am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
akerbeltz
Rianaire
Posts: 1745
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:26 am
Language Level: Barail am broinn baraille
Corrections: Please don't analyse my Gaelic
Location: Glaschu
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by akerbeltz » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:28 pm

Is this spoken-Gaelic switch to mainly just using 'e' also true in broadcasting, eg BBC Alba or Gaelic radio?
This one is hard to answer. Gaelic is nowhere near as over-studied as English so the answer to this question is 'my gut says yes but I can't prove it' - I would say anywhere where you get unscripted speech by native speakers.

In older Gaelic there are instances of 's i and 's iad. They most certainly exist(ed) but are very rarely encountered these days. I think the only time I came across it was when I asked someone An iad-san na h-Uibhistich? and got 'S iad back.



Mairead
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:13 pm
Language Level: Intermediate
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Dùn Èidinn (às na SAA)
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by Mairead » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:48 am

I know a Gaelic song called 'S i Morag, so that must preserve the older usage (which makes sense, since it's a folk song). That's all very interesting! Thanks for the elaboration.
Tha avatar agam à dhealbh aig mo phiuthar anns an Cellardyke. Tha trì videothan Ghàidhlig agam anns an Youtube.
My avatar is from a photo that my sister took in Cellardyke. I have three Gaelic videos on Youtube.

Níall Beag
Rianaire
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:58 pm
Language Level: Cofhurtail (chan ann bho thùs)
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Sruighlea, Alba
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by Níall Beag » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:43 am

akerbeltz wrote:
Is this spoken-Gaelic switch to mainly just using 'e' also true in broadcasting, eg BBC Alba or Gaelic radio?
This one is hard to answer. Gaelic is nowhere near as over-studied as English so the answer to this question is 'my gut says yes but I can't prove it' - I would say anywhere where you get unscripted speech by native speakers.
I know I have heard "s i"/"s iad" on TV, but I can't have heard it that often, as I remember it sounding odd. I'm tempted to assume it's the Gaelic equivalent of "it is I", which people only use because someone told them that's what it should be, when we've actually been saying "it's me" for centuries.
In older Gaelic there are instances of 's i and 's iad. They most certainly exist(ed) but are very rarely encountered these days. I think the only time I came across it was when I asked someone An iad-san na h-Uibhistich? and got 'S iad back.
I think the -san makes all the difference here. Most learners will be familiar with the "is mise..." structure -- "is mise Nìall", "is mise Ruaraidh" etc -- that's "I'm..." Notice that you use the emphatic pronoun even though there's no implied contrast or contradiction.

It's a pattern that follows throughout the language -- lots of "is mise", very little "is mi".

If "is" generally occurs with empathic pronouns, then " 's e " is a very special case, which is part of why I think it's a dummy pronoun.

Níall Beag
Rianaire
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:58 pm
Language Level: Cofhurtail (chan ann bho thùs)
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Sruighlea, Alba
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by Níall Beag » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:48 am

Mairead wrote:I know a Gaelic song called 'S i Morag, so that must preserve the older usage (which makes sense, since it's a folk song). That's all very interesting! Thanks for the elaboration.
There's two possible interpretations.
Either it means "it was Morag who had the famous wedding" (='s e Morag...) or "she's [that's] Morag, who had the famous wedding" (='s ise Morag). I suspect that it may even have been both, and that there's been a split in the modern language, and the one construction has become two.

Mairead
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:13 pm
Language Level: Intermediate
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Dùn Èidinn (às na SAA)
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by Mairead » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:40 am

I see that you're familiar with the song! :) The Gaelic lyric goes 'S i Morag, 's i Morag, 's i Morag a rinn a' bhanais. I think it's the former tr*nsl*t**n.
Tha avatar agam à dhealbh aig mo phiuthar anns an Cellardyke. Tha trì videothan Ghàidhlig agam anns an Youtube.
My avatar is from a photo that my sister took in Cellardyke. I have three Gaelic videos on Youtube.

