> The part that snags me is the response:
> - An toigh leat...?
> - 'S toil.
> Does anyone say "Is toigh?" for the come back? <'S toigh l'> seems
stretching the grammar too far.
No, but that's not proof of anything. Languages like to re-analise stuff
over time, especially if it's confusing and sometimes they - from a
historical point of view - get it wrong.
For example, the innovation
an caomh leat
's caomh l' / 's caoil
shows a clear "ghost" l in the answer form that was never part of the word
caomh. It's quite possible that it's due to analogy with toil/toigh but hard
to be sure. The underlying reason for both I'd say is syllabic structure, as
in, the way you say that sequence of souncs, the l sounds like part of the
first word, not the second. Compare arn aran > ar n-aran, a(s)h athair > a
In theory, 's toigh leam and 's toil leam have different pronunciations.
Toigh would get you / tOj / whereas toil / tOl /. But in this expression
it's always pronounced / tOl / so the spelling 's toil leam is, whatever the
history, a lot closer to the pronunciation than toigh.
So yes, in between "is" and "leam" you normally get an adjective, so it most
likely was indeed toigh that started life there but it has evolved since.
Fàinne used to be áinne, but that's not really a good reason to write it
like that today.
Am Ḿcheal Eile