Advertisement

Irish morphology

From Academic Kids

The morphology of Irish is in some respects typical of an Indo-European language. Nouns are declined for gender, number, and case, and verbs for person and number. Other aspects of Irish morphology, while typical for a Celtic language, are not typical for Indo-European, such as the presence of inflected prepositions and the initial consonant mutations.

The discussion of Irish morphology has been split up into three articles. On this page, the pronouns, inflected prepositions, and numbers are discussed. Irish nouns, adjectives, and the definite article are discussed on the page on Irish nominals. Irish verbs are discussed at Irish verbs.

Contents

Pronouns

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns in Irish do not inflect for case, but there are three different sets of pronouns used: conjunctive forms, disjunctive forms, and emphatic forms (which may be used either conjunctively or disjunctively)

Conjunctive forms

The normal word order in Irish is verb-subject-object (VSO). The forms of the subject pronoun directly following the verb are called conjunctive:

Person Singular Plural
1st (muid)
2nd sibh
3rd masc. ; fem. siad

The form muid in the 1st person plural is not used in the standard language, but is very common in the dialects. The standard has no subject pronoun in the 1st person plural but uses synthetic verb endings instead.

Irish has no T-V distinction, i.e. it does not differentiate between formal and familiar forms of second person pronouns. The difference between and sibh is simply one of grammatical number.

Disjunctive forms

If a pronoun is not the subject or if a subject pronoun does not follow the verb (as in a verbless clause, or as the subject of the copula, where the pronoun stands at the end of the sentence), the so-called disjunctive forms are used:

Person Singular Plural
1st sinn
2nd thú sibh
3rd masc. é; fem. í iad

Emphatic forms

Irish also has emphatic forms, used to give the pronouns a bit more weight.

Person Singular Plural
1st mise muidne, sinne
2nd t(h)usa sibhse
3rd masc. (s)eisean; fem. (s)ise (s)iadsan

The word féin ([f´e:n´] or [he:n´]) '-self' can follow a pronoun, either to add emphasis or to form a reflexive pronoun.

Rinne mé féin é. 'I did it myself.'
Ar ghortaigh tú thú féin? 'Did you hurt yourself?'
Sinn Féin is thus 'We Ourselves'

Possessive pronouns

The possessive pronouns cause different initial consonant mutations. mo 'my' lenites; m' precedes vowels

mo chara 'my friend'
m'fheirm 'my farm'
m'athair 'my father'

do 'your (sg.)' lenites; d' precedes vowels

do chara 'your friend'
d'fheirm 'your farm'
d'athair 'your father'

a 'his' lenites

a chara 'his friend'
a fheirm 'his farm'
a athair 'his father'

a 'her' takes the radical of a consonant and adds an h to a vowel

a cara 'her friend'
a feirm 'her farm'
a hathair 'her father'

ár 'our' eclipses

ár gcara 'our friend'
ár bhfeirm 'our farm'
ár n-athair 'our father'

bhur 'your(pl.)' eclipses

bhur gcara 'your friend'
bhur bhfeirm 'your farm'
bhur n-athair 'your father'

a 'their' eclipses

a gcara 'their friend'
a bhfeirm 'their farm'
a n-athair 'their father'

The forms a and ár can also blend with certain prepositions:

de and do dá chara 'from/to his friend'; dá feirm 'from/to her farm'; dár n-athair 'from/to our father'; dá n-athair 'from/to their father'
faoi faoina chara 'about his friend'; faoinár n-athair 'about our father'
i ina feirm 'in her farm'; inár bhfeirm 'in our farm'
le lena n-athair 'with their father; lenár bpáiste 'with our child'
ó óna bhean 'from his wife'; ónár dtaighde 'from our research'
trí trína cos 'through her foot'; trínár dteach 'through our house'

The object of a verbal noun is governed by the genitive:

  • Tá sé ag plé a rothair. 'He's discussing his bicycle' (lit.: He is at the discussing of his bicycle)

If the object of the verbal noun is a pronoun, that pronoun is possessive:

  • Tá sé á phlé. 'He's discussing it.' (lit.: He is at its (i.e. the bicycle's) discussing)

More examples:

  • Tá sí do mo bhualadh. 'She's hitting me.'
  • Tá siad do do phlé. 'They are discussing you.'
  • Tá sé á pógadh. 'He's kissing her.'
  • Tá tú dár mbualadh. 'You're hitting us.'
  • Tá mé do bhur bplé. 'I'm discussing you(pl.).'
  • Tá sibh á bpógadh. 'You(pl.) are kissing them.'

Interrogative pronouns

Interrogative pronouns introduce a question, e.g. the words who, what, which. The Irish equivalents are:

  • 'who?, which?'
  • cad or céard 'what?'
  • 'which?'

Examples:

  • Cé a rinne é? 'Who did it?'
  • Cé a chonaic tú? 'Who did you see?'
  • Cé ar thug tú an leabhar dó? 'Who did you give the book to?'
  • Cad atá ort? 'What's wrong (with you)?' (lit. 'What is on you?')
  • Céard a dúirt tú? 'What did you say?'
  • Cá hainm atá ort? 'What's your name?' (lit. 'Which name is upon you?')
  • Cá haois tú? 'How old are you?' (lit. 'Which age are you?')

