I think you need lenition to show the relation between "pobal baile" and "oifig": oifig [phobal baile]. The discussion in Graiméar Gaeilge 4.15 and 4.16 simply doesn't clarify either way.

But if the mental division into phrases is as follows, then you need leniton: [oifig phobail] baile. (I don't see the need for lenition of the b, because it is not in the inead brí.)

The passage in Graiméar Gaeilge on this is extraordinarily convoluted, and so I have not been able to work out if my understanding is correct or not.


Last edited by djwebb2021 on Wed 19 Jan 2022 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan 2022 1:29 am 
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Thank you SO much for taking the time to explain that! That was a very helpful addition! And very well explained too. :D


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PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan 2022 1:54 am 
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Rosie_Oleary wrote:
Thank you SO much for taking the time to explain that! That was a very helpful addition! And very well explained too. :D

Rosie, have you received your grammar book yet?


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PostPosted: Thu 20 Jan 2022 7:57 am 
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Hi just in relation to this thread which is beyond my level of comprehension of the Irish language so far (I have a long way to go) I chanced upon this at https://www.bbc.co.uk/irish/video_audio ... 5/english/ .... which I could actually follow !

Giota Chun Cinn Lesson 12: Suspended Genitive

Created 12/04/2005
Antaine ó Donnaile explains the suspended genitive in Irish.

Transcript of media clip Giota Chun Cinn Lesson 12: Suspended Genitive
Learning Irish can be a bit difficult at the start, until you break through a certain barrier or threshold of understanding, and after that point everything can become easy. The process can be good craic though, and in a way the social element can be just as important as the linguistic one.
I remember, just after I did my A levels I was teaching a night class in Armagh. I had probably just passed that learning threshold myself and I was showing the students how to show ownership in Irish which is different to the way we do it in English. A couple of days after the class I got a phone call from a very worried and embarrassed woman who said, “Antaine, I don’t know how to say this, but I’m having trouble with my suspended genitive.” It was a good thing that I was on the phone because if you had seen the redness on my young face it was something else!
But the suspended genitive is quite important. And just in case you were wondering, it is fairly simple. The genitive case of a noun is used when you want to show ownership of the noun for example dath means colour and féar means grass, the colour of the grass is dath an fhéir. The genitive is also used after a verbal noun for example ag baint can mean cutting, or harvesting, and an fear as I said means the grass. Put the two together and you get ag baint an fhéir, cutting the grass or the cutting of the grass. There is almost ownership there anyway
Here are a few other examples - the words an madadh means the dog. And the word teach means house. The dog’s house, or the house of the dog, as we say in Irish is teach an mhadaidh. An madadh becomes an mhadaidh in the genitive. If you wanted to reverse it and say the dog of the house the words an teach (the house) would have to go into the genitive case to become an tí and you would get madadh an tí. This is the same for Bean an tí, the woman of the house, or the Mrs, or fear a tí, the man of the house. Incidentally, to get back to the dog, the name Limavady or Leim a mhadaidh has the word for dog in the genitive case as well. Leim a’ Mhadaigh, the dog’s leap, the leap of the dog.
That’s the basics, but now to develop this further to the suspended genitive. It is possible to have a number of nouns in a row all belonging to each other and each meriting the genitive case because of ownership.
Where you have a number of them you always suspend the genitive to the last noun in the phrase and where possible aspirate, or put a h after the first letter of each noun that isn’t in the genitive case– I know that is a simplification but it is a useful one.
For example the colour of the dog’s house is dath theach an mhadaigh. The colour of the house would be dath an tí, the dogs house would be teach an mhadaidh as we saw before but when you put them together you get dath theach an mhadaidh. Notice also that although in English the word the, the definite article, is used twice, in Irish, like the genitive it is used only once and at the end: Dath theach an mhadaidh.
So that in very simple terms is a look at the common problems around the suspended genitive. Next week, if you like, I could give you a run down on the major difficulties some learners have with an even more serious complaint, the copula – now that is something you need to be very careful with!

