a' rocking and a' rolling

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
semaphore
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a' rocking and a' rolling

Unread post by semaphore » Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:06 pm

Is the double verb pattern a sort of strengthener, an affirmation, or are they set expressions with distinct meanings? My personal feeling and how I interpret them without much choice is that they add an extra note of "wild" or "hustle and bustle" to the behaviour being described. I know there's probably hundreds if not thousands of examples beyond what I'll give here. If there's any interesting ones that come to mind, do tell.

I've noticed the verbs used mean enough the same thing where if one was used over the other I don't think I'd really second guess it in most circumstances. Seeing the dictionary definition of two words like "crith" and "crath" leaves a lot to be desired on the page without context however if my dog was wagging her tail I'd say "crath" and if I had the shivers I'd say "crith" I'm not exactly sure how the brain makes sense of these things. Seeing "a' crith 's a' crath" is even less clear analytically speaking, but richer in expression so somehow is understandable.

Here's some examples of the pattern. In case my question isn't clear, how is the meaning if at all changed by doubling up, what's the intent of the speaker?

a' riuth 's a leam
a' crith 's a' crath
a' siobadh 's a' suathadh
a' riuth 's riagail
a' làimhseachadh 's a' luasgadh


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GunChleoc
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Re: a' rocking and a' rolling

Unread post by GunChleoc » Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:02 pm

I can't tell - I'd need them in context, since I'm not familiar with them. I do know one that's similar though: cha b' e ruith ach leum. You can find some examples in the Faclair Beag.
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akerbeltz
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Re: a' rocking and a' rolling

Unread post by akerbeltz » Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:24 am

Watch the spelling to begin with :priob:
a' riuth 's a leam > a' ruith 's a' leum
a' siobadh 's a' suathadh > a' sìobadh
a' riuth 's riagail > a' ruith
Second, they're not verbs, they're (verbal) nouns, they have grammatical gender and everything.

Lastly, they're not such a big thing, apart from a' ruith 's a' leum, I don't recall having heard or seen the others (yes, I'm a sample of one but I've read a *lot*). Some are quite literal, a' ruith 's a' leum is running and jumping (aka gambolling), the others I would consider stylistic devices i.e. alliteration, for pretty much the same purposes as it's used in other languages.

Hope that helps

GunChleoc
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Re: a' rocking and a' rolling

Unread post by GunChleoc » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:41 pm

Duplication seems to be more common with adjectives, e.g. "Tha mi dripeil trang"
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semaphore
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Re: a' rocking and a' rolling

Unread post by semaphore » Fri May 28, 2021 11:36 am

'S fhada on uair sin. My spelling will always be crap. I'm 100% more of a speaker than a writer. I make more mistakes in writing than in speaking weirdly enough :) probably because I change too often what I intend to say halfway in writing.

I've been super busy and unable to get back in good time so thanks for the comments. I've been thinking about this on and off over the last month. I notice it here and there and it almost seems impulsive and as akerbeltz put it like a stylistic device, like there's no real pattern to which verb(al noun) is chosen as long as it gets the point across there's a "swash" to this "swish" but seems more common in Gaelic than in English.

With regards to GunChleoc and adjectives in my observation it's probably about even and definitely more in writing than in speech. If you're reading the latest COVID-19 information in Gaelic probably less so but anything casual or geared towards children, anything to spark the imagination tends towards this patterns where appropriate. Maybe less so for emphasis and more so for fun.

If anyone has any more insight into this pattern please leave a comment I'd love to hear about it.
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