Chapter 5 - The Verb
§33. —Of the Verb in General
The Irish verb has four moods : — the Indicative, Imperative, Conditional, and Infinitive. The Infinitive is used with the particles ag, iar, or ar tí, the sense of present, past, and future participles respectively.
There are five tenses, viz. : — the Present, Consuetudinal Present, Past, Consuetudinal Past, and the Future. The con- suetudinal tenses might very properly be classified as a separate mood.
The conditional mood is chiefly used in expressing a condition, and has frequently the particle dá, if, expressed before it. Other particles often precede it, especially g0. It may sometimes be rendered by the Latin imperfect subjunctive, but frequently has a sort of conditional future signification. Examples may be found in Matt. xiii 15; xiv. 15, 36; xx. 19; Acts vii. 19 &c.
In the ancient language the consuetudinal past and present were alike. The consuetudinal past has, in the modern language, retained the ancient synthetic, or personal form, while the present has adopted the analytic, or impersonal.
The indicative mood is often used in the sense of a subjunctive, but the latter is not distinguished by any peculiar endings. Initial changes, however, frequently take place, but these are owing to the influence of the particles preceding.
The root of the verb, for practical purposes, may be considered to be the second person singular imperative active, from which all the other parts of the verb can be formed by affixing certain terminations. Changes also take place in the beginning, but they are generally phonetic, and caused by certain particles prefixed, which serve to mark out some of the moods and tenses, and are sometimes not expressed, but understood.
The persons of the verb are formed in two different ways, analytically and synthetically. The analytic mode expresses the various persons by the third person singular of the verb and the personal pronouns. The synthetic, which is the mode generally used in the ancient language, in Irish as elsewhere, expresses the persons by terminational endings. Thus, in the analytic mode, the verb is the same throughout, the different pronouns marking the various persons and the number. In the synthetic, the verb has distinct terminations for each person except the third person singular. Thus the analytic form of the present indicative of Bi is —
But the synthetic—
The analytic is generally used in asking a question ; e.g., an laḃrann tú Gaoiḋilge? Do you speak Irish ? But in answering, the synthetic ; laḃriam, I speak. The pronoun should not be used separately after the synthetic form, which would be a repetition of the pronoun; as deanfaid siad, they, they will do.
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§34. — Formation of Moods and Tenses.
A. — Active Voice.
The simplest form is the second person singular imperative active ; as, burnl, strike.
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The Conditional Mood is formed by adding finn, and the various terminations given in the table, to the root ; as, buail, buailfinn. When, however, the future ends in oċad, the conditional is formed from it by changing the ad of the future into ainn, the terminations being the same, with this exception, as in regular verbs; e.g., foillseoċainn, foillseoċá, tc.
The Infinitive is formed
The so-called participles, as has been reamrked in §33, are merely the infinitive used with certain particles for the present a or ag, for the psat, iar, which eclipses the initial mutable, and ar tí, or le for the future. These are frequently used as verbal nouns.
B. — Passive Voice.
In the Passive Voice the analytic mode of forming the persons prevails ; there is, therefore, only one terminational ending to be learned for each tense.
The Imperative is formed by adding tar. to the root. It has a first person singular.
The Present Indicative is formed by adding the same terminational ending.
There is no separate form for the Consuetudinal Present.
The Past is formed by adding aḋ, and prefixing do, which in this voice makes no change in the initial mutable.
The Consuetudinal Past is formed by adding taoi or tí : as when the particle do is prefixed, it does not affect the initial letter.
The Future is formed by adding ar, or far. to the imperative active.
The Conditional Mood is formed by adding fiḋe to the. root.
The Infinitive is formed by adding the termination ta or te, and prefixing the infinitive of the verb to be ; as do ḃeiṫ buailte, to be struck.
The Participle is formed by adding ta or te.
The Passive voice may also be formed, as in English, by the various parts of the verb to be, and the passive participle; as, tú mé buailte, or táim buailce, I am struck.
§35. — Aspirations and Eclipses.
In order to account for the various changes in the initials of the verb, we shall here give a list of such particles as aspirate and eclipse.
A. — Those that Aspirate.
1. Ar, whether? (compounded of an, whether, and ro, sign of the past tense). It is only prefixed to the past tense.
2. Do and ro signs of the past tense, and do the sign of the infinitive.
3. Gur, that (compounded of g0, that, and ro, sign of the past). It is only used with the past tense. O''Donovan points out an exception, gurab é, that it is he.
4. Má, if; prefixed to the indicative mood.
5. Mar, as, like as.
6. Náċar, which not (compounded of náċ, that not, and ro, sign of the past) ; prefixed to the past. It is generally contracted into nár
7. Ní,, not; prefixed to the present and future. Ní sometimes eclipses, as ní ḃfuair mé, I have not found, Luke xxiii. 14, Ream's version ; ní ḃsuilim, I am not.
8. Níor, not (compounded of ni, the preceding particle, and ro) ; prefixed to the past.
B. — Those that Eclipse.
On eclipsis, see § 7.
1. An, whether? The eclipsis, perhaps, arises from the influence of the n.
2. Go that; the ancient form of this was con, which explains the ellipsis.
3. Dá, if; prefixed to the conditional mood. The original n is seen in the old form dian. Vid. Zeuss, p. 670.
4. Iar, after ; only prefixed to participles. The full form was iarn.
5. The relative a (anciently an) when preceded by a preposition, either expressed or understood, as ó a d-táinig from whom came ; unless the particle ro, the sign of the past, or an abbreviation of it follows, in which case the verb is regularly aspirated ; e.g., Aḋáṁ ór ḟásamar, Adam from whom we have sprung.
6. Mar a, where, in which; as Mar a ndúḃairt, where he said. The ellipsis is here caused by the relative a; see preceding paragraph.
7. Muna, unless; compounded of mú, if, and na, not. The eclipses arise from the na, which appears in the form nan, nam, i.e., compounded with the relative an (Zeuss, p. 702); see No. 5. Its ancient form was mani.
8. Naċ, which not. In the past tense this is compounded with ro, and becomes nár, náċar ; it then aspirates, the aspiration arising, not from naċ, but ro. Zeuss (p. 703) does not seem to offer an explanation of the eclipsis ; but it may, perhaps, arise from the relative an being inherent in the word.
§ 36. The Regular Verb.
The following table contains the paradigm.