:GRMA:


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PostPosted: Fri 21 Jan 2022 1:00 pm 
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Ssalzano wrote:
Hi just in relation to this thread which is beyond my level of comprehension of the Irish language so far (I have a long way to go) I chanced upon this at https://www.bbc.co.uk/irish/video_audio ... 5/english/ .... which I could actually follow !
Giota Chun Cinn Lesson 12: Suspended Genitive

Created 12/04/2005
Antaine ó Donnaile explains the suspended genitive in Irish.



I hadn't heard that term (Suspended Genitive) before but it's one way of putting it I suppose.


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PostPosted: Fri 21 Jan 2022 1:04 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
If you decline for the genitive (a rarer choice, as the genitive is definitely on the way out in Irish)


If I understand correctly then, the avoidance of the double genitive is more a matter of the era that the writer or speaker is from, rather than a matter of dialect. I wonder how recently this change came about.

The double genitive must have been alive and well in the 19th century since your two examples of nested noun phrases from Peadar Ua Laoghaire's writing (inghean mic inghíne file and slígh fir oibre) both exhibit the characteristic.

By the late 19th century the main dialects had been cut off from each other, so any grammatical innovations that affected all dialects after that time would presumably only have come about through the influence of radio or television.


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PostPosted: Fri 21 Jan 2022 1:40 pm 
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Caoilte wrote:
djwebb2021 wrote:
If you decline for the genitive (a rarer choice, as the genitive is definitely on the way out in Irish)


If I understand correctly then, the avoidance of the double genitive is more a matter of the era that the writer or speaker is from, rather than a matter of dialect. I wonder how recently this change came about.

The double genitive must have been alive and well in the 19th century since your two examples of nested noun phrases from Peadar Ua Laoghaire's writing (inghean mic inghíne file and slígh fir oibre) both exhibit the characteristic.

By the late 19th century the main dialects had been cut off from each other, so any grammatical innovations that affected all dialects after that time would presumably only have come about through the influence of radio or television.


I think nearly all the dialects now say : hata fhear an tí instead of "hata fir an tí", which Peadar Ua Laoghaire would have had. But as our discussion with Labhrás shows, there are still cases within that where the grouping of words might mean that the "suspended genitive" is avoided. As a rule of thumb, though, the suspended genitive is strongly preferred today, such that many learners of the CO will simply tell you you are wrong not to use it.


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PostPosted: Fri 21 Jan 2022 2:07 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
Possibly, the fact that iníon mic stands in a longer concatenation of genitives (iníon mic iníne file) may rupture the feeling of iníon mhic as an inead brí and this may explain non-lenition?

I don't think "iníon mic" is intended to be a semantic unit in this case. I think I would subconsciously parse this phrase as indicated by the following brackets: inghean [mic [inghíne file]] since I would see "file" as the reference from which the relevance of all the other nouns in the phrase derives.

And I think that is what was going on in Peadar Ua Laoghaire's mind as well. If he had intended [a daughter of a son] of [a daughter of a poet], it would be [inghean mhac] [inghíne file]. This might be a grammatically valid phrase but I don't think it is semantically very meaningful since "inghean mhac", when considered alone, has no significance since every daughter is the daughter of a son. Otoh, something like the following would be meaningful "teach gloine sagart paróiste" (a parish priest's glass-house). The relationships are indicated by the brackets: [teach gloine] [sagart paróiste].

-----------

Maybe you have nonetheless identified a valid grammatical rule, as evidenced by the two examples from Peadar Ua Laoghaire, which would be that if a noun is followed directly by a qualifying genitive phrase, which genitive phrase consists of a noun inflected for the genitive followed by a noun in the genitive, then the second of the three nouns remains unlenited, even if the first noun is feminine.

Of course, as you point out, this would mean that Labhrás's example oifig [phobail baile] becomes oifig [pobail baile].

----------

djwebb2021 wrote:
Where the genitive is not declined, I think you need lenition to show the relation between "pobal baile" and "oifig": oifig [phobal baile].

What I think you are effectively saying is that, by leniting "pobal" as per oifig [phobal baile], it helps to indicate that it is semantically genitive, even though it is not grammatically (or more precisely not inflectionally) genitive.

But if so, teach [pobal baile] should be teach [phobal baile] - even though "teach" is masculine. So this also contradicts Labhrás.

