Tú nó Sibh

Latest post Sun, Apr 19 2015 4:40 by liammacgabhann. 4 replies.
  • Wed, Jul 2 2014 21:54

    • Dale D
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    Tú nó Sibh

    I have arrived at a point of confusion....

    I have understood, from all the conjugation tables I have seen, that is "you" singular and that sibh is "you" plural (or "yous" as it is sometimes written or spoken).  However, in Ceachtana 58 of Buntús Cainte, it seems that "sibh" is being used as the objective form of "you" singular.  Is this correct?  Or am I assuming too much, or not enough?

    The confusion first arose over the second set of example sentences following the vocabulary at the beginning.  The fifth one says, Ní fhaca mé riamh cheana sibh.  The translation is, "I never saw you before."  The sixth one says, Chonaic sibh fada ó shin iad.  "You saw them long ago."

    The pictures in the iPad version of Buntús Cainte shows a woman being accosted by a robber and saying, Ní fhaca mé riamh cheana sibh.  This gives the definite impression that "you" is only one person in this instance (unless the viewer is seeing both of those pictured).

    The sixth sentence shows an old man seeing two young boys in a "thought bubble" under the words, Chonaic sibh fada ó shin iad.  This again gives the impression that "you" is only one person in this instance.

    However, it seems that the use of the term sibh should render these translations as:  "I never saw you (plural) before."  and "You (plural) saw them long ago."  I know this can be a confusing area because English does not have a plural of "you" while many other languages, such as the Romance languages, do.  In listening to Irish persons speaking English while I was there, we would often hear ourselves referred to as "yous", which is an "improvised" plural of you that English doesn't recognize but the Irish employ freely anyway.  Without a plural for "you" this point of grammar could easily become muddled.

    The dialog portion of the lesson (58) seems to support the idea that sibh is being employed as the plural of "you".  Máire asks, "An bhaca tú mé féin agus Seán ar an gcrann sa ghairdín, a mhamaí?"  Nora replies, "Chonaic mé go deibhin sibh.  Tá súil agam nach bhfaca daidí sibh!"  In both cases she seems to be addressing the remark to both Máire and Seán.  (You plural.)

    So, shouldn't the translation of the other sentences indicate the plural "you"?

    Ní fhaca mé riamh cheana sibh.  "I never saw yous before."

    Chonaic sibh fada ó shin iad.      "Yous saw them long ago."

    Am I correct on this?  Or am I reading things in that aren't really there?  I hope someone can explain this, otherwise I'll be really confused.

    Thanks!

    Dale D

     

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  • Thu, Jul 3 2014 8:19 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Tú nó Siad

    BTW, I realize now looking back at this that I incorrectly put siad in the subject line when I intended for that to be sibh, so the subject line of this thread should have been Tú nó Sibh.  I went back and edited the subject line to correct that, in case you saw it the wrong way first....

    Dale D

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  • Thu, Jul 10 2014 17:57 In reply to

    • seano
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    Re: Tú nó Sibh

    Hi Dale, I'm not sure about Buntús Cainte there, but tú is always singular and sibh is always plural in modern Irish. In many European languages, the singular has developed into a familiar form while the plural has become a respectful form and I believe this is the case in Scottish Gaelic. In Irish, this never happened, but in older texts from hundreds of years ago, priests were addressed in the plural, even if they were on their own! I doubt whether anyone still does this. On the rare occasions when I have spoken to priests in Irish, I have only ever addressed them as tú. Hope this helps! :-)

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  • Thu, Jul 10 2014 18:35 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Tú nó Sibh

    Haigh, seánó, go raibh maith agat!

    I will send a message to Michelle and explain the confusion I had in this lesson.  Mostly it seems to be a problem of the graphics implying a singular meaning when the actual verbage is plural.  Hopefully that can be corrected without too much trouble....

    Thanks again!

    Dale D

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  • Sun, Apr 19 2015 4:40 In reply to

    Re: Tú nó Sibh

    Soibh is not always plural, but can be used to show respect for an elder. However, in Ceacht 58 of Buntús Cainte, they are using is as plural.

    "Did you see myself and Seán up on the tree...?"

    "I saw you [plural] indeed."

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