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Dialect of the Irish language spoken in the province of Munster
This article uses the IPA to transcribe Irish. Readers familiar with other conventions may wish to see Help:IPA/Irish for a comparison of the IPA system with those used in learners' materials.
The three dialects of Irish, with Munster in the south.
The north and west of Dingle Peninsula (Irish: Corca Dhuibhne) are today the only place in Munster where Irish has survived as the daily spoken language of most of the community although the language is spoken on a daily basis by a minority in other official Gaeltachtaí in Munster.
Munster Irish played an important role in the Gaelic revival of the early 20th century. The noted author Peadar Ua Laoghaire wrote in Munster dialect and stated that he wrote his novel Séadna to show younger people what he viewed as good Irish:
Ag machtnamh dom air sin do thuigeas am' aigne ná raibh aon rud i n-aon chor againn, i bhfuirm leabhair, le cur i láimh aon leinbh chun na Gaeluinne do mhúineadh dhó. As mo mhachtnamh do shocaruigheas ar leabhar fé leith do sgrí' d'ár n-aos óg, leabhar go mbéadh caint ann a bhéadh glan ós na lochtaibh a bhí i bhformhór cainte na bhfilí; leabhar go mbéadh an chaint ann oireamhnach do'n aos óg, leabhar go mbéadh caint ann a thaithnfadh leis an aos óg. Siné an machtnamh a chuir fhéachaint orm "Séadna" do sgrí'. Do thaithn an leabhar le gach aoinne, óg agus aosta. Do léigheadh é dos na seandaoine agus do thaithn sé leó. D'airigheadar, rud nár airigheadar riamh go dtí san, a gcaint féin ag teacht amach a' leabhar chúcha. Do thaithn sé leis na daoinibh óga mar bhí cosmhalacht mhór idir Ghaeluinn an leabhair sin agus an Béarla a bhí 'n-a mbéalaibh féin.
Peig Sayers was illiterate, but her autobiography, Peig, is also in Munster dialect and rapidly became a key text. Other influential Munster works are the autobiographies Fiche Blian ag Fás by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin and An tOileánach by Tomás Ó Criomhthain.
Munster Irish differs from Ulster and Connacht Irish in a number of respects. Some words and phrases used in Munster Irish are not used in the other varieties, such as:
in aon chor (Clear Island, Corca Dhuibhne, West Muskerry, Waterford) or ar aon chor (Clear Island, West Carbery, Waterford) "at any rate" (other dialects ar chor ar bith (Connacht) and ar scor ar bith (Ulster)
fé, fí "under" (standard faoi)
Gaelainn "Irish language" (Cork and Kerry), Gaeilinn (Waterford) (standard Gaeilge)
ná "that...not; do not" (standard nach)
leis "also" (Connacht freisin, Ulster fosta)
anso or atso "here" and ansan or atsan "there" instead of standard anseo and ansin, respectively
In both demonstrative pronouns and adjectives speakers of Munster Irish differentiate between seo "this" and sin "that" following a palatalised consonant or front vowel and so "this" and san "that" following a velarised consonant or back vowel in final position: an bóthar so "this road", an bhó san "that cow", an chairt sin "that cart", an claí seo "this fence"
the use of thá instead of tá in the extreme west of Corca Dhuibhne and in Gaeltacht na nDéise.
the preposition chuig "to, towards", common in Connacht Irish and Ulster Irish where it developed as a back formation from the 3rd person singular preposition chuige "towards him" is not used in Munster. The form chun (from Classical Irish do chum), also found in the West and North, is used in preference.
Munster Irish uses a fuller range of "looking" verbs, while these in Connacht and Ulster are restricted: féachaint "looking", "watching", breithniú "carefully observing", amharc "look, watch", glinniúint "gazing, staring", sealladh "looking" etc.
the historic dative form tigh "house", as in Scots and Manx Gaelic, is now used as the nominative form (Standard teach)
Munster retains the historic form of the personal pronoun sinn "us" which has largely been replaced with muid (or muinn in parts of Ulster) in most situations in Connacht and Ulster.
Corca Dhuibhne and Gaeltacht na nDéise use the independent form cím (earlier do-chím) "I see" as well as the dependent form ficim / feicim (earlier ad-chím), while Muskerry and Clear Island use the forms chím (independent) and ficim.
The adverbial forms chuige, a chuige in Corca Dhuibhne and a chuigint "at all" in Gaeltacht na nDéise are sometimes used in addition to in aon chor or ar aon chor
The adjective cuibheasach/ki:s?x/ is used adverbially in phrases such as cuibheasach beag "rather small", "fairly small", cuibheasach mór "quite large". Connacht uses sách and Ulster íontach
Faic, pioc, puinn and tada in West Munster, dada in Gaeltacht na nDéise, ní dúrt pioc "I said nothing at all", níl faic dá bharr agam "I have gained nothing by it"
The interjections ambaiste, ambaist, ambasa, ambaic "Indeed!", "My word!", "My God!" in West Munster and amaite, amaite fhéinig in Gaeltacht na nDéise (ambaiste = dom bhaisteadh "by my baptism", am basa = dom basaibh "by my palms", ambaic = dom baic "by my heeding"; amaite = dom aite "my oddness")
obann "sudden" instead of tobann in the other major dialects
práta "potato", fata in Connacht and préata in Ulster
oiriúnach "suitable", feiliúnach in Connacht and fóirsteanach in Ulster
nóimint, nóimit, nóimeat, neomint, neomat, nóiméad in Connacht and bomaite in Donegal
Munster differentiates between ach go háirithe "anyway", "anyhow" and go háirithe "particularly", "especially"
gallúnach "soap", gallaoireach in Connacht and sópa in Ulster
deifir is "difference" in Munster, and is a Latin loan: níl aon deifir eatarthu "there is no difference between them"; the Gaelic word deifir "hurry" is retained in the other dialects (c.f. Scottish Gaelicdiofar "difference")
deabhadh or deithneas "hurry" whereas the other major dialects use deifir
-(e)amhail used instead of standard -(i)úil in Dunquin in words such as suimeamhail, cáirdeamhail, oifigeamhail, etc. instead of standard suimiúil, cáirdiúil, oifigiúil, etc.