---------

The following is my attempt at summarising the situation/understanding.

Example where first noun is masculine - the/a house of a town congregation

⦁ Old style (double genitive employed): Labhrás: teach [pobail bhaile]; Djwebb: teach [pobail bhaile] - agreement
⦁ New style (double genitive avoided): Labhrás: teach [pobal baile]; Djwebb's hypothesis: teach [phobal baile] - disagreement

Example where first noun is feminine - the/an office of a town congregation

⦁ Old style (double genitive employed): Labhrás: oifig [phobail bhaile]; Djwebb's hypothesis: oifig [pobail bhaile] - disagreement
⦁ New style (double genitive avoided): Labhrás: oifig [phobal baile]; Djwebb: oifig [phobal baile] - agreement


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PostPosted: Fri 21 Jan 2022 8:50 pm 
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Caoilte, there is also this in Peadar Ua Laoghaire's Mo Sgéal Féin (which I am republishing in the modern spelling later this year):

Quote:
Ag féachaint ortha dhom thugas fé ndeara láithreach an chosamhlacht chruinn atá idir an radharc a chonac ansúd, idir chnucaibh agus uisge, agus an radharc a chíon aoinne nuair fhéachan sé ar an gcúinne thiar theas de mhapa na h-Éirean ar fhalla thíghe sgoile


It is normally the case that the use of the declined genitive means that you don't have to lenite, but here we have: ar fhalla thí scoile, instead of ar fhalla tí scoile.

I want to take a look at a manuscript of this work in Dublin before republishing. I would like to find out if Norma Borthwick added the dot for lenition. But maybe the real situation was a little more fluid in the old dialects.

Also there was Ua Laoghaire's letter claiming to interpret CUIRM NA mBAN - CLUICHE IOLSGOIL NA hÉIREANN to mean THE WOMEN’S BEER - THE UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND IS A GAME. Presumably he would have preferred "cluiche ollscoile na hÉireann", avoiding the "suspended genitive" where the phrase could be interpreted/joking misinterpreted as a copula sentence. The full text of Ua Laoghaire's letter on this was given by me at https://www.irishlanguageforum.com/view ... &view=next

I also quoted in that thread "naomhthacht pobuil Chorcaighe móire Mumhan" from one of Ua Laoghaire's works. This is a definite noun phrase, and so not quite the same as our discussion of the indefinite nouns here, but you notice here that pobail is not lenited....


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PostPosted: Sun 23 Jan 2022 7:02 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
But maybe the real situation was a little more fluid in the old dialects.

This fluidity is nearly frying my brain at this stage. It's a pity that there isn't a comprehensive resource or grammar book that covers all aspects of the topic at hand i.e. the topic of nested genitive phrases (phrases that are semantically genitive, even if not declined in the genitive), including when to lenite, dialectical differences (if any), changes that have occured in the last couple of hundred years (e.g. avoidance of concatenated declined genitives), etc. The grammatical questions we've been discussing relate to constructs that would occur frequently enough in everyday conversation, so, for a learner to be able to write or speak with confidence, he/she would ideally have clear answers to them.

--

When it comes to old style (double genitive utilised) versus new style (double genitive avoided), there is the potential for confusion if the speaker is using one method but the listener assumes the other is intended. This is because, often with nouns, the nominative plural is the same as the genitive singular. Plus, with nouns that have weak plurals, the genitive plural is typically the same as the nominative singular.

The example in the link "as a result of university projects" is one such example of this (and you did point out the potential for confusion) since the noun "tionscadal" has a weak plural .

Singular: "as a result of a university project":
⦁ Old style (double genitive used) de thoradh [tionscadail ollscoile] *
⦁ New style (double genitive avoided) de thoradh [tionscadal ollscoile] **


Plural: "as a result of university projects":
⦁ Old style (double genitive used) de thoradh [tionscadal ollscoile] **
⦁ New style (double genitive avoided) de thoradh [tionscadail ollscoile] *

So the meanings are reversed between the two styles.

--

(Btw, that was a very interesting letter in the link, where Peadar Ua Laoghaire seemed to admit that compulsory Irish inadvertently led to the sacrificing of quality for quantity. That still rings through more than 100 years later.)


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