Letter from PUL to Shán Ó Cuív on Sliabh na mBan bhFionn

Caisleán Ua Liatháin
Cae. Chorcaí, 30. IX. 1914

A Sheáin a chara,

Sara dtosnaíod ar na ceisteanna d’fhreagairt ní mór dhom ceacht beag do mhúineadh dhuit. Tá ráite agat i dtosach do leitre: “Seo dhuit cúpla ceisteanna”.

Ní ghlacann “dhá” n[á] “cúpla”, an uimhir iolra choíche. “A couple of questions”=“cúpla ceist”. “Two questions”=“dhá cheist”. Níl oiread agus aon chás amháin lasmu’ den riail sin. Chuirfeadh sé iúnadh ort oiread daoine agus ’d[h]eineann an dearúd! Bíonn “a couple of things” ’na n-aigne agus com[á]inid siad síos sa Ghaelainn “cúpla rud”. Ní deirtear choíche ach “cúpla rud”.

(1). D’airínn “go dein”, agus “go deimhin” (devin), agus dá bhrí sin ní f[h]eadar ceocu “Sliav Fein” nú “Fevin” an ceart. Bíodh do rogha agat.

(2). Bíodh do rogha dhíobh san, leis, agat.

(3). Agus díobh san.

(4). D’airínn an dá shaghas ansan, leis, ach is dó’ liom gur “tochrais”, .i. d[h]á shiolla a dh’airínn à b[é]alaibh daoine aosta, ach bíodh do rogha agat.

(5). Níor airíos riamh “um an dtaici seo”, ach “… dtaca so” i gcónaí. Is feárr é ’ chur síos mar adeirtear i mBéal Átha ’n Ghaothraidh é, agus do chluas féin dhá chloisint, ó dhuine n[á] tuigfeadh thu ’b[h]eit[h] ag faire air.

(6) Bíodh do rogha acu san agat, ach measaim gur sleamhaine “a dh’fheiscint” ná an ceann eile. Pé cuma ’na gcuirfir é síos labharfaidh an cainnteóir é chómh sleamhain agus is féidir é.

(7) Bíodh an rud is sleamhaine agat.

(8.) Mar an gcéanna, lean an sleamhain.

(9). “… den tueg” an ceart. Níor airíos riamh “den tua”.

(10.) Bíodh do rogha agat.

(11). Do rogha féinig.

(12) Airítear an “g” deirineach san go soiléir.

(14) “Tar cubas” ad[é]arfainnse. Ach fiafraigh d’Aimhirg[í]n é.

(15) Bíodh do rogha agat.

Lean chómh hachomair do chainnt Bhéal [Á]tha ’n Ghaothraidh agus ’fhéadfair é, féachaint a’ bhféadfí a chur fhéachaint ar na buachaillibh óga agus ar na cailíníbh óga na leabhair do lé’ in sna tithibh um thrá[th]nóna, i gcaitheamh na bliana.

