Irish/Déise Irish/Déise Function Words

From Celtic Languages
Jump to navigationJump to search

Temporary text

The Article

Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives

The pronouns are:

  • 1sg. me (std. )
  • 2sg. tu (std. )
  • 3sg. m. [note 1] (conj.), é (disj.)
  • 3sg. f. (conj.), í (disj.)
  • 1pl. sinn
  • 2pl. sibh
  • 3pl. siad (conj.), iad (disj.)

The possessive adjectives are:

  • 1sg. moL, or m' before vowels
  • 2sg. doL, or t' before vowels
  • 3sg. m. aL
  • 3sg. f. aH
  • 1pl. árN
  • 2pl. úrN (std. bhur)
  • 3pl. aN



Ag has two forms:

  1. The form it takes in general, where it has been replaced by its conjugated form in the masculine 3rd person singular, aige. [note 2]
  2. The form it takes when preceding verbal nouns where it remains as ag.


The prepositional pronouns of roimh:

  • 1sg. rúmham /ruːm/ (std. romham)
  • 2sg. rúmhat /rũːt/ (std. romhat)
  • 3sg. m. roimhig /rãĩɡʲ/ (std. roimhe)
  • 3sg. f. rúimpi /ruːmʲpʲə/ (std. roipmi)
  • 1pl. rúmhainn /ruːŋʲ/ (std. romhainn)
  • 2pl. rúmhaibh /rũːvʲ/ (std. romhaibh)
  • 3pl. rúmpu /ruːmpə/ (std. rompu)

The emphatic prepositional pronouns of roimh:

  • 1sg. rúmhamsa /ruːmsə/ (std. romhamsa)
  • 2sg. rúmhatsa /rũːtsə/ (std. romhatsa)
  • 3sg. m. roimhigse /rãĩɡʲʃə/ (std. roimhise)
  • 3sg. f. rúimpise /ruːmʲpʲəʃə/ (std. roipmise)
  • 1pl. rúmhainnse /ruːŋʲʃə/ (std. romhainnse)
  • 2pl. rúmhaibhse /rũːvʲʃə/ (std. romhaibhse)
  • 3pl. rúmpasa /ruːmpəsə/ (std. rompasa)


The prepositional pronouns of um:

  • 1sg. umam /əˈməm/
  • 2sg. umat /əˈmət/
  • 3sg. m. uimig /əˈmʲəɡʲ/ (std. uime)
  • 3sg. f. uímpi /iːmʲpʲə/ (std. uipmi)
  • 1pl. umainn /əˈməŋʲ/
  • 2pl. umaibh /əˈməvʲ/
  • 3pl. úmpu /uːmpə/ (std. umpu)

The emphatic prepositional pronouns of um:

  • 1sg. umamsa /əˈmumsə/
  • 2sg. umatsa /əˈmutsə/
  • 3sg. m. uimigse /əˈmʲiɡʲʃə/ (std. uimise)
  • 3sg. f. uímpise /iːmʲpʲəʃə/ (std. uimpise)
  • 1pl. umainnse /əˈmiŋʲʃə/
  • 2pl. umaibhse /əˈmivʲʃə/
  • 3pl. úmpasa /uːmpəsə/ (std. umpasa)

Clitic Combinations

The base prepositional forms that end in a vowel combine with following clitics in a fairly regular way. These prepositions include:

  • aige
  • de
  • do
  • go dtí
  • i
  • le
  • ó
  • roimh
  • trí

The clitic combinations generally have the following pattern:

Combinations with the article:

  • prep. + an = prep. 'n (e.g. roimh 'n)
  • prep. + na = prep. sna (e.g. go dtí sna)

Combinations with possessive adjectives:

  • prep. + mo = prep. m' (e.g. ó m')
  • prep. + do + vowel = prep. t' (e.g. le t')
  • prep. + do + consonant = prep. d' (e.g. trí d')
  • prep. + a = prep. n-a (e.g. i n-a)
  • prep. + ár = prep. n-ár (e.g. aige n-ár)
  • prep. + úr = prep. n-úr (e.g. do n-úr)

Combined with the numeral particle:

  • prep. + a = prep. n-a (e.g. fé n-a)

Exceptionally, i, le and trí give the following unique combinations with the article:

  • i + an + consonant = sa [note 3]
  • i + an + vowel = san [note 4]
  • i + na = sna [note 5]
  • le + an = leis an
  • le + na = leis na
  • trí + an = tríd an

Reference Material:

Most of this information can be referred to in SCD2 pp. xvi-xvii, but also in the relevant preposition sections in SCD1 (especially regarding combinations with the possessive adjective do, whether followed by a vowel or consonant).


  1. Often pronounced *se.
  2. Many works may standardise this to ag while a few prefer the written form age (see LMD and SCD2) to distinguish it from the conjugated form aige.
  3. Sometimes in sa, which is interchangeable with sa.
  4. Sometimes in san, which is interchangeable with san.
  5. Sometimes in sna, which is interchangeable sna.


  • CSS1 = Ussher, A. (1945). Cainnt an tSean-Shaoghail (second edition). Oifig an tSoláthair, Baile Átha Cliath.
  • DD = Ó hAirt, D. (1988). Díolaim Dhéiseach. Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, Baile Athá Cliath.
  • GRA = Ó Maolchathaigh, S. (1974). An Gleann agus a Raibh Ann (1974 edition). An Clóchomhar Tta. Dundalgen Press.
  • GSMI = Ward, A. (1974). The Grammatical Structure of Munster Irish. University of Dublin.
  • IDPP = O'Rahilly, T. F. (1988). Irish Dialects Past and Present: with Chapters on Scottish and Manx (1988 edition). Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
  • IMS = Breatnach, R. B. (1961). "Initial Mutation of Substantives after Preposition + Singular Article in Déise Irish". Éigse: A Journal of Irish Studies. IX (IV). The National University of Ireland.
  • LASID1 = Wagner, H. (1981). Linguistic Atlas and Survey of Irish Dialects: Vol. I. Introduction, 300 maps (1981 edition). Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
  • LASID2 = Wagner, H. (1982). Linguistic Atlas and Survey of Irish Dialects: Vol. II. The Dialects of Munster (1982 edition). Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
  • LMD = Verling, M. (2012). Leabhar Mhaidhc Dháith: Scéalta agus Seanchas ón Rinn (second edition). An Sagart, An Díseart, An Daingean.
  • SCD1 = Sheehan, Most Rev. M. (1944). Sean-Chaint na nDéise: the Idiom of Living Language (second edition). The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
  • SCD2 = Breatnach, R. B. (1984). Seana-Chaint na nDéise II: Studies in the Vocabulary and Idiom of Déise Irish based mainly on material collected by Archbishop Michael Sheehan (1870-1945). Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.