Notes on Nolan 10

h) Proleptic de can be used to stand for whole clauses:

Níor mhiste deimhin a dhéanamh de go ndéanfaidís Gaeil Alban do dhísciú, where de tees up the subsequent go-clause.
Another example: ná dein iúnadh dhe go nduart leat: ní foláir sibh a bhreith an tarna huair.

Proleptic de is used with second comparatives. For example, is feárrde bia nú deoch é ‘ chaitheamh go réidh, where the -de anticipates é ‘ chaitheamh go réidh (food and drink are the better for consuming them slowly). Ní fheadar an feárrde iad ar thugas dóibh – note that the subject is iad, and the predicate is feárrde… ar thugas dóibh.

The -de may be retrospective where the explanatory clause precedes: dá mbeadh Méibh chómh honóireach leis dob fhusaide é.

These phrases are all of this type:
is feárrde me é – I am the better for it
is feárrde thu é – you are the better for it
The final é does not change – as it is anticipated by the -de.

Nolan adds that in the words móide and miste the -de appears to have become calcified and now lacks appreciable force. Sometimes you can expand the phrase to show the second comparative: ní miste dhuit dul abhaile láithreach is equivalent to ní measaide dhuit an scéal dul abhaile, where an scéal is the real subject and dul abhaile should be part of the predicate. However, Nolan concedes that in practical terms it is sufficient to take miste dhuit as the predicate and accept dul abhaile as the subject.

i) Acu
Acu is also proleptic in ceoca. Ceoca is feárr leat Gaelainn nú Béarla? Here the subject of the copula is (an ceann) is feárr leat, and ceoca is the predicate, and the acu included in that word stands proleptically for Gaelainn mú Béarla, which are also part of the predicate. The principal verb is not expressed, as the copula that appears is part of the subject phrase.

The English word “whether” is translated by ceoca when it introduces a noun clause (for example, where there is an alternative; where there is no alternative, the interrogative particle an is sufficient). But where “whether” introduces an adverbal clause, it is translated in Irish by peoca.

Ní fheadar ceoca ‘ thiocfaidh sé nú ná tiocfaidh.
Peoca ‘ thiocfaidh sé nú ná tiocfaidh fanfadsa.

j) Other prepositional pronouns
Air, leis, uime and others can all be proleptic.
Bhíos ag brath air go mbeithása anso rómham.
Ní raibh aon choine agam leis, & a fheabhas a thuig sé an obair, go dteipfeadh air mar do theip.
Is uime do thánag isteach san uair seo, chun t’onórasa.

k) Amhlaidh
Is amhlaidh a bhí náire air rómhamsa – we can see that the subject is not expressed, as the full sentence would be something like is amhlaidh mar a bhí an scéal aige bhí náire air rómhamsa.

Amhlaidh may also be retrospective where the explanatory phrase comes before: duart leis é ‘ dhéanamh go mear, & is amhlaidh do dhein.

Amhlaidh is followed by the direct relative, but the relative is logically superfluous, as shown by the full form of the sentence. Nolan points out that the direct relative particle has probably spread with proleptic amhlaidh from its use with retrospective amhlaidh, where it is needed.

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