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I SHALL transcribe, from Neilson's Grammar, an account of the differences of pronunciation of Irish words in the different Provinces of Ireland; and present them, without any comment, on his authority, which is deservedly esteemed.

In general the accent falls on the first syllables, and this principle is observed in the north of Ireland ; as áran, bread; rasur, a razor; but, in the south and west, they say arán, rasúr, &c.

Again, when n follows c, g, m, or t, it is pronounced in the north like r — as, cnam. a bone, craṁ ; but in the south and west the true pronunciation is retained.

B or m, when aspirated, was originally sounded as v. This ancient pronunciation is still used in the north of Ireland, and in Scotland, and the Isle of Man. It is also retained in the south, in the beginning of words ; and in the middle, if joined by a small vowel. But, if the next vowel be broad, as in the word foġṁar, harvest, which should be pronounced fovar, those of the south entirely suppress the consonant ; and, contracting the two syllables into one, they say, foar.

Throughout Connaught, Leinstcr, and some counties of Ulster, the sound of w is substituted for that of v, to represent bh, and mh). Thus, mo mhac, my son, (properly sounded, mo vac,) is pronounced, mo wac.

Ċ, at the end of words or syllables, is very weakly expressed by the natives of Ulster ; receives no more force, than if it were written Ah ; and ċ, before t, is quite silent in all the country along the sea coast, from Derry to Waterford ; thus, ḃí duine boċt, there was a poor man, is there pronounced, ḃí dine bót.

is also omitted in pronouncing many words, such . as aṫair, father, maṫair. mother, &c. in most of the counties of Ulster, and the east of Leinster, where these words are pronounced as if written áair, máair.



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grammar of the irish language—mason—1842
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