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CELTIC-L  September 1998

CELTIC-L September 1998

Subject:

Gaelic -- Lesson Twelve (accented)

From:

Neil McEwan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Neil McEwan <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 Sep 1998 06:21:31 -0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (159 lines)

LESSON TWELVE  --  AN DARA LEASAN DEUG



“gu” and “ri” + infinitive
--------------------------


     The preposition “gu” used with an infinitive implies “on the point
of”, “about to”, or “almost”:


    tha e gu bristeadh             --     it is about to break
    tha iad gu bhith deiseil       --    they are almost ready


      By contrast, “ri” before an infinitive can imply one of two things:
that someone is “up to” or engaging in something, or that something is to
be done.


  bha a’ chlann ri caoineadh            --    the children were screaming
  tha Iain ri sgrìobhadh an comhnaidh   --    Iain is always writing
  tha gu leòr ri a ràdh                 --    there is much to be said
  bha cus ri a ithe                     --    there was too much to eat
  tha Calum ri a mholadh                --   Calum is to be praised



“nam” + conditional
-------------------


     We’ve already learned the Gaelic word “ma”, meaning “if”:

   Ma tha thu sgìth, dèan suidhe.  --    If you are tired, sit down.

     “Ma” is normally used to mean “if it is the case that...” “if it is
a fact that...”  There is another way of expressing the idea of “if”, and
it’s used when something is being supposed or speculated on (“if it were
the case that...”)  The word “nan” (or “nam” before b, f, m, or p) is put
before the dependent form of the verb, and is used with the conditional:

Nan robh thu sgìth, shuidheadh tu.
                             --    If you were tired, you would sit down.
Nam bithinn ‘nam thaigh fhéin, chaidlinn.
                             --  If I were in my own house, I would sleep.



Numbers
-------


i) Cardinals


     Numbers one to twenty are as follows:


  1.  aon               11.  aon dheug          21.  aon air fhichead
  2.  dà                12.  dà dheug           22.  dà air fhichead
  3.  trì               13.  trì deug           23.  trì air fhichead
  4.  ceithir           14.  ceithir deug       24.  ceithir air fhichead
  5.  cóig              15.  cóig deug  25.  cóig air fhichead
  6.  sia               16.  sia deug           26.  sia air fhichead
  7.  seachd            17.  seachd deug        27.  seachd air fhichead
  8.  ochd              18.  ochd deug  28.  ochd air fhichead
  9.  naoi              19.  naoi deug  29.  naoi air fhichead
 10.  deich             20.  fichead            30.  deich air fhichead


     When counting alone, with no noun following, each number is prefixed
with “a”, which causes aspiration on “dà” and causes numbers beginning
with a vowel take “h-” before them, e.g. “a h-aon, a dhà, a trì, a ceithir”
etc.

      Note that “thirty” in Gaelic is “deich air fhichead”, literally “ten
on twenty”.  The traditional system of counting in Gaelic uses 20 as a
base.  “Forty” is “dà fhichead”, “fifty” is “dà fhichead is a deich”,
“sixty” is
“trì fhichead”, etc.  A decimal system has recently been invented and
introduced into the schools (“trithead”, “ceathrad”, “caogad” etc.) but
is not yet widely used.  “Hundred” is “ceud” is Gaelic and so “lethcheud”
(literally, “half-hundred”) is another way of saying “fifty”.  “Thousand”
is “mìle”.

      “Aon” before a noun aspirates that noun: “aon bhàta” (one boat).
“Dà” aspirates the next word, which appears in the dative singular and not
the plural form: “dà chat” (two cats).  “Fichead” doesn’t aspirate but
nouns following it also appear in the singular:  “Fichead cù” (twenty
dogs).  Compound numbers take the noun between the two parts of the number,
e.g.
“dà chat dheug” (twelve cats).  When the compound number is from 21 to 30,
the noun can replace the word “air” in the number: “cóig mionaidean fichead”
(twenty-five minutes).

     The number “dà” causes slenderization to a handful of feminine nouns;
this is a remnant of an old dual form in Gaelic.  For example “bròg”,
“clach”, and “uinneig” after “dà” become “dà bhròig” (two shoes), “dà
chloich” (two stones), and “dà uinneig” (two windows).


ii)  Ordinals


     These are normally prefixed with the article.  Here the word “fear”
(man) is used as an example.


 1st  --  a’ cheud fhear                    11th  --  an t-aonamh fear deug
 2nd --  an dàrna / dara fear         12th  --  an dàrna / dara fear deug
 3rd  --  an treas / trìtheamh fear   13th  --  an treas / trìtheamh fear deug
 4th  --  an ceathramh fear           14th  --  an ceathramh fear deug
 5th  --  an cóigeamh fear                  15th  --  an cóigeamh fear deug
 6th  --  an siathamh fear                  16th  --  an siathamh fear deug
 7th  --  an seachdamh fear                 17th  --  an seachdamh fear deug
 8th  --  an t-ochdamh fear                 18th  --  an t-ochdamh fear deug
 9th  --  an naoitheamh fear        19th  --  an naoitheamh fear deug
 10th  --  an deicheamh fear        20th  --  am ficheadamh fear
 21st  --  an t-aonamh fear ar fhichead, etc.
 40th  -- an dà fhicheadamh fear
 100th  --  an ceudamh fear


iii)   Personal numerals


     Gaelic has a class of numerals which denote a certain number of
people, e.g.:

      dithis       --      two people
      triùir       --      three people
      ceathrar     --      four people
      cóigear      --      five people
      sianar       --      six people
      seachdar     --      seven people
      ochdnar      --      eight people
      naoinear     --      nine people
      deichnar     --      ten people


     None of these need to be followed by a noun, but they are sometimes,
and when this happens the noun following them is put into the genitive case,
e.g. “dithis dhaoine” (two people), “sianar ghillean” (six boys) etc.



Idiom
-----


     “Gabh òran” means “sing a song”, even though “gabh” normally means
“take”.  Similar to this is “gabh do naidheachd” (tell your news), said to
someone who is paying you a visit and who you haven’t seen for a while.


--

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