GunChleoc
Rianaire
Posts: 4452
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 am
Language Level: Mion-chùiseach
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Dùthaich mo chridhe
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by GunChleoc » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:35 am

You have a different grammatical structure here too:

'S i Mòrag means i = Mòrag

'S e Mòrag a th' ann = originally emphasised structure, it has now become the default construction.
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

MarcMacUilleim
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:16 pm
Language Level: Fluent
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Europe

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by MarcMacUilleim » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:10 pm

GunChleoc wrote:'S e Mòrag a th' ann = originally emphasised structure, it has now become the default construction.
As stated above, when the subject is clearly female, especially a female person, then it would be 'S e Mòrag a th'innte.

However, that sounds a bit funny to me because in Gaelic your name is on you - 'Dè an t-ainm a th' ort?'

''S e Mòrag a th' oirre' would be more natural, I think.

GunChleoc
Rianaire
Posts: 4452
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 am
Language Level: Mion-chùiseach
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Dùthaich mo chridhe
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by GunChleoc » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:47 pm

It depends on the question:

Dè an t-ainm a th' oirre? -> you would use a th' oirre

An faic thu cò an tè thall an-siud? 'S e Mòrag a th' ann/a th' innte
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

Níall Beag
Rianaire
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:58 pm
Language Level: Cofhurtail (chan ann bho thùs)
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Sruighlea, Alba
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by Níall Beag » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:59 pm

This is where we fall into a bubbling mass of visually similar but slightly different forms.

Tha Mórag ann could be fronted to give 'S e Mórag a th' ann and that would never be "innte".
...couldn't it?

GunChleoc
Rianaire
Posts: 4452
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 am
Language Level: Mion-chùiseach
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Dùthaich mo chridhe
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by GunChleoc » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:06 am

My intuition says it wouldn't be "innte", but I'm not a native speaker, so take it with a grain of salt ;)
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

akerbeltz
Rianaire
Posts: 1745
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:26 am
Language Level: Barail am broinn baraille
Corrections: Please don't analyse my Gaelic
Location: Glaschu
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by akerbeltz » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:02 pm

Fronting is always done with ann so it would be 's e Mòrag a th' ann.

Seonaidh
Posts: 1486
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:00 pm
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Faisg air Gleann Rathais

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by Seonaidh » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:58 pm

Compare English: if you were talking about a male, would you say, e.g., "He's Fred who's there", or if female "She's Flo who's there"? It would seem, shall we say, a little strange to a native English speaker.

MarcMacUilleim
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:16 pm
Language Level: Fluent
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Europe

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by MarcMacUilleim » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:03 pm

Surely comparing how things are expressed in Gaelic to how they are expressed in English is as pointless as comparing them to how they are expressed in any other language...?

Níall Beag
Rianaire
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:58 pm
Language Level: Cofhurtail (chan ann bho thùs)
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: Sruighlea, Alba
Contact:

Re: am Monadh Ruadh - pronoun agreement

Unread post by Níall Beag » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:01 am

MarcMacUilleim wrote:Surely comparing how things are expressed in Gaelic to how they are expressed in English is as pointless as comparing them to how they are expressed in any other language...?
Comparing one language to another is only pointless if it doesn't illuminate anything.

In the same way that a picture is worth a thousand words, an illustrative example is worth a thousand words of technical explanation. We can talk about "gender agreement", "dummy it" and "fronting" for hours without everybody getting the point, but demonstrating those principles with a clear example can sometimes make all the difference in understanding.

Here we have two points to demonstrate:

1) There is no agreement in the pronoun in fronting -- ie it's always "'s e", never "'s i" or "'s iad" -- and that's the same in English fronting (I came to see John -> It's John I came to see). English illuminates.

2) Whether there is agreement with the adverbial -- ie always "ann" vs "ann"/"innte"/"annta" -- depends on whether the "ann" means "here/there" or refers to the person.

In this case, the target phrase is "'S e Mòrag a th' ann" and that whole structure can be explaining either by all that above, or just by an English close tr*nsl*t**n: "it's Morag that's here/there". We wouldn't say exactly that in English, but it does quite nicely illustrate the reasons for the Gaelic structure.

Post Reply