Can anyone help?

Latest post Mon, May 20 2019 6:06 by Dale D. 2 replies.
  • Tue, May 14 2019 23:13

    • Sir Chess
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    • Joined on Tue, May 14 2019
    • Chicago, Illinois
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    Can anyone help?

    Hello. I'm trying to get a more detailed understanding of the structure of this amazing language. I've only 3 months studying it on My own, and must say, it's just a bit confusing. 

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  • Fri, May 17 2019 0:14 In reply to

    • LauraHuntORI
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    • Joined on Sun, Feb 8 2015
    • Chicago, IL, USA
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    Re: Can anyone help?

    Kind of a broad topic. It's verb-subject-object (VSO). 

    What materials are you using to learn? 

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  • Mon, May 20 2019 6:06 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    • Joined on Fri, Feb 18 2011
    • Woodland, California USA
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    Re: Can anyone help?

    Yeah, a very broad topic...and VSO just scratches the surface!  There are a lot of resources available out there for learning Irish.  But here are some pointers for background information about the language, and how different it is from English and related languages.

    As discussed, the sentence order typically follows a Verb-Subject-Object syntax, with a couple of notable exceptions.  Irish has another sentence structure that revolves around a "copula", which is an identification "verb" (although some regard it more as a linguistic equal sign).

    Irish makes extensive use of prepositional pronouns.  These are not simple combinations of prepositions and pronouns, but are used in many ways to convey a meaning that the direct translation would not carry in English.  For example, to say "I have a book" would be "Tá leabhar agam."  Literally translated it says "A book is at me."  The preposition ag (meaning at) is used to convey the idea of possession or having something.  There is no Irish verb "to have".  There are many other examples of prepositional pronoun constructs that carry a verbal meaning.

    Irish is a Celtic language in what is known as the goidelic language group, which consists of Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx.  Welsh and Cornish are also related, but in a different linguistic group.  Word constructs in these languages are by and large unfamiliar to English speakers, so there is very little ability to look at a word and intuitively deduce what it might mean, they way an English speaker might be able to do when learning German, or to a lesser degree with Spanish or some of the Romance languages.

    The numbering system is somewhat more complicated in Irish than in English; it takes some practice and study to get used to it.

    Irish language uses mutations to a very great extent, and there are several different mutation types, but they primarily consist of "lenition", which is a softening of an initial consonant, "eclipsis" which is the replacement of an initial consonant, and "vowel eclipsis" (my term for placing a consonant in front of an initial vowel).  All these mutations convey a wide variety of linguistic information, such as gender, verb tense, or objective classification (direct vs. indirect), and many others.

    Those are my observations on some of the more significant details of the Irish language.  There are probably many more, and may be considered by some as needing to be included in a list like this, but I think this gives you a good start on the differences.  It may seem daunting, but with dedication and effort, it can be learned.

    Goodl luck!

    Dale D

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