Hiatus

O Goireasan Akerbeltz
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Gearr leum gu: seòladh, lorg

When two adjacent vowels are not joined together as one vowel (a diphthong), we say that there is a hiatus (a gap) between them. In many words, bh, mh, dh, gh are mute when they appear between vowels. The preceding and following syllables are generally not coalesced (not joined, not run together) as one vowel. We say that there is a hiatus or a gap between such syllables. Here are some examples:

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[Lɤ.əx] laghach kind
[sɯː.əL] saoghal world
[kLɤ.əx] cladhach digging
[a.ɪNʲ] abhainn river


-th-, which is usually pronounced as [h], is used only in a small number of words to indicate hiatus e.g.

[La.a] latha day
[ha.asd] fhathast yet
[Ra.ad] rathad road



Fuaimean na Gàidhlig
Vowels - Consonants - Fricatives - Slenderisation - Pre-aspiration - Lenition - Helping vowel - Diphthongs
Hiatus - l n r - rt & rd - Vowels before rr ll nn - Unstressed vowels