The phonemic inventory of Munster Irish (based on the accent of West Muskerry in western Cork) is as shown in the following chart (based on Ó Cuív 1944; see International Phonetic Alphabet for an explanation of the symbols). Symbols appearing in the upper half of each row are velarized (traditionally called "broad" consonants) while those in the bottom half are palatalized ("slender"). The consonant /h/ is neither broad or slender.
The vowels of Munster Irish are as shown on the following chart. These positions are only approximate, as vowels are strongly influenced by the palatalization and velarization of surrounding consonants.
In addition, Munster has the diphthongs/i?, ia, u?, ?i, ai, au, ou/.
Some characteristics of Munster that distinguish it from the other dialects are:
The fricative is found in syllable-onset position. (Connacht and Ulster have [w] here.) For example, bhog "moved" is pronounced [?] as opposed to [w] elsewhere.
The diphthongs/?i/, /ou/, and /ia/ occur in Munster, but not in the other dialects.
Word-internal clusters of obstruent + sonorant, [m] + [n/r], and stop + fricative are broken up by an epenthetic [?], except that plosive + liquid remains in the onset of a stressedsyllable. For example, eaglais "church" is pronounced ['l?], but Aibreán "April" is [a'br?:n] (as if spelled Abrán).
Orthographic short a is diphthongized (rather than lengthened) before word-final m and the Old Irishtense sonorants spelled nn, ll (e.g. ceann[k?aun] "head").
Word-final /j/ is realized as [?], e.g. marcaigh "horsemen" ['m?k].
Stress is attracted to noninitial heavy syllables: corcán[k'k?:n] "pot", mealbhóg[m?al'o:?] "satchel". Stress is also attracted to [ax, ?x] in the second syllable: coileach[k?'l?ax] "rooster", beannacht[b'nxt] "blessing", bacacha[b'k?x?] "lame" (pl.).
In some varieties, long /?:/ is rounded to [?:].
Irish verbs are characterized by having a mixture of analytic forms (where information about person is provided by a pronoun) and synthetic forms (where information about number is provided in an ending on the verb) in their conjugation. Munster Irish has preserved nearly all of the synthetic forms, except for the second-person plural forms in the present and future:
Past tense verbs can take the particle do in Munster Irish, even when they begin with consonants. In the standard language, the particle is used only before vowels. For example, Munster do bhris sé or bhris sé "he broke" (standard only bhris sé).
The initial mutations of Munster Irish are generally the same as in the standard language and the other dialects. Some Munster speakers, however, use // as the lenition equivalent of // in at least some cases, as in a rí/? i:/ "O king!" (Sjoestedt 1931:46), do rug/d ?/ "gave birth" (Ó Cuív 1944:122), ní raghaid/n?i: id?/ "they will not go" (Breatnach 1947:143).
- An tAthair Tadhg. An Sagart, an Daingean 2000 (beathaisnéis) Ciarraí
- Abair Leat Joe Daly. An Sagart, an Daingean 1999 (seanchas) Ciarraí
- Sliabh gCua m'Óige. An Sagart, an Daingean 2003 (dírbheathaisnéis)
UA CIARMHAIC, Mícheál: Iníon Keevack. An Gúm, Baile Átha Cliath 1996 (úrscéal) Ciarraí
- Ríocht na dTonn. Coiscéim, Baile Átha Cliath 1989 (seanchas) Ciarraí
- Guth ón Sceilg. Coiscéim, Baile Átha Cliath 2000 (gearrscéalta) Ciarraí
- An Gabhar sa Teampall. Coiscéim, Baile Átha Cliath 1986 (creideamh is cráifeacht) Ciarraí
UA MAOILEOIN, Pádraig: Ár Leithéidí Arís. Cnuasach de Shaothar Ilchineálach. Clódhanna Teoranta, Baile Átha Cliath 1978 Ciarraí/Corca Dhuibhne
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- De Réir Uimhreacha. Muintir an Dúna, Baile Átha Cliath 1969 (dírbheathaisnéis)Ciarraí/Corca Dhuibhne
- Na hAird ó Thuaidh. Sáirséal agus Dill, Baile Átha Cliath 1960 (stair áitiúil) Ciarraí/Corca Dhuibhne
- Ó Thuaidh! Sáirséal Ó Marcaigh, Baile Átha Cliath 1983 (úrscéal)Ciarraí/Corca Dhuibhne
- An Stát versus Dugdale. Coiscéim, Baile Átha Cliath 2001 (tuairisc) Ciarraí/Corca Dhuibhne
VERLING, Máirtín (eag.): Leabhar Mhadhc Dháith. Scéalta agus Seanchas ón Rinn. Seosamh Ó Dálaigh, Nioclás Breatnach, Úna Parks agus daoine eile a bhailigh. An Sagart, an Daingean 2007. Gaeltacht na nDéise, Co. Phort Láirge