Irish Language Blog

Ainmhithe Eile (ón Iolra go dtí an tUatha, from Plural to Singular) Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

In the last blog, we created a chart with the names of various types of ceathairchosaigh chrúbacha (ungulate quadrupeds), going from the plural form to the singular form.  Why an t-iolra go dtí an t-uatha?  Just for a change of pace, is dócha.  So often we see an fhoirm uatha first, and then learn an fhoirm iolra.  Irish has lots of plural endings (-(e)anna, -(e)acha, -ta, -te, -í, -(a)ithe, -(a)igh, for starters, and then there are plurals created by inserting a letter, usually, “i,” inside the word, as in “cupáin“), so I thought this would be a good way to think of the topic in reverse.

So here’s the chart, foirmeacha iolra first, with the foirmeacha uatha, na foirmeacha uatha leis an alt (“the”), agus an Béarla le líonadh isteach.  This is a miscellaneous assortment of animals, some ungulate, some not, some easily recognizable from English or from teangacha eile, some not.  Mar a rinne mé cheana, I’ve done the first row, just for good measure.  Freagraí thíos, mar is gnách.

Iolra (plural) Uatha (singular) Leis an alt Béarla
1 cait cat an cat cat
2 lachain
3 sionnaigh
4 glutain
5 gráinneoga
6 miondobhareacha
7 cúnna
8 síoráif
9 capabáraí
10 madraí

Bain sult as!  SGF, Róislín

Freagraí (ag tosú le huimhir a dó mar tá uimhir a haon déanta):

2. lacha [LAHKH-uh], an lacha, duck.  “Lachain” is one of the more irregular plurals going in Irish, given its use of “-in” with “lacha,” a 5th-declension noun ending in “-a.”

3. sionnach [SHUN-ukh], an sionnach, fox (aka “madra rua,” pl: “madraí rua“)

4. glutan, an glutan, wolverine.  Another situation where the Irish is closely tied into the Romance languages, but not to English.  This animal is also known as “glouton” (Fraincis), “glotón” (Spáinnis), and “ghiottone” (Iodáilis), just to name a few.  And yes, it does mean “glutton.”  There are various Irish words for a person who is a “glutton,” including “glutaire,” which shares a common root from Latin, but the more typical words for the person are “craosaire,” “amplóir,” and “sutha.”  For “glutain,” by the way, the “-in” plural ending is perfectly typical, since this is a 1st-declension noun (like “éadain,” foreheads, should you ever need to talk about more than one, or “sáspain,” saucepans).

5. gráinneog, an ghráinneog, hedgehog

6. miondobhareach [MIN-DOHR-akh], an miondobhareach, pygmy hippopotamus.  Literally, this means a mini-water-horse.

7. cú, an cú , hound.  This word is sometimes considered grammatically feminine, which would give us “cú, an chú [un khoo].”

8. sioráf [SHIR-awf], an sioráf, giraffe.  Dála an scéil, seo an t-athchogantach is mó ar domhan.

9. capabára, an capabára, capybara (an creimire is mó ar domhan)

10. madra OR madadh [MAHD-oo], an madra OR an madadh, dog

Gluais: athchogantach, ruminant, lit. “re-chewer;” creimire, rodent; dála an scéil, by the way; dobhar, water (less commonly used than “uisce,” since “dobhar” also means a “flood” or “torrent”); each [akh], horse, steed; iolra, plural; rua, red-haired or “red-furred;” uatha, singular

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