Notes on Northern Mayo Irish

Notes on Northern Mayo Irish, based on A Mhuintir Dhú Chaocháin, Labhraígí Feasta.


* abróidh rather than déarfaidh ‘will say’ used without verbal particles. Abróidh tú leis anois nuair a thiocfas sé go bhfuil each óg ceangailte sa stábla agamsa… (page 30)


* aimsir can mean “period of work as servant”, but here the servant is ar aimsir rather than in aimsir: D’fhiafraigh fear an tí de céard a bhí ag teastáil uaidh agus dúirt sé gur máistir a choinneodh ar aimsir é a bhí uaidh. (page 1) In Kerry literature, at least in Peig, the preposition is i, i.e. in aimsir. I’d tend to think Ulster Irish would prefer ar fostú (or ar fostó in that dialect).


* aprún ‘apron’ rather than naprún (page 78)


* blaoch can be used for glaoch: Agus bhí seantáilliúir bacach ann agus cheap sé suas leis agus dúirt sé leis blaoch ar na daoine eile. (page 9) Tá d’athair ag blaoch ort. (page 50)


* call ‘need, necessity’ is used in the dialect: Má bhíonn call agat liom choíche, glaofaidh tú ar Sheabhac na Coille Craoibhe. (page 3)


* sa gcaoi go…’in such a way that’. (page 44) 


* fairnéis rather than faisnéis: Nuair a tháinig sé abhaile leis na ba, bhí an gaiscíoch ag cur fáirnéis faoin bpéist…(page 2) – i.e. making inquiries. Ansin d’imigh an fear ar a fáirnéis (page 3) – i.e. went to inquire about her.


* fud fad féasóige, mothaím boladh an Éireannaigh bhréagaigh bhradaigh anseo (page 4) is what the giant says in the story ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. And yes, the story is known in Ireland, and there are many versions in Irish.


* giortaigh/giortú used in the phrase an bóthar a ghiortú, rather than giorraigh/giorrú. (page 26)


* gloiní rather than spéaclaí, spéaclóirí for ‘spectacles, glasses’ (page 63)


* in éis rather than tar éis ‘after’: In éis tamaill d’éirigh siad tuirseach…(page 46)


* ins an, sa ‘in the’ is followed by eclipsis (typically Connacht): Nuair a bhí an mac in aois a sheacht mblian dúirt a mháthair leis go raibh crann ag fás ins an bpáirc(page 1)


* ionsaigh, ag ionsaí has in Mayo the sense of approaching, as we see in the example: Ansin thoisigh siad ag obair agus nuair a bhí an teach ag ionsaí a bheith críochnaithe acu, bhí socraithe ag an rí agus a chuid fear an bheirt a mharú (page 26) – i.e. the house was almost finished. I’d say this usage is related to the quintessentially Ulster preposition ionsar ‘towards’, as well as the East Ulster Irish construction in m’ionsaí, in d’ionsaí etc (‘towards me, towards you’ etc).


* lapaistéaracht is (?) used for lapadaíl (page 16)


* lota used for ‘loft’ (page 27) – parallel forms include lochta, lafta.


* pilleadh rather than filleadh is used for ‘to return’, as in Ulster. Ar a pilleadh ón tsnámh di, bhraith sí an caipín imithe…(page 6)


* roimh used as a conjunction: D’ísligh sé síos ar an gcarraig i ngan fhios di agus thóig sé an cochall roimh a bhfaca sí é. (page 45)

* talamh has the genitive form talaimh: Nuair a bhí sé bliain is fiche, chuaigh sé amach agus tharraing sé an crann agus acra talaimh lena chois. (page 1)


* thigeadh, go dtigeadh rather than thagadh, go dtagadh used as past habitual of tar/teacht: Deirtear go dtigeadh sí chun na trá gach lá go gcíorfadh sí gruaig na bpáistí (page 45). Also in the present tense: thigeann ciall roimh aois. (page 79)


* tonn has the plural tonntracha with the typical Connacht intrusive -r- before -acha in feminine nouns (page 58). Cf. carraigreacha in Cois Fharraige


* túlán not citeal is the typical word for ‘kettle’ (page 17)

 

More notes on Northern Mayo Irish, now based on Seán Ó Ruadháin’s novel Pádhraic Mháire Bhán (An Gúm, Baile Átha Cliath 1994). 


casachtáil used as a verbal noun of cas! rather than castáil: Níl aon talamh eile le casachtáil ort ar do bhealach siar go dté tú go dtí an tOileán Úr (page 3). (By the way: Ciarán Ó Duibhin, who is a huge authority on Ulster Irish, told me that many dialects in Ulster and elsewhere use castáil as the verbal noun of cas! in the sense of meeting, but casadh in the sense of twisting or turning. In this dialect, it seems, casachtáil is used in the castáil sense.)


– in Ulster, cé go/nach/gur/nár ‘although’ is often written gidh or gí, but on page 3 we see used in this sense, so probably it is how it is pronounced in Mayo, too: gí gur minic sceaimhínteacht agus b’fhéidir scliúchas agus scamhailéireacht le clos, ina dhiaidh sin féin níor chuala aon duine riamh gur buaileadh buille nó bosóg, nó go raibh cúirt nó seisiún ag duine acu ar a chomharsa. 


ionradh means not just “invasion”, but also “moving tidewater, the direction of the moving tidewater” (ionradh tuile vs. ionradh trá). Chonaic sé an cúr, ina chnaip mhóra bhuí, ag teacht aniar leis an ionradh tuile (page 1).

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