Inflected prepositions

As the object of a preposition, a pronoun is fused with the preposition; one speaks here of "inflected" or "conjugated" prepositions.

ag 'at'

1agam 'at me'againn 'at us'
2agat 'at you'agaibh 'at you(pl.)'
3aige 'at him'
aici 'at her'
acu 'at them'

ar 'on'

1ormorainn
2ortoraibh
3air
uirthi
orthu

as 'out of, from'

1asamasainn
2asatasaibh
3as
aisti
astu

chuig, chun 'to, towards'

1chugamchugainn
2chugatchugaibh
3chuige
chuici
chucu

de 'from,of'

1díomdínn
2díotdíbh
3de
di
díobh

do 'to, for'

1domdúinn
2duitdaoibh
3
di
dóibh

faoi 'under; about (concerning)'

1fúmfúinn
2fútfúibh
3faoi
fúithi
fúthu

i 'in'

1ionamionainn
2ionationaibh
3ann
inti
iontu

idir 'between'

1idir méeadrainn
2idir thúeadraibh
3idir é
idir í
eatarthu

le 'with'

1liomlinn
2leatlibh
3leis
léi
leo

ó 'from, since'

1uaimuainn
2uaituaibh
3uaidh
uaithi
uathu

roimh 'before, in front of'

1romhamromhainn
2romhatromhaibh
3roimhe
roimpi
rompu

thar 'beyond, over'

1tharamtharainn
2tharattharaibh
3thairis
thairsti
tharstu

trí 'through'

1tríomtrínn
2tríottríbh
3tríd
tríthi
tríothu

um 'around'

1umamumainn
2umatumaibh
3uime
uimpi
umpu

Numbers

Cardinal numbers

There are three kinds of cardinal numbers in Irish: disjunctive numbers, nonhuman conjunctive numbers, and human conjunctive numbers.

Disjunctive numbers

0 náid 13 a trí déag
1 a haon 14 a ceathair déag
2 a dó 20 fiche
3 a trí 21 fiche a haon
4 a ceathair 30 tríocha
5 a cúig 40 daichead
6 a sé 50 caoga
7 a seacht 60 seasca
8 a hocht 70 seachtó
9 a naoi 80 ochtó
10 a deich 90 nócha
11 a haon déag 100 céad
12 a dó dhéag 1000 míle

These numbers are used for example in arithmetic, in telling time, in telephone numbers and after nouns in forms like bus a trí déag

'Bus 13' or seomra a dó 'Room 2'.

Nonhuman conjunctive numbers

These numbers are used to count nouns that do not refer to human beings, e.g. capall 'horse'

1 aon chapall amháin; capall amháin 13 trí chapall déag
2 dhá chapall 20 fiche capall
3 trí chapall 21 capall is fiche
4 ceithre chapall 22 dhá chapall is fiche
5 cúig chapall 30 tríocha capall
6 sé chapall 40 daichead capall
7 seacht gcapall 50 caoga capall
8 ocht gcapall 60 seasca capall
9 naoi gcapall 70 seachtó capall
10 deich gcapall 80 ochtó capall
11 aon chapall déag 90 nócha capall
12 dhá chapall déag 100 céad capall

'one' as a pronoun = ceann (lit. 'head') when it concerns things and animals, e.g.:

Tá cúig chapall agam; tá ceann acu breoite. 'I have five horses; one of them is sick.'

Human conjunctive numbers

These numbers are used to count nouns that refer to human beings, e.g. páiste 'child'

1 aon pháiste amháin; páiste amháin 7 seachtar páiste
2 beirt pháiste 8 ochtar páiste
3 triúr páiste 9 naonúr páiste
4 ceathrar páiste 10 deichniúr páiste
5 cúigear páiste 11 aon pháiste déag
6 seisear páiste 12 dáréag páiste

'one' as a pronoun = duine (lit. 'person') with people. The other "personal" numbers can also be used pronominally, e.g.:

Tá cúigear páiste agam; tá duine acu breoite. 'I have five children; one of them is sick.'
Tá seisear sa seomra. 'Six people are in the room.'

Higher numbers are done as with the nonhuman conjunctive numbers: trí pháiste déag, fiche páiste, etc.

Ordinal numbers

1st an chéad chapall 13th an tríú capall déag
2nd an dara capall 20th an fichiú capall
3rd an tríú capall 21st an t-aonú capall is fiche
4th an ceathrú capall 22nd an dóú chapall is fiche
5th an cúigiú capall 30th an tríochadú capall
6th an séú capall 40th an daicheadú capall
7th an seachtú capall 50th an caogadú capall
8th an t-ochtú capall 60th an seascadú capall
9th an naoú capall 70th an seachtódú capall
10th an deichiú capall 80th an t-ochtódú capall
11th an t-aonú capall déag 90th an nóchadú capall
12th an dóú capall déag 100th an céadú capall

See also

ga:Gramadach na Gaeilge

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools