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THE object of the following few pages is to examine the sounds of Irish in the light of general phonetic principles. I do not claim to speak with any special authority on the subject ; I merely wish to draw attention to a very interesting aspect of Irish, which, as far as I am aware, has hitherto been practically untouched. Anybody who has already mastered the sounds of Irish will derive advantage from this little book only in so far as he critically examines each statement in it, and perceives its truth from his own experience.

It is now generally admitted that the rational way to acquire the sounds of a new language is by systematic drill upon exercises drawn up in accordance with phonetic laws. Such exercises for Irish will be found on pages 17 and 18. The set may be rendered fairly complete by re.writing the given lists with the consonants aspirated. Teachers should write such lists on the blackboard, and get their classes to repeat them in unison.

The remarkable way in which the phenomena of broad and slender sounds, of aspiration and of eclipsis work out is the most interesting portion of the booklet. I hope it will surprise and delight my readers as much as it did me when I first realized it.

M. O'F.

January, 1904




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Irish phonetics - Rev. M. O'Flanagan - 1904