Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Acallam na Senórach)

By Ann Dooley; Harry Roe | Go to book overview

GUIDE TO THE PRONUNCIATION OF IRISH NAMES

Consonants

Initial 'p' and 't' are pronounced approximately as in English and initial 'c' is always pronounced as in 'cat'. Non-initial 'c', 'p', and 't', are usually pronounced as English 'g', 'b', and 'd'. Initial 'b' and 'm' are as in English, but in other positions are often pronounced as 'v'. Initial 'd' and 'g' are as in English, otherwise often as 'th' in 'other' ('dh' in the phonetic transcription) and 'gh', a sound like the 'g' in German 'Tage'. The digraphs 'ph' and 'th' correspond to 'ph' as in 'philosophy' and 'th' as in 'thin'. The digraph 'ch' corresponds to the 'ch' in German 'machen'. Consonants followed by 'i' or 'e' are palatalized, i.e., followed by a 'y'-sound, as 'p' in 'pure', vs. 'p' in 'poor'. Final '-y' following a consonant is not a vowel sound, but simply indicates that the consonant is palatalized. The name Ailill (alyily), for example, has only two syllables.


Vowels

There is no simple correspondence of Irish to English vowels. Irish vowels, for example, may simply indicate that a neighbouring consonant is or is not palatalized, much as the 'e' in English 'cane', as opposed to 'can', merely indicates the quality of the preceding vowel. In the rough phonetic transcription supplied with the list of names the following equivalences apply: 'a' as in 'father' when stressed, as in 'woman' when unstressed; 'e' as in 'pet' when stressed, as in 'mother' when unstressed; 'i' as in 'pit'; 'o' as in 'pot'; 'u' as in 'put'; 'uw' as in 'mood'; 'ow' as in 'sown'; 'aw' as in 'saw'; 'ey' as in 'they'; 'ee' as in 'feed'; 'oy' as in 'boy'.

All Irish names are stressed on the first syllable. The names listed below form but a small percentage of the names in the text, and the reconstructed pronunciations are approximate. The modern pronunciation is given in cases in which there has been substantial phonetic change.

-xxxiv-

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Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Acallam na Senórach)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Content v
  • Introduction vii
  • Note on the Text and Translation xxxi
  • Guide to the Pronunciation of Irish Names xxxiv
  • Select Bibliography xxxviii
  • A Chronology of Fenian Tales in Ireland and Scotland xli
  • Prologue 3
  • Chapter I 5
  • Chapter II 33
  • Chapter III 47
  • Chapter IV 70
  • Chapter V 83
  • Chapter VI 105
  • Chapter VII 124
  • Chapter VIII 127
  • Chapter IX 151
  • Chapter X 179
  • Chapter XI 192
  • Chapter XII 215
  • Epilogue 220
  • Explanatory Notes 224
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