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Subject: Re: pronunciation redux!
From: Marion Gunn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 4 Apr 2001 11:24:01 +0000

text/plain (44 lines)

Groan, and petty little objection from myself, not to what Donncha has
said, but to the constant why-o-why-whining of people who seem to expect
higher levels of consistency from speakers of all languages, except for

Och-ochón-ó, 'sa Mhuire 'strú.

>After hearing the phonological opinions, I wrote in summation:
>> So I can see, or rather hear, that OI speakers could have said the 'g'
>> in "saigid" with just that sound [a voiced equivalent of /ç/].  But
>> would they have had any reason to keep that sound separate from /j/?
>> I take it they would not.
>But Marion had earlier noted:
>> So it is important to look at the context in which  the 'gh' you
>> want to pronounce occurs (in initial position, medially, or final).
>So, if OI slender lenited "g" was realized as /j/ in all positions,
>wouldn't that mean that the ending -ig would be pronounced -i(:),
>so that OI "tig / taig" (dative of "tech", house) would be /t’i:/
>or /tai(:)/ and "cumachtaig" (gen. of the adj. "cumachtach") would
>be something like /ku~vaxti:/?
>Yet if that were *always* the case, how do we account for the modern
>Munster pronunciation of "tigh" as /t’ig’/ and of "cumhachtaigh" as
>/kuvaxtig’/ -- that is, with "gh" delenited to "g"?  How could the
>consonant be delenited if there were no consonant left?  That is, if
>the ending had earlier become just a long vowel or diphthong?  Does
>this argue for the retention in OI of a distinct consonantal /gamma’/
>pronunciation of slender lenited "g", at least in some positions?
>Practically (well, as practical as OI can be!), how should we say
>the end of "i mmuig" in OI?   Consider, for example, that modern
>"amuigh" comes out /@'muig’/, /@'mu/, /@'mix’/, /@'mui:/, etc. in
>the various dialects.

Marion Gunn <[log in to unmask]>

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