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The "it" Word

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 10:53 am
by AlexAkimov
Is the pronoun used for "it" dependent on the gender of "it" i.e.

Ciamar a tha a' phàirc (f) - Tha i snog
Ciamar a tha an taigh (m) - Tha e snog

or does "it" just use a default pronoun (i.e. e) all the time?

If it is gender-based, what about ones where there isn't really a noun?

Ciamar a tha an t-sìde an sin?

Would "It is cold" be tha e fuar no tha i fuar? In this case the "it" doesn't really replace a noun (unless you are saying the weather is cold, which is not really what people say), it's just a general way if indicating something.

The "it" Word

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 6:16 pm
by GunChleoc
Yes, it needs a gender.

In "tha e fuar", "e" refers to "an latha"
In "tha i fuar", "i" refers to "an t-sìde/an aimsir"

Even if people don't think about it consiously, that's where it came from.

The "it" Word

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 6:42 pm
by akerbeltz
Though i is mostly used with objects of biological gender and some highly common nouns (like aimsir/sìde), so you refer to cailleach/boireannach/caileag/bò/sìde etc as i but not many people will use i for non-animate objects like uinneag (at least not if they don't think you're listening 8-) )

The "it" Word

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 8:48 am
by GunChleoc
akerbeltz wrote:(at least not if they don't think you're listening 8-) )
:spors: :spors:

The "it" Word

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 9:05 am
by AlexAkimov
Tha mi a' tuigsinn :D

Mòran taing.

The "it" Word

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:49 am
by Níall Beag
In modern Gaelic, the so-called "dummy it" (where "it" doesn't refer to a noun) is usually masculine. However, in earlier Celtic languages, the dummy it was actually feminine, which I believe is still the case in Welsh. I've read the suggestion that using "i" for the weather is nothing to do with grammatical gender of any words (you're as unlikely to hear "tha an t-side fuar an-diugh" in Gaelic as you are to hear "the weather is cold today" in English), but actually the last remnant of the old feminine dummy it.

Anyhow, "tha i fuar"/"tha e fuar" is now just dialectal difference based on where you and your conversation partner are from.