Noun-phrase Question

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
Laighneach
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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by Laighneach » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:13 am

Halò :)

As I understand it, a definite noun is in the genitive case following a verbal noun - Tha mi ag ithe an arain.
But if the definite noun is part of a larger noun-phrase, such as an t-aran a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè, will it still be placed in the genitive case, or will it remain in the nominative due to the noun-phrase being thought of as a "unit" ?
i.e.
Tha mi ag ithe an arain a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè.
or
Tha mi ag ithe an t-aran a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè.

Tapadh leibh



GunChleoc
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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by GunChleoc » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:14 am

"a rinn mo sheanmhair" is not part of the same noun phrase - look at "rinn", it's is a verb (dèan). So, we need the genitive here.

The general rule is that if you have a string of nouns, the last one is in the genitive. This rule covers phrases with verbal nouns as well (they are nouns after all), and composite prepositions where the second element in the preposition is or used to be a noun: airson (from air son), os cionn, ri linn, a chum, fo bharr (=far), ... an arain.

In modern colloquial use, the genitive is being lost after verbal nouns and composite prepositions though when there is no article involved. So, most people nowadays will say "Tha mi ag ithe an arain" (genitive case) but "Tha mi ag ithe aran" (common case). I personally found it easier to just stick to the genitive for starters though.
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Laighneach
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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by Laighneach » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:13 pm

"An t-aran a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè"/"the bread that my grandmother made yesterday" is not a noun phrase?
"a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" is an adjectival clause; the whole can be replaced with a possessive adjective: "tha mi ga ithe".
Perhaps I've mis-used the terminology, grammar isn't my strongpoint :)

Anyway, I take it that it would be in the genitive regardless of how the definite noun is qualified,
and that the likes of the following would be in the genitive too? :-
Bha i a' biadhadh an eich aca.
Tha e a' glanadh càir Sheumais
.

Tapadh leibh a-rithist

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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by GunChleoc » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:57 am

Yes, "an t-aran" is the head of the phrase, so the whole thing counts as a noun phrase. However, the string of nouns is broken up by "a rinn", which affects the usage of the genitive.

Bha i a' biadhadh an eich aca. -> ceart :)
Tha e a' glanadh càir Sheumais. -> càr, only Sheumais is in the genitive (in a string of nouns, only the last noun will be put in the genitive. We have 3 nouns here: glanadh, car, Seumas)
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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by Níall Beag » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:38 pm

Laighneach wrote: "An t-aran a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè"/"the bread that my grandmother made yesterday" is not a noun phrase?
"a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" is an adjectival clause; the whole can be replaced with a possessive adjective: "tha mi ga ithe".
Perhaps I've mis-used the terminology, grammar isn't my strongpoint :)

Anyway, I take it that it would be in the genitive regardless of how the definite noun is qualified,
and that the likes of the following would be in the genitive too? :-
Bha i a' biadhadh an eich aca.
Tha e a' glanadh càir Sheumais
.

Tapadh leibh a-rithist
OK, so...

"it would be in the genitive regardless of how the definite noun is qualified"
The article only attaches to the last noun in the "string", as you clearly already know from the examples you give -- there is no article beside "càr" because it is not the last* noun in the string. Now it just so happens that the exact same rule applies for the genitive -- you cannot place a genitive where you couldn't place an article. (So e.g. a' glanadh càr Sheumais -> a' glanadh càr an fhir).
(* Perhaps "deepest" would be a better term than "last", but that's more detail than we need at the moment.)

Now, if you look at your original sentence, you'll see that you have an article before bread, and a possessive "mo" before granny. That's absolutely correct. And because you can correctly put the article before bread, you can correctly put bread in the genitive.

So you actually know all this.


Now, if you want a more technical explanation, "a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" is part of the noun phrase, but it is not itself a noun phrase. It is a "relative clause" which is technically an adverbial (i.e. the same class as "to the moon", "over there", "yesterday" etc). Yes, there is a noun phrase within the adverbial ("mo sheanmhair") but "a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" is not itself a noun phrase. So "an arain" is in the genitive because it is not followed by a noun phrase.

Laighneach
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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by Laighneach » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:30 pm

Thank you both for your explanations. This is certainly clearer to me now.
Now, if you want a more technical explanation, "a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" is part of the noun phrase, but it is not itself a noun phrase. It is a "relative clause" which is technically an adverbial (i.e. the same class as "to the moon", "over there", "yesterday" etc). Yes, there is a noun phrase within the adverbial ("mo sheanmhair") but "a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" is not itself a noun phrase. So "an arain" is in the genitive because it is not followed by a noun phrase.
I'm going to take the risk of coming across a bit dense here :) but I'm finding it difficult to understand how "a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" can function as an adverb.
I'd have though that "a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" is qualifying "an t-aran", fulfilling the role of an adjective:
{[an t-aran] [ruadh]}
{[an t-aran] [a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè]}

(The whole noun phrase, the object of "ag ithe" in the original sentence, between curly brackets.)

Apologies if I'm misusing the grammatical terminology but, as I said earlier, I'm on shaky ground when it comes to grammar.

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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by GunChleoc » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:46 am

Adverbial phrases always qualify something, so they can qualify "an t-aran" just fine :)

Relative clauses have some sort of special status in syntax theory, so maybe they aren't adverbials per se, but they still start with a relative pronoun, which suffices to break the chain for the genitive rule. That's all you need to know - it does break the chain of nouns.

Or, in your example with replacing the adjective, it occupies a different syntax slot than another noun would occupy. It's hard to visualise without making a drawing though. If you think of them as an adjective - does an adjective change the case of its noun? No, it doesn't.
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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by akerbeltz » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:08 am

A noun phrase cannot extend past certain break words, such as conjunctions or particles, at least not in the way Gaelic looks at these things - I don't really give a toss if that upsets Chomsky or not :)

So anything like ach, a, le, agus etc means that however long your NP may have been, it stops here. NB English has phrases like a big and red car (I have no idea if that counts as an NP in English) but Gaelic tends not to put agus between adjectives, i.e. it'd say càr mòr dearg.

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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by Laighneach » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:42 pm

Thanks again, both of you, for the help.
Very interesting information.

PS I've been going through the Akerbeltz "beagan gràmair" page. Fascinating, and highly entertaining too :)

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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by GunChleoc » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:14 am

I learned my pronunciation with that page :)
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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by akerbeltz » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:35 pm

:naire:

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Noun-phrase Question

Unread post by Níall Beag » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:57 am

Laighneach wrote:
I'd have though that "a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè" is qualifying "an t-aran", fulfilling the role of an adjective:
{[an t-aran] [ruadh]}
{[an t-aran] [a rinn mo sheanmhair an-dè]}
Don't worry too much about terminology -- there's plenty of variation in how it's used. It's the brackets that tell the true story.

In the end, even it was an adjective, adjectives don't stop nouns being declined into genitive or prepositional case, do they? So if it did act like an adjective, it wouldn't prevent declension.

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