Brian Ó Cuív’s transcription in CFBB

Brian Ó Cuív’s prefatory essay (réamhaiste)


cunndaethe: seems to point to cúndaetha with a d as the plural of cúndae.

shíolraig: I think the l should be deleted in pronunciation, but BÓC shows it.

cnoc: BÓC prefers to spell this word with an o, and he explains in the appendix (p269) that this is because two pronunciations (cnoc and cnuc) existed in Cork Irish.

fuirist: spelt without a final e.

parróistíocha: a colloquial plural is used here, where paróistí is also found.

i n-agha’ na bliana: with deletion of the -idh of aghaidh.


canúinn: canúinn and canúint both existed (see also p65).

luig sé: with the g shown.

cnósach: the local version of cnuasach has ó.

comórtaisí: the plural is with -í, as in most words of this type.

ollú: the pronunciation of ullmhú is clearly shown here.

tugatha: BÓC doesn’t normally show epenthetic vowels in his transcription in CFBB, but maybe he does so here because it is possible for gth to be realised as a k without an epenthetic vowel. Either way, tuca or tugatha are possible realisations of this word.

beart muar: BÓC has this word as masculine.


fáca: the pronunciation of fágtha is shown clearly.

chuir: the verbal noun is often pronounced with a slender r and this is shown here.

tagarthaí: the plural is given so here, whereas PUL’s gospels (titlepage) have tagartha.

aithneófaí: BÓC seems to eschew giving a slender -fí to these autonomous forms.


Eanáir: this revived word is given in this form, where Eanair might be more dialectal.

faid sael: I am still trying to work out why, if faid is feminine, it is not faid shael.

Appendix I.


cunsain: BÓC has a feminine cunsain where the CO has consan. He has cunsaine in the genitive, cunsain in the dative and cunsainí in the plural.

áfaig: this is regularly the form of áfach used by BÓC.

mion: BÓC explains that he does not spell this word miun as some people have /mʹin/ in this word, although the transcriptions in this book all show /mʹun/ where this word is used as a prefix.


éamh: has a long e, /e:v/.

He explains on this page that he only uses epenthetic vowels where there would be a possibility of error, e.g. seirbhthean is written by him serithean (I am assuming he means that rth does not always develop an additional vowel, and so it is necessary to show one if it is used).

cnoc: BÓC writes cnoc, rather than cnuc, because the two pronunciations existed in the dialect.


gutha: BÓC has gutha, plural guthaí (written by him guthí) instead of guta, gutaí in the CO. I am not sure why he writes an o in the genitive (“bém an ghotha” on p277).

an t-each: this has a slender t.

an eochair: this has a slender n.

an iumarca: this has a slender n, although some speakers said an umarca.

an iúnadh: this has a slender n in the article.

an eaglais: this has a broad n (as if an aglais).

an t-eólas: this has a broad t (as if an t-ólas).

ag iompar: this has a broad g (as if ag úmpar).

ag aeireacht: this has a slender g, /igʹ eːrʹəxt/, and it is is implied that aeire would also also slenderise the final consonant of a preceding unstressed word (e.g. an t-aeire, “the shepherd”, would be /inʹ tʹeːrʹi/).

ag oibriú: this has a slender g, /igʹ ebʹi’rʹuː/, although some speakers had /əg obʹi’rʹuː/.

meán, meón: these two forms are given corresponding to meadhán and meadhón in the old script. I wasn’t aware that meón existed as a pronunciation.

páig: a g is heard in the genitive of pá.

faoir: the genitive of faor has /i:/.

degh-mheasta: this is pronounced /dʹəi-vʹastə/.

neamhnár: this is pronounced /nʹau’nɑ:r/.


Caraíos: Carghas is pronounced with a long i.

sgíol: the mh is deleted in sgeimheal.

fuaimíotar: BÓC doesn’t appear to have an n in this word.


fuirithe: foirbhthe is pronounced with h.

tisbeáin: taispeáin is pronounced with a slender t.

mineál: muineál is pronounced with a slender m.

datach: deatach is pronounced with a broad d.


ceannàtha:this form of the word ceannaighthe is shown, implying it is /kʹə’nɑhə/ and not the /kʹə’nɑxə/ that I had thought it was (based on the LS of Séadna).

cóthalán: this is how coimhthionól is pronounced.

croicin: this transcription shows that the original croicinn has lax /nʹ/ and not tense /ŋʹ/.

durainn: BÓC transcribes duirn as if pronounced /duriŋʹ/, whereas Shán Ó Cuív had transcribed it as if /dirʹinʹ/ in his LS version of Séadna.

defearaíochtaí: this word has a broad r.

ar fuaid, ar fuid: although PUL was insistent there was a difference between these two words, BÓC states
he has never heard ar fuid.

an chéd-cheann: this implies that céadcheann gains a long vowel in the first syllable.