Do chara, Peadar Ua Laoghaire

Foclóirín

à: “from”, as in GCh. The preposition as historically appeared with an s only before the singular and plural articles (as an, as na), the relative pronoun (as a), possessive adjectives (as mo), and before gach.
aigne: “mind”, pronounced /agʹinʹi/.
amháin: “one; only”, pronounced /ə’vɑ:nʹ/.
ansan: “then”, or ansin in GCh.
cainnteóir: “speaker”, or cainteoir in GCh. Cainteóir was used in the original text here, but the traditional nn shows the diphthong: /kain’tʹo:rʹ/.
ceocu: “which? which of them?” From cé acu or cé’cu. Pronounced /kʹukə/.
cloisim, cloisint: “to hear”, or cloisim, cloisteáil in GCh. Airím, aireachtaint is used by preference in WM, but PUL occasionally uses this verb too.
comáinim, comáint: “to drive”, or tiomáinim, tiomáint in GCh. Both comáinim and tomáinim (with a broad t) are found in WM Irish. Comáinid siad síos sa Ghaelainn, possibly “they continue on in the Irish”?
cubas: “conscience”, or cúis in GCh. This word was spelt cubus in the original text of Sliabh na mBan bhFionn as if there is a clearly pronounced b here. PUL indicates here he thinks there is a b, but is clearly unsure, and recommends asking Osborn Bergin. In the event, the LS transcription decided on was cús. The word was originally spelt cubhas, but Dinneen indicates that cubhais was the later accepted form that influenced the GCh form. Cnósach Focal ó Bhaile Bhúirne has cúis in the meaning of “conscience”. Fiafraí tar cubas/tar cús, “to ask a question you already know the answer to”.
cúpla: “couple”, pronounced /kuːpələ/, used with the nominative singular.
dearúd: “mistake”, or dearmad in GCh.
deimhin: “certain, sure”, pronounced /dʹəinʹ/. PUL here indicates that some people had /dʹevʹinʹ/.
deinim, déanamh: “to do”, or déanaim, déanamh in GCh, where use of the historic dependent form is generalised. Deinim derives from a corruption of the historic absolute form, do-ghním. Pronounced /dʹinʹimʹ, dʹianəv/.
deirineach: “last”, or deireanach in GCh, pronounced /dʹerʹinʹəx/.
dó’: “hope, expectation; source of expectation”, or dóigh in GCh. This occurred as dóich in the original, but is edited as dó’ here, in line with the pronunciation. Is dó’ liom, “I think”.
feadar: “I know”, usually found in negative or interrogative contexts, with ní fheadar meaning “I don’t know, I wonder”.
féinig: “self”, a Munster colloquial form of féin.
fiafraím, fiafraí: “to ask (a question of someone)”, used with de. Pronounced /fʹiər’hi:mʹ, fʹiər’hi:/.
Gaelainn (an Ghaelainn): “the Irish language”, or Gaeilge/an Ghaeilge in GCh, which has generalised use of a form derived from the historic genitive. Pronounced /ge:liŋʹ/.
iolra: “plural”. Pronounced /ulərə/?
iúnadh: “wonder, surprise”, or ionadh in GCh. Pronounced /u:nə/.
lasmu’: “outside”, or lasmuigh in GCh. Pronounced /lɑs’mu/, the spelling lasmuich was used in the original, probably to indicate that there is no slender g in this word. Lasmu’ de, “apart from, outside of”.
léim, lé’: “to read” or léim, léamh in GCh. The GCh spelling of the verbal noun is highly in appropriate,
given that the traditional spelling was léigheadh, and so the verbal noun has been truncated in the spelling here to indicate the pronunciation better.
leitir: “letter”, pronounced /lʹetʹirʹ/. This would be litir in GCh, but note that in the older orthography there was a distinction between litir, “letter”, and leitir, “the side of a hill”, which have collapsed together in WM Irish. Note leitre here (leitire in the original, showing the epenthetic vowel) in the genitive, where GCh has litreach.
Ó hAimhirgín: an Irish surname, associated with Leinster, anglicised as Bergin. Aimhirghin is given in the original here, but I believe the g should not be lenited and the final vowel is long. The reference here is to Osborn Bergin who worked on the LS publications alongside Shán Ó Cuív.
pé: “whichever, whoever, etc”. Pé cuma, “however, in whatever way”.
saghas: “sort, type”, pronounced /səis/.
sara: “before”, or sula in GCh.
siolla: “syllable”.
sleamhain: “smooth, polished”, pronounced /ʃlʹaunʹ/. This adjective is substantivised in lean an sleamhain, “go with what sounds smoothest”.
Sliabh Feimhin: a mountain mentioned in Sliabh na mBan bhFionn, the pronunciation of which is discussed here.
taca: “peg, pin, nail; point of time, juncture”. Um an dtaca so, “by this time”. Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna uses the transcription um a dtaici sho, but PUL here indicates that he had never heard the word pronounced anything other than /tɑkə/.
tochraisim, tochrais: “to wind”, or tochraisim, tochras in GCh. PUL here indicates that he believes the best speakers did not have an epenthetic vowel in this word, although he had heard both versions. Pronounced /toxriʃimʹ, toxriʃ/.
tosnaím, tosnú: “to start”, or tosaím, tosú in GCh.
tráthnóna: “evening”, pronounced /trɑ:n’ho:nə/. Note that tránóna was found in the original, possibly indicating that /nh/ was frequently pronounced /n/.
tu, thu: disjunctive form of the second person pronoun, pronounced /tu, hu/.
tua: “axe”, with the dative tuaigh, pronounced /tuəgʹ/.

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