An diofar eadar na mùthaidhean a rinneadh air "Genitives in -(th)rach"

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Most Gaelic genitive forms are reasonably close to their nominative forms.  One major exception is an apparently weird group of nouns which turn an <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> into a <span style="color: #008000;">-thrach</span> ...
 
Most Gaelic genitive forms are reasonably close to their nominative forms.  One major exception is an apparently weird group of nouns which turn an <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> into a <span style="color: #008000;">-thrach</span> ...
  
Actually they are weird and for a change we won't go into the details of why (something to do with the way the case system changed between Old Irish and Middle Irish) and simply look at what's going on and how we can spot one of them weirdos.
+
Actually, they are weird and for a change we won't go into the details of why (tied to case system changes between Old Irish and Middle Irish) but simply look at what's going on and how we can spot one of them weirdos.
  
In modern Gaelic, they only affect feminine nouns for starters. Add to that the second clue that they affect feminine nouns which end in <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> and the list of candidates shrinks considerably. That is because by far the most common nouns which end in <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> are masculine, where the <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> is the agentive suffix i.e. someone who does something: <span style="color: #008000;">clach » clachair, sgrìobh » sgrìobhadair.</span>
+
In modern Gaelic, for starters, they only affect feminine nouns. Add the second clue that they only affect feminine nouns which end in <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> and the list of candidates shrinks considerably. That's because by far the most common nouns which end in <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> are masculine, where the <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> is the agentive suffix i.e. someone who does something: <span style="color: #008000;">clach » clachair, sgrìobh » sgrìobhadair.</span>
  
So, let's take a word like <span style="color: #008000;">iuchair.</span> It's feminine and ends in <span style="color: #008000;">-air.</span> What happens is that the <span style="color: #008000;">-ach</span> ending gets stuck on: <span style="color: #008000;">*iuchair-ach</span> but because that comes out as a three syllable word (which is a bit long from the Gaelic point of view which likes two syllable words) the second syllable (which was unstressed to begin with) collapses to make way for the <span style="color: #008000;">-ach.</span> And because the <span style="color: #008000;">ch</span> is broad [x], the slender <span style="color: #008000;">r</span> [rʲ] gets assimilated into a broad [r]. So we end up with <span style="color: #008000;">iuchrach.</span>
+
So, let's take a word like <span style="color: #008000;">iuchair.</span> It's feminine and ends in <span style="color: #008000;">-air.</span> What happens is that the <span style="color: #008000;">-ach</span> ending gets stuck on: <span style="color: #008000;">*iuchair-ach</span>. But because that comes out as a three syllable word (which is a bit long from the Gaelic point of view which likes two syllable words), the second syllable (which was unstressed to begin with) collapses to make way for the <span style="color: #008000;">-ach.</span> And because the <span style="color: #008000;">ch</span> is broad [x], the slender <span style="color: #008000;">r</span> [rʲ] gets assimilated into a broad [r]. So we end up with <span style="color: #008000;">iuchrach.</span>
  
Now the catch (and slightly annoying thing) is that this is a bit weird even for Gaelic so over time the number of words which do that has decreased. Basically people played around a bit and settled on a genitive which wasn't as far off. This can be seen in the case of <span style="color: #008000;">màthair</span> which used to have its genitive as <span style="color: #008000;">*màthrach</span> (it still does in Irish). But in modern Gaelic this has changed to <span style="color: #008000;">màthar.</span> Or the word <span style="color: #008000;">cuid</span> which used to have the genitive <span style="color: #008000;">codach</span> ... which no-body really uses any more. Instead they just use the nominative e.g. <span style="color: #008000;">meud na cuid seo.</span> Oh, plus that people have also started to switch the gender to masculine to bring them in line with all the other <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> words. <span style="color: #008000;">Machair</span> used to be feminine only but today quite a lot of people treat it as if it was masculine.
+
Now the catch (and slightly annoying thing) is that this is a bit weird even for Gaelic.  So, over time, the number of words which do that has decreased. Basically, people played around a bit and settled on a genitive which wasn't as far off. This can be seen in the case of <span style="color: #008000;">màthair</span> which used to have its genitive as <span style="color: #008000;">*màthrach</span> (it still does in Irish). But in modern Gaelic this has changed to <span style="color: #008000;">màthar.</span> Or, a solution was tried with the word <span style="color: #008000;">cuid</span> which used to have the genitive <span style="color: #008000;">codach</span> but which no-body really uses any more. Instead they just use the nominative e.g. <span style="color: #008000;">meud na cuid seo.</span> Oh, plus that, people have also started to switch the gender to masculine to bring them in line with all the other <span style="color: #008000;">-air</span> words. <span style="color: #008000;">Machair</span> used to be feminine only but today quite a lot of people treat it as if it were masculine.
  
So it all gets a bit messy.  But here's a list of some common words that still do or used to:
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So, it all gets a bit messy.  But here's a list of some common words that still do, or used to:
  
 
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Mùthadh on 06:07, 28 dhen Ògmhios 2013

Most Gaelic genitive forms are reasonably close to their nominative forms. One major exception is an apparently weird group of nouns which turn an -air into a -thrach ...

Actually, they are weird and for a change we won't go into the details of why (tied to case system changes between Old Irish and Middle Irish) but simply look at what's going on and how we can spot one of them weirdos.

In modern Gaelic, for starters, they only affect feminine nouns. Add the second clue that they only affect feminine nouns which end in -air and the list of candidates shrinks considerably. That's because by far the most common nouns which end in -air are masculine, where the -air is the agentive suffix i.e. someone who does something: clach » clachair, sgrìobh » sgrìobhadair.

So, let's take a word like iuchair. It's feminine and ends in -air. What happens is that the -ach ending gets stuck on: *iuchair-ach. But because that comes out as a three syllable word (which is a bit long from the Gaelic point of view which likes two syllable words), the second syllable (which was unstressed to begin with) collapses to make way for the -ach. And because the ch is broad [x], the slender r [rʲ] gets assimilated into a broad [r]. So we end up with iuchrach.

Now the catch (and slightly annoying thing) is that this is a bit weird even for Gaelic. So, over time, the number of words which do that has decreased. Basically, people played around a bit and settled on a genitive which wasn't as far off. This can be seen in the case of màthair which used to have its genitive as *màthrach (it still does in Irish). But in modern Gaelic this has changed to màthar. Or, a solution was tried with the word cuid which used to have the genitive codach but which no-body really uses any more. Instead they just use the nominative e.g. meud na cuid seo. Oh, plus that, people have also started to switch the gender to masculine to bring them in line with all the other -air words. Machair used to be feminine only but today quite a lot of people treat it as if it were masculine.

So, it all gets a bit messy. But here's a list of some common words that still do, or used to:

Ones that do
acair » acrach
anail » analach
caora » caorach
còir » còrach
dàil » dàlach
dìnnear » dìnnearach
iuchair » iuchrach
nathair » nathrach
peasair » peasrach
saothair » saothrach
urchair » urchrach


And one's that don't anymore
cuid » cuid codach
lasair » lasair lasrach
muinntir » muinntire muinntireach
màthair » màthar màthrach
sàil » sàile sàlach
suipeir » suipeire suipeireach

Yu orait long? as they say in Tok Pisin ...

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