Random DWJ discovery of the d

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Wed Mar 30 12:49:36 EST 2005

Colin said...

> Dorian E. Gray also wrote (just as many weeks ago):
>> Don't know about the others, but Irish is perfectly sensible language 
>> which at least has the decency to follow its pronunciation rules 
>> consistently, unlike English. :-)
> Hmm. Maybe the rules make sense if you're brought up to the language 
> (which could also be said of English). Yes I know about caol le caol agus 
> leathan le leathan, but I *still* don't know which 50% of the vowels to 
> pronounce and which to ignore in an Irish word.

What I meant by that statement is that once you know the pronunciation rules 
in Irish, they don't change; you don't have more than one sound associated 
with the same letter or combination of letters, nor more than one way of 
spelling the same sound.  You do have to know the rules first, but once you 
do, pronunciation and spelling are very straightforward.

Whereas in English, the letter-combination "ough", to take a notorious 
example, can represent any one of at least four different sounds, and all of 
the following letters or letter-combinations represent (or can represent) 
the same sound: a - ae - ai - ay - ei - ey (there are probably more possible 
spellings for this sound, but I can't be bothered thinking them up).


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