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Ag seinm uirlisí ceoil, ó alpchorn go xileafón (Alpenhorn to Xylophone in Irish, pt. 1) Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Uirlisí ceoil ón alpchorn go dtí an xileafón.  And, just for good, ermm, measure (“líne“) here, we’ll nudge them into the “tuiseal ginideach,” so we can say “playing the alpenhorn” or “playing the xylophone.”  And why do we need “an tuiseal ginideach“?  And what is it, anyway?

We saw a bit of it in the last blog, which discussed the shamrocks playing musical instruments in Google’s St. Patrick’s Day “Doodle” for 2015.

An tuiseal ginideach” is the genitive-case form of a noun in Irish, typically used for purposes like the following:

a) to show possession of something (“carr Sheáin,” with “Sheáin” as opposed to just “Seán“)

b) to further describe another noun (“gloine beorach,” with “beorach” as opposed to “beoir,” or “teach feirme,” with “feirme” as opposed to “feirm“), and,

c) to indicate that someone is in the process of doing an action (“ag scríobh na litreach,” with “litreach” as opposed to “litir,” or “ag seinm an ghiotáir,” with “ghiotáir” as opposed to “giotár“)

That last example will pave the way for the rest of our discussion, playing the alpenhorn and playing the xylophone, and various other instruments in between.

So shall I go ahead an put them all in the genitive?  Or should I leave it up to you?  Or maybe half and half.  Yeah, 20-some genitive-case fill-in-the-blanks is a lot to do in a row.  So I’ll complete every other phrase and leave the rest to be filled in.

Oh, and don’t forget our old friend lenition, which will apply in about half the examples here.

So much for the cúlra — rollaimis!

1) alpchorn: Tá Ruedi ag seinm an alpchoirn.

Do sheal anois!

2) basún: Tá Karen Geoghegan ag seinm an _______________. Hmm, I always love the opportunity to use the surname Geoghegan (Mac Eochagáin OR Ní Eochagáin , in Irish) — the anglicized spelling used to mystify me.

3) consairtín: Tá Noel Hill ag seinm an chonsairtín.  Fourth-declension noun, no separate ending for the genitive case.

Do sheal arís!

4) drumaí: Tá Mickey Hart ag seinm na ______________.  Ooohh, throwing you for a loop there, perhaps.  We typically refer to playing the drums (plural), so there’s no lenition but instead we have ________ (cén t-athrú?)

5) eofón: Bhíodh Alfred James Phasey (1834-1888) ag seinm an eofóin.  Alfred James Phasey?  Cérbh eisean?  Seinnteoir ofaicléide a bhí ann freisin, if that helps!

Agus do shealsa!

6) fidil: Bhí an tseamróg ag seinm na _____________ sa Doodle a bhí ag Google ar 17 Márta 2015. Remember, feminine singular here, so no lenition.

7) glocainspíl: Bíonn Marina Lambrini Diamandis ag seinm na glocainspíle ó am go ham ach seinneann sí an pianó, uirlisí méarchláir, an t-orgán, an Casio VL-Tone, agus an ucailéile freisin. Something tells me she probably plays the keyboards more than the glockenspiel, but it certainly sounds like a nice touch. Agus dála an scéil, cá as ise?  As an mBreatain Bheag í.  Is Gréagach é a hathair agus mar sin tá sloinne Gréagach uirthi.

Do shealsa uair amháin eile.  Agus buíochas le Dia, tá uirlis cheoil amháin ann (agus gan ach ceann amháin, fad m’eolais) a thosaíonn leis an litir “h” (litir eile atá neamhchoitianta mar thúslitir i nGaeilge)

8) heicealfón: Bhí seisear heicealfónaithe ag seinm a __________ ag an gcéad chruinniú den North American Heckelphone Society a bhí i Riverside Church i gCathair Nua-Eabhrac ar an 6ú lá de Lúnasa, 2001. An raibh duine ar bith agaibh ann?  And did you watch out for the genitive plural here — it’s not the “-óin” ending that you may have been getting accustomed to.

Yeah, I really wanted to simply have Heckle and maybe his sidekick Jeckle playing the heckelphone, but I figured I’d give due credit to the hecklephonists for forming their society.  Also I’m not really sure how well suited goba Heckle agus Jeckle are for playing any gaothuirlisí adhmaid.  But just for good …. there it is again … measure, oh let’s go ahead:

Tá Heckle ag seinm a _______________.

Tá Jeckle ag seinm a _______________ seisean.  The “seisean” is added to make sure Heckle doesn’t play Jeckle’s heckelphone and that Jeckle doesn’t play Heckle’s heckelphone.

And I suppose, while we’re at it, we may as well have “An Dochtúir Jekyll ag seinm a ___________ seisean freisin.”  The doctor would probably be considerate enough gan a bheith ag seinm heicealfón Heckle agus gan a bheith ag seinm heicealfón Jeckle.  Why no genitive-case ending there?  Because the heckelphones are followed by  proper nouns (the names Heckle and Jeckle), which cancel out the genitive.

Of course, if we were really pronouncing “Jekyll” in the original Scottish way, it would be more like “JEEK-il” (ceart, a Albanachaí?), as with Stevenson’s real-life source for the name, Walter Jekyll, and Walter’s equally famous sister, Gertrude Jekyll, an saineolaí gairneoireachta (gortóireachta).  So there wouldn’t be that much point in pursuing the Jekylls playing heckelphones, but for the literary character, apparently “Jekyll” with a short “e” (like “Jeckle”) has become the normal pronunciation.

And I really should have mentioned Johann Adam Heckel (1812-77). who invented the instrument.  Tá súil agam nach mbeidh sibh ag déanamh trasnála orm mar gheall ar an dearmaid.  His company is still going strong, as “Wilhelm Heckel GmbH” in Wiesbaden, sa Ghearmáin.

Well, we’re almost halfway done but I think it’s time to wrap up this blog and wait for an chéad bhlag eile to finish up the list.  Having fun yet?  SGF – Róislín

Freagraí

2) basún: Tá Karen Geoghegan ag seinm an _bhasúin_.

4) drumaí: Tá Mickey Hart ag seinm na _ndrumaí_.   … there’s no lenition but instead we have _urú_ (cén t-athrú?)

6) fidil: Bhí an tseamróg ag seinm na _fidle_ sa Doodle a bhí ag Google ar 17 Márta 2015

8) heicealfón: Bhí seisear heicealfónaithe ag seinm a _heicealfón_ ag an gcéad chruinniú den North American Heckelphone Society a bhí i Riverside Church i gCathair Nua-Eabhrac ar an 6ú lá de Lúnasa, 2001.  That assumes one heckelphone per heckelphonist, so “heicealfón” is plural here.

Tá Heckle ag seinm a _heicealfóin_.

Tá Jeckle ag seinm a _heicealfóin_  seisean.

Tá an Dochtúir Jekyll ag seinm a _heicealfóin _ seisean freisin.

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