Caibidil a Ceathair Déag:
Initial Mutations (na hAthruithe Tosaigh)
Eclipsis (griech.:omission, disappearance) is the substitution of the unvoiced consonants with the corresponding voiced ones (c becomes g, f becomes bh, t becomes d, p becomes b).
Voiced consonants are then replaced with nasals (b becomes m, d becomes n, g becomes ng). This is why eclipsis is sometimes called nasalisation.
Here is some background about the causes of eclipsis.
about the written notation of eclipsis:
- In written Irish, the consonant replacement appears in addition to the consonant being replaces, the latter disappears in speech ("ng" is only the velar nasal without the g , as in the German: "lang")
- in titles and similar capitalisations, the eclipsing letter appears in lowercase, the eclipsed one in uppercase: mB, gC, nD, bhF, nG, etc. e.g.: i gConnachta = in Connacht, i nGaeilge = in Irish, i mBéarla = in English
- preceding a vowel one inserts an n- (see n-prefix)
||[v] / [w]
|l, m, n, r, s
(andh, j, v, w, z)
d, t are (except in Munster) not eclipsed after a preposition + article! e.g.:ar an teach = on the house
s can is some dialects in Munster "be eclipsed". There, the unvoiced [s] is replaced with the voiced s [z], a sound which is otherwise foreign to Irish. This remains unnoted in written Irish. (e.g.: an sagart [@ sag@rt], ar an sagart [er' @ zag@rt])
- after the prepositions ag, ar, as, le, mar, ó, faoi, roimh, thrí, thar, um if with the article an: (in Munster always, in Connacht by d, t no eclipsis as well as a t-prefix preceding s by femin. nouns) e.g.: ar an mbord = on the table
- after a preposition with an article sa (in Connacht always, in Munster only by f, in the standard/Ulster, lenition):
e.g.: sa bhfarraige = in the sea
- after the preposition i if without article e.g. i dteach = in a house
(similarly also after the archaic prepositions go = with, iar = to )
- after the genitive plural article na e.g. na dtithe = of the houses
- after the plural possessive pronouns ár, bhur, a e.g. ár dteach = our house, a gcarr = their car
- after the numbers 7-10, (17-19, 27-29 etc.) e.g.: deich dteach = ten houses
- verb after verbal particles / conjunctions an, go, nach, mura, dá, sula, ach a
- verb after the interrogative cá (in the meaning "where")
- verb after the indirect relative particle a
- verb after the generealising relative pronoun a ("all, that ")
as well as after the expression diabhal a ( = ní, "not", lit.: "devil all, that ")
- after the prefix éa- ( = "un-") Here, one leaves out the sound being eclipsed (éa- + cóir = éagóir = injustice, éa + trom = éadrom = not heavy, light )
- in a few place names after those nouns which are normally things, e.g. Loch nEachach (Lough Neagh), as well as after other nouns in the genitive plural, e.g. Mainistir Ó dTorna (Abbeydorney), lit.: "Abbey of the O'Dorneys"
lenition, n-, t-, h-, d'-prefix
Gramadach na Gaeilge
© Lars Braesicke 1999 / 2000