object pronouns

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
Nate
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object pronouns

Unread post by Nate » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:47 am

Could someone explain the reason why the object pronouns in the present tense are different from those in the past tense? (gam,gad,ga,gur,gar...vs. i,e,iad, mi...)



akerbeltz
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Unread post by akerbeltz » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:07 pm

This has nothing to do with the tense. As a rule of thumb, a free pronoun may never follow a verbal noun in whatever tense:

tha e 'gad fhaicinn (seeing you, not *a' faicinn thu)
bha e 'gad fhaicinn (seeing you, not *a' faicinn thu)
bidh e 'gad fhaicinn (seeing you, not *a' faicinn thu)
bhiodh e 'gad fhaicinn (seeing you, not *a' faicinn thu)

As to the "why", it's best to just accept that it "just is" like that.

Níall Beag
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Unread post by Níall Beag » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:43 pm

It's not really pronouns.

It Gaelic you say:
Tha mi a' faicinn na beann
which is literally
I am at seeing (of)the mountain

Not that this is a genitive construction -- the use of the genitive is reducing, but it's still common where the article is used.

So "I see you" should "I am at seeing of you"

But what is the genitive for thu? There is no true genitive -- there is a possessive -- that is to say "your" or do, so "seeing you" is do fhaicinn.

What you're going to say, then, is I am at your seeing (you might have had an English teacher who said "you should never say 'I was glad for him coming' -- it should be 'I was glad for his coming'. That's not a good English rule, but it is a classic example of how most European languages work... including Gaelic.)

That would leave us with:
*Tha mi ag do fhaicinn which isn't really Gaelic.

Why not? Because Gaelic, like English, is a bit mumbly. In English, little words tend to disappear into each other -- I am going to do it -> ah'm gonna do it; I would have told you -> Ida told y'.

gad is the same sort of thing -- two mumbled words collided into one and were said so much together that they became a single word.

gam = ag mo or aig mo
gad = ag do or aig do
etc...

Why is it important to know that these are mo, do etc?
Because these lenite words just like mo, do etc lenite them. If you think of them as different things, then you've got lots of different lenition rules, but if you see them as one thing, you stick with one set of rules.

Nate
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Unread post by Nate » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:56 pm

This explanation accounts for a lot. Tapadh leibh, I am using the Teach Yourself Gaelic Book, which I think is very good, only they list gam, gad, ga, ga, ... as "Direct Object Pronouns"

Nate
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Unread post by Nate » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:07 pm

Now what about the use of the pronoun 'tu' instead of 'thu'?
From what I can pick up by ear, it seems that people put 'tu' after select verbs verbs in a particular mood. Perhaps this is incorrect. for example Faodaidh tu.... (you can...)

Am faod cuideigin daingnich seo? Can anyone confirm this?

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Unread post by AlasdairBochd » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:38 pm

Also after the relative future.

Nuair a bhios tu aig an taigh - When you are at home.

Nuair a chleachdas tu an car, bith faiceallach - When you use the car, be careful.

Faodaidh tu = you may rather than you can. Remember your mother telling you "you can but you may not"?
You can (you are able to ) - 's urrainn dhut or tha agad ri

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Unread post by Thrissel » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:51 pm

AlasdairBochd wrote:You can (you are able to ) - 's urrainn dhut or tha agad ri
Wait - I always thought tha agad ri meant you must, you've got to :?:

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Unread post by Gràisg » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:09 pm

@ Nate, there are one or two other situations where thu goes to tu. The best explanation of them all that I've come across is from Micheal Byrne's Gaelic only grammar book ' facal air an fhacal'. The bits of English are mine

Bidh thu a' dol gu tu às dèidh
thu will go to tu after

An gnìomhair IS no BU
The verb IS or BU (emphatic form)
Is tu an nighean! Nach tu an gille! Am bu tusa a bh'ann

gur, nach no an
gur, nach or an

Chuala mi gur tusa a rinn e. Nach tu an gille! An tusa a rinn e?

faca is c(h)uala
Am faca tu sàbha an t-saoir? Chuala tu cus.

-as
Dè gabhas tu? Ciamar a chanas tu sin? Chunnacas tu sa bhaile

-adh
Dè chanadh tusa? Bhiodh tu ceart. Nach do rugadh tu an Albainn?

-idh
Tuighidh tu an uair sin. Seinnidh tusa an toiseach.

Ach gheibh thu cuideachd ...bidh thu.
But you will also find...bidh thu


Hope that helps a bit too :-)

@AB agus Thrissel, bhithinnsa buailteach a dhol le Thirissel le 'tha agam ri'
Last edited by Gràisg on Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

akerbeltz
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Unread post by akerbeltz » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:19 pm

But what is the genitive for thu? There is no true genitive -- there is a possessive -- that is to say "your" or do, so "seeing you" is do fhaicinn.
Slightly tortured to my mind as an explanation but whatever works for you ;)

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Unread post by Seonaidh » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:31 am

Chì mi thu, chì thu mi. No great prob - all done by word order.
But owt like "I see thee a lot" would tend to be "chi mi gu tric thu".

Simple verb form, use actual pronoun as object. Problems come with periscope (well, periphrastic) forms. Because it ain't like what they do in English, e.g. "I see thee, thou sees me - I'm seeing thee, thou's seeing me". (colloquial - technically "seest" and "thou'rt")

Tha mi a' faicinn thu - nope. Not like that. More like Welsh, e.g. not "Rydw i'n gweld di" but "Rydw i'n dy weld". So:-
Tha mi a' d' fhaicinn - but that's not quite it, either.

This "a'" was originally "aig", then "ag". Now, if you try saying, say, "ag do ...", it's not easy - you slip a little vowel between the G and the D, so it might sound a bit like "agado". Indeed, the first A really becomes the second one, so it buggers off - "gado". And as the O is weak anyway (and vanishes before vowels onywye), you're left with "gad"

Now, just as "Tha mi a' faicinn" actually means not exactly "I am seeing" but more "I'm at seeing", so you could say, in English "I'm at thy seeing" - which is just what Gaelic does - "Tha mi gad fhaicinn".

Now, how's about "I'm sleeping"? Not usually "Tha mi a' cadal". For "to sleep" doesn't get an object - you can't say "I sleep the house" or "I am sleeping the house" - but you CAN say "I sleep IN the house" or "I'm sleeping IN the house". And you might often talk about "in my sleep" and so on. Which is just what you usually say in Gaelic - not "I am sleeping", but "I'm in my sleep" - "Tha mi ann am mo chadal" - except it ain't quite like that.

Well you saw "aig do" getting crushed down to "gad", any idea how "ann am mo" gets crushed down? Just run it together and rub out the leading and trailing vowels - annammo, namm, nam. And there you have it:-

Tha mi nam chadal

And I probably will be shortly after all that...

Nate
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Unread post by Nate » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:40 am

This is a good example of how many languages change over time. gradually what is slang or colloquial becomes more and more acceptable in a greater variety of settings and hence the slang becomes proper.
For example, the formal latin word for horse was equus, but the word on the streets was Cavallus. It is interesting that most modern languages with descent from latin share the latter, slang form. (the french 'cheval' and the spanish caballo.)
What is truely bizarre about this fact is that the Irish have adopted the slang word into their vocabulary (Cavallus became Capall) but the scots have adopted the other (Equus became Each).

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Unread post by akerbeltz » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:33 am

Err that's a big no on the horse thing. Pre-industrialisation society had extensive horse-related vocabulary as language tends to blossom around vital technology (think of the blossoming of computer/internet related terminology).

Up until the late middle ages in particular, with its strong horse-related culture, horse terminology was extensive and the everyday language of most European languages contained vastly more horse terms than we know of today. But as horse usage dwindled, each language reduced the terminology down to a few core words horse (generic), male horse, female horse and young horse. All otherse were "discarded" in the sense that they fell out of everyday use and suddenly became either old fashioned or technical (as in, known only to specialists).

The fascinating thing about the way horse terminology died is that languages did not go with the same root for their generic terms.

Gaelic went with each, the continuation of Indo-European *ekwos but discarded capall and marc as core terms. Irish went straight for capall but dropped each. Brythonic went for merch en masse, which is the continuation of Indo-European *markos (also the root of Eng. mare, German Mähre etc), so technically a female horse.

Capall, which indeed came from Latin, originally referred to a pack-horse (as opposed to a riding horse) and is the source for the generic term in most romance languages (cf French cheval, Spanish caballo etc).

So each language-culture took the one word to become the generic according to whichever was most prevalant in their culture (broadly speaking).

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Unread post by AlasdairBochd » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:09 am

Thrissel wrote:
AlasdairBochd wrote:You can (you are able to ) - 's urrainn dhut or tha agad ri
Wait - I always thought tha agad ri meant you must, you've got to :?:
Mo nàire :naire: Tha thu ceart a Thrisseil, that was supposed to be "thèid agad ri" or "thèid agad air" (depending on which island you're on.) Tha mi duilich.

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Unread post by Thrissel » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:52 pm

Tha sin ceart gu leòr, Alasdair - b' e mo thrioblaid seo: leugh mi dìreach roimhe sin ann am faclair Albais aig "half, hauf":
4 (of time) (1) with the following hour, eg half five = half past four (from 17th century, almost obsolete, especially Central Scots) (2) with the preceding hour, eg half five = half past five (from 20th century)
agus bha mi deònach dà-sheaghachas sam bith ann an cànan sam bith a chreidsinn... :curam:

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Unread post by Seonaidh » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:22 pm

Bwythonic went with "merch"??? That is actually the Welsh (and Breton with the apostrophe) for "girl" or "daughter". Happen you meant "march".

Ach cha deach Cuimris le "march". Seadh, tha facail mar "marchogaeth" (marcaich, marcachadh), ach 's e "ceffyl" am facal àbhaisteach Cuimris ri "each". Sa Bhreatannais, is "marc'h-houarn" am facal airson "baidhseagal".

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