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Subject: Re: LNR
From: Tom Thomson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Tom Thomson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 12 Nov 1999 18:50:51 -0000
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> I'm having a little trouble understanding the pronunciation of the
> letters L, N, and R in various situations; I hope somebody might
> help me answer some of the following questions.
>
> 1. L,N and R are never written lenited; but are they lenited in speech
> anywhere?
Yes, all are lenited in speech. The effects vary from dialect to dialect.
>For instance, is there a difference in pronunciation
> between the sounds of the letter 'L' in "thug i a lamh dhomh"  ("she
> gave me her hand") and "thug e a lamh dhomh" (he gave me his hand")?
> If there is a difference in any dialect, what does it sound like?
different in some (not all) dialects. The tip of the tongue is much further
forward in the lenited version. The unlenited form is like english W in some
dialects.
> Some other examples:
> a Leaba (her bed) - a Leaba (his bed)
different in all dialects.  The most extreme cases would have "a yapa" for
"her bed" - but in general, lenition of l' cuases loss of palatalisation.
(So the unlenited form is like Italian gl, the lenited form like French l)
> ga\ire Na\durra - mac-talla Na\durra
No difference in any dialect (so far as I know) (both strongly dental)
> ionga Neartmhor - bata Neartmhor
Much stronger palatalisation in the unlenited form. The lenited form is
pretty much English n as in no.
> le/ine Ruadh - si\oda Ruadh
The unlenited form is a hollow rolled r.  lenited it's like r in English
read.
> plaide Re/idh - co\ta
At the beginning of a word, unlenited r' is pronounced as unlenited r.
The lenited form is a sibilant like english voiced th. This only happens
with some words and only in some dialects - mostly initial lenited r' has
been replaced by lenited r.
>
> 2.For L,N and R, what effect does doubling the letter have on the sound?
> For instance, is "cor" pronounced differently to "corr"? If so, what is
> the difference?
r is like lenited initial r, rr like unlenited initial r. (applies in medial
position as well as final)
> Some other examples:
> feaiRt  - fe\aiRRde
some dialects have a slight difference (a very weak drawl vowel after the s'
sound in rrd, no drawl vowel in rd).
> aNam - aNNam
generally no difference in medial position. (but broad nn before s is
pronounced like English "oo" in some dialects)
> siN -siNN
varies from dialect to dialect: the double N is strongly palatalised, the
single n is can be the same or can be like lenited initial n'.
> aLt - aLLt
double l in final position is like english "ool". Single l is a hollow l.
> uiLeann - uiLLeann
like lenited and unlenited initial l' respectively.

I hope this helps.  For more info, try the pronunciation section of Black's
cothrom ionnsachaidh.

M.

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