Appendix II.


fhuaimiú: this confirms the lack of a n in cognates of this word.


úsáidithar: it is worth noting the form of the autonomous in such verbs.


dereannaí: BÓC clearly had a broad n in deireanach, but deirineach is found in many of PUL’s works.

Appendix III


Eón Má Cártha: showing the realisation of Mac Carthaigh in the dialect.



an gnáth-thabharthaig: it seems the dative has replaced the nominative in this word.

aderthar: BÓC prefers this form to adeirtear.

ins na habairtibh: with a short dative ending.

Túrfí and déarfí are found on this page with slender endings, contrary to many other transcriptions in CFBB.

Main text


a rá: BÓC does not show the slender r here.

muarán: IWM shows mórán is pronounced /moː’rɑːn/ (line 188 of the text in the middle of the book), but BÓC seems to prefer to transcribe with a diphthong.


gá (nú ’ge n-a): two versions of ag+a are given here.

an ’mó cos tosaig aici (nú oirthe)?: I thought it would be fúithi.

din ar t(h)’aghaig: BÓC shows the possessive particle may be lenited.

ná tarraig: BÓC seems to use a broad r in this word, but Shán Ó Cuív uses a slender r in his LS.


as cóir: here BÓC concedes os is pronounced as, although his IWM had shown the pronunciation as os.


ó Dhiarmaid (mh)ach Séamais (Í Chonchúir): the lenition, and probable deletion of the m of mac is shown here, although I wonder if there is a typo here. Should it not be (mh)ac?

fhraoig: the genitive of fraoch seems to have /i:/ in it and not /e:/, otherwise BÓC would have transcribed it as fhraeg.

tugt(h)ar: here the two forms tugtar and tugathar are clearly shown.


chunnac: the general form is chnuc, but maybe a disyllabic version exists too?


tá sé in (a) am aifrinn: I had never considered it, but BÓC seems to be suggesting that in am contains a hidden possessive particle.

do bhua(ig) sé glan amach air: here BÓC seems to be indicating that with bhuaigh, you can either pronounce or not pronounce the g before the third-person pronoun.

aderthar: the h pronunciation of this autonomous form is shown.


triublóidí, triublóidithe: BÓC seems here to use triublóidí as a singular rather than a plural, generating its own plural in -the.


sgárd: scárd is found here, where Séadna has both scárd and scaird.

an-dóich: this word is transcribed with a final h, /’ɑn’doːh/. This is probably one of those cases where the final h is only heard before vowels.

anis: anois is transcribed here as if with a slender n.


tagrathar: the present autonomous of tagraim is so given, but tagarthar would make more sense (see fógraim, fógarthar).

dá anúinní tháim: the relative form, atáim, is found with a lenited t, especially after a previous word ending in a vowel.

róinte (rónta): two forms of the plural of rón (“seal”) are given.

cuileachta (cuideachta): two forms of this word are given, with the l being more deeply dialectal.

do thógas mh’ao(n)-chuid: mo can be lenited for no apparent reason.


simnéucha: the plural of simné is so given here, whereas simnéitheacha is shown under simné later in the book.

donas (dunas): this word can apparently have a u.

Aifrice: the local form of this word is with a slender f and r (cf. the CO Afraic). PUL had Afric and Africa.

thubaist: the local form of this word is not tubaiste in the nominative.


bhí ’gum: agam loses its initial vowel here.

doit hén: duit féin can have an h with some speakers.


Luimne: Luimneach is so written in the dative here.

finneóga(cha): a variant plural of finneóg is shown here.


ag maíomh à(h) é dhéanamh: where as is reduced to à an h may be heard before a vowel.


satail(t): two forms of this noun/verbal noun are indicated, implying the final h may be devoiced or not.


drid: a slender dr is shown.


gcraoch (gcraíoch): the genitive plural is shown in two forms here, although it is stated that AÓL had craoch.


roidín: this transcription would indicate an o in the first syllable, or else BÓC would have written ruidín according to the spelling system he outlines in the appendix.


srine: the genitive of srian, which was feminine in PUL’s works, is given has as na srine, but Dónall Bán Ó Céileachair had an tsriain.

sé truthe: the plural of troigh, troithe, is shown with a u here.

beárna/beárnain/beárnainn: three versions of the dative are given here.


beart: this is shown as masculine meaning “bundle, load”, and feminine meaning “act”. I believe both were feminine in PUL’s works.

preab m[h]uar: this word is shown as of variable gender here.

cuir-thrí-chéle: note the slender r of cuir.


thorainn: tharainn is shown with an o here.

ní be’ dhoit/ní be’ liom: beag is shown as pronounced just /bʹe/ before prepositional pronouns formed from do and le. As a single phrase response, ní bel is used.


bhuin: the dative of bó is given here.

leogfaí: while this autonomous form fails to give a slender -fí ending, the verb form itself shows leogaim and not ligim is the local form.

chