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A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:18 pm
by alsaf
I would be grateful if the following question could be answered?

While I assume A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil? are the same, is one of these the 'proper' way that it should be used?

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:03 pm
by akerbeltz
Am bheil is today seen as outdated spelling as the m is always dropped, so use a bheil. Eil is the form used after nach, hence nach eil.

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:31 pm
by alsaf
Thanks akerbeltz.

That puts me onto another question which I think I already know the answer but should ask anyway.

I've been using the Elementary Course of Gaelic @ smo.uhi.ac.uk for studying grammar.

http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/ionnsachadh/ECG/

From the front page, it says that this this the fourth Edition 1931. While studying it, I came acoss the word dorus which in the Teach yourself Gaelic dictionary is doras so would I be right in saying that parts of the ECG is outdated as well?

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:42 pm
by alsaf
I've just started the taic lessons which I why I've posted this query but I've noticed ECG used Am beil rather than Am Bheil as well forms like Thou and wert which since it uses thu means you in an informal sense.

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:58 pm
by akerbeltz
Am beil is actually a dialect form used in some places, can't remember off the top of my head where. Southern Hebs I think.

dorus represents the traditional way of indicating the schwa /?/ in an unstressed syllable. Ok, longer explanantion... In unstressed syllables (usually any that's not the first) the letter a can represent both the schwa /?/ and clear /a/. It is not possible to predict which words have /a/ and which have /?/ for the most part unless special endings are involved. The pre-intereference spellings were moving towards writing the schwa with u and clear /a/ with a.

So you had dorus /d?r?s/ but aran /aran/, Calum /kaL?m/ but marag /marag/. And so on. Granted, the system was FAR from consistent but anyway, it was semi-helpful. Educationalists decided this was too cumbersome and replaced u with a in unstressed syllables except in agus and Calum. There might be a few more exceptions. So today most people write doras.

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:24 am
by alsaf
thanks akerbeltz.

It sounds like the ECG can still be used but care needs to be taken with the spelling of some words in terms of consistency and the possibility of them being outdated.

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:14 am
by Níall Beag
alsaf wrote:I would be grateful if the following question could be answered?

While I assume A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil? are the same, is one of these the 'proper' way that it should be used?
Ak's pretty much covered it, but he's glossed over "eil" a bit.

Consider the question "Are you coming?"
I tend to say it "/?/ you coming?" -- that is, the word "are" disappears into a very slight indistinct sound.
Now you'll increasingly see "You coming?" written in books as colloquial speech.

If you see "Eil...?" as a question, it'll most likely be in direct speech. I think "Eil" is kind of Lewisy (Eil mi ceart, a Coinnich?)

If you look in Dacha mo ghaoil, Tormod uses "Bheil...?" without the "a" bit for the Uibhistich.

So short answer:
as Akerbeltz says, "a bheil" is the standard form.
Anything else is either olde worlde or I is so gonna pop a cap in yo ass, innit.

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:46 am
by akerbeltz
Ah I thought the question about the eil resulted in a misunderstanding of the a bheil/nach eil variation (which I did address).

Yes, I'll ditto Niall, colloquial shortenings are a bheil > bheil > eil

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:25 pm
by alsaf
Apologies for not making my original query more clearer. The reason why I am asking is that I am not really comfortable about learning the language in a evening class environment so I'm learning it via books and from websites and my concern is that I may be picking up 'bad habits'. I think I would prefer to learn the 'standard forms' first until I have a solid basing in the language, to walk before I can run so to speak.

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:44 pm
by akerbeltz
That's ok, don't worry. When you're just starting out, there's so many things that are new it's easy to be unclear even when asking a question :D

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:46 pm
by taic
A bheil? is the standard written form.
In spoken language Eil? is not an uncommon contracted form.
I've only ever heard Am beil? in Lewis and with strong eclipsis where it sounds as A meil?

Re: A bheil?, Am bheil and Eil?

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:55 am
by faoileag
Taing dhut airson sin, a thaic, agus fàilte! :D