The story here given in modern Irish and in a slightly extended form, under the title of Eshirt, is contained in the first part of Aidedh Fergusa, “The death of Fergus,” as it appears in the Silva Gadelica of Standish Hayes O’Grady; that part, namely, which deals with Eachtra ríg thuaithe luchra is lupracán go hEamhain, and recounts the adventures, both of the little people at the court of Fergus, and of Fergus’ dwarf in the country of the little people, among whom he is reckoned a giant.
As regards the spelling it should be noted that in the speech the n of the definite article singular is not pronounced, as a rule, when the article occurs between consonants. When it occurs in that position in this text it is omitted, except in cases where the omission might cause confusion to learners. In the group of words in which t follows l, lt or lh may be used as dálta dálha, fáilti fáilhi. Either is correct according to usage. Usage also varies in the pronunciation of some individual words such as gahéngi or gach éngi, “everyone,” gahärod or gach än rod, “everything,” ärod or än rod, “anything.”[ iv ]
The following table shows the endings of the regular verbs in (i)m [A] and ím [B] as they occur in the text.
|Class A.||Class B.|
|2.||-ir||-(e)an shiv||-ír||-íon shiv|
|Autonomous -tear, -tar.||-ítear|
|IMPERFECT INDICATIVE, OR CUSTOMARY PAST.|
|2.||-há||-ach shiv||-íoch shiv|
Note:—In regular verbs in -im the principal sign of the future is an h added to the stem (as a general rule the stem of the verb can be formed by removing the ending of the pres. ind. sg. 1). If the stem ends in c, p or t, the h has no effect on the pronunciation, and is not written ; for example, bacuim, fut. sg. 1 bacad; cahim, cahad; titim, titead; s is pronounced somewhat stronger in the future, and is written ss, as fásim, fássad. If the stem ends in b, d or g the effect of the h is to unvoice these, so that they become, respectively, p, t, c; for example, preabuim, fut. sg. 1 preapad; troidim, troitead; tóguim, tócad. Some verbs have a special stem for the future as, [ v ]berim, fut. sg. 1 biàrhad; gealuim, geaulhad; taguim, tiucad; etc.
|2.||-(h)ir||-(h)a shiv||-óir||-ó shiv|
|3.||-(h)a||(before||-(h)id||-ó (before shé or shí)|
|-(h)i||shé or shí)||-óig||-óid|
SECONDARY FUTURE OR CONDITIONAL.
|2.||-fá||-(h)ach shiv||-ófá||-óch shiv|
|Autonomous -fí (-fy)||-ófí (-ófy)|
|3.||(no ending)||-(a)dar||-i, -a (before||-íodar|
|shé or shí)||-ydar|
|Autonomous -(e)ag||-íog, -yg|
Note.—The past sg. 3 has generally the same form as the stem, except that the initial letter,. if an aspirable consonant, is aspirated; for example, moluim, vol; cuirim, chuir.
In A the endings of the pres. subj. are the same as those of the future, without the h (but the final -g of the 3 sg. is generally dropped before consonants). In both A and B those of the past subj. are the same as the imperf. ind.
[ vi ]In B. the endings of the pres. subj. are
|2||(same form as||-ig||-ig||-íg|
|Autonomous -tear, -tar||-ítear|
(See An Cónggar, pt. 1, p. 16.)
The following words cause aspiration of the initial letter of the next word in the sentence:—a ‘his,’ ‘its;’ a ‘to’ or ‘for’; á ‘to his,’ or ‘for his’ or ‘for its’; a, relative particle prefixed to verbs; an ‘the,’ before the nom. and acc. sg. fem.; an, ‘the,’ before gen. sg. masc.; än, ‘one,’ ‘any’; ba, b’, cond., past ind., or past subj. of is; the preps. de, do, d’; do, t’, ‘thy (your)’ ; the prep. fé; the conjcts. má (if), and ó (since); mo, m’ (my), the prep. ó; any word used as a qualifying prefix, as, ana-vuar, ‘very big’; mí-viàsach, ‘unmannerly.’
The imperf. ind., cond., past ind. and past subj. forms of the verb, and any form of the verb when in relative position are regularly aspd., save (1) when preceded by ná, (2) when preceded by an eclipsing word, (3) in the autonomous forms, (4) in the case of is. An adj. following [ vii ]a fem. noun in the nom. voc. or acc. sg., or a masc. noun in the gen. or voc. sg., or nom. pl. ending in a cons. is regularly aspd.
(See An Cónggar, pt. 1, p. 16.)
The following words cause eclipsis of the initial letter of the next word in the sentence:—a, an, the interrogative particle; the prep. a, ‘in’; the poss. adjs. a, ‘their,’ ár, ‘our,’ úr, ‘your’; the rel, a governed by a prep., a, ‘all that’; the conjcts. dá, ‘if’; go, ‘until,’ ‘that’; sar a, ‘ere,’ ‘before’; the article preceded by any of the simple preps., except den, don, and sa, san, ‘in the,’ ‘into the,’ which generally aspirate.
THE ATTENUATION OF r.
r is usually attenuated after an aspirating word.
PREFIXING t TO WORDS BEGINNING WITH VOWELS.
The article in the nom. and acc. sg. masc. prefixes t to words beginning with a vowel.
CHANGE OF s AND sh INTO t.
Initial s and sh become t after the article in the nom. and acc. sg. fem., gen. sg. masc. and sometimes dat. sg. masc. or fem.; and after än, ‘one’ or ‘any.’
PREFIXING h TO WORDS BEGINNING WITH VOWELS.
h- is prefixed to words beginning with vowels after a, ‘her’; na, ‘the,’ before gen sg. fem. and nom. and acc. pl.; the preps. le, ‘with,’ go, ‘to,’ and à (=as) ‘out of’; trí, ‘three,’ shé, ‘six,’ chô, ‘so’ or ‘as’; the negative particle ná; ní, the neg. of is; therel. part. a and do and the neg. parts ní and nár before autonomous forms.