Words ending in 'ir' - do they have a 'd' sound?

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Samidamaru
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Words ending in 'ir' - do they have a 'd' sound?

Unread post by Samidamaru » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:07 pm

Hi all,

First post so apologies if this isn't the correct place. I'm very much a beginner and I've come across a small pronounciation confusion.

For words ending in "ir" (e.g. seanmhair) in recordings on the LearnGaelic.net dictionary it sounds like there is a "d" sound at the end, however in other generic recordings there doesn't appear to be and I can't find any mention of this 'rule' anywhere.

Is anybody able to clarify :)?

Thanks in advance,
Sam



ithinkitsnice
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Words ending in 'ir' - do they have a 'd' sound?

Unread post by ithinkitsnice » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:31 pm

That's a 'slender R' (because of the preceding slender vowel [e + i]), which has a bit of variation in how it is pronounced.

Commonly it's pronounced something sort-of-like (but not) the 'th' sound in English. See the link below for more.

http://www.foramnagaidhlig.net/foram/vi ... php?t=2497

I'd listen out for all the ways you hear it articulated, play around with making those sounds yourself until you find a way you're comfortable with, and use that.
Last edited by ithinkitsnice on Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Samidamaru
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Words ending in 'ir' - do they have a 'd' sound?

Unread post by Samidamaru » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:33 pm

Fantastic. That makes sense.

Thank you for the reply and link!

akerbeltz
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Words ending in 'ir' - do they have a 'd' sound?

Unread post by akerbeltz » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:12 pm

That's a 'slender R' (because of the preceding slender vowel [e + i]), which has a bit of variation in how it is pronounced.
Careful, letter ≠ vowel when it comes to Gaelic spelling and pronunciation. The written letters indicate all sorts of stuff but don't necessarily correspond to an actual sound. For example in sir/ʃirʲ/ the i both has a sound value (/i/) and doubles up as a quasi-diacritic to tell you the single r that follows is /rʲ/ (and not /r/). But in cuir /kurʲ/ the i does not correspond to a sound per se, it merely indicates the r is /rʲ/.

There are, summing up the other page, two principal ways in which native speakers say single slender r: /rʲ/ and /ð/ and it's this latter one which sounds a bit like /d/. It's the same sound you get in English the /ðə/. If you struggle with the 'lisped' /rʲ/ then the best solution is to go with /ð/. Sounding a tad Hebridean is better than sounding non-native 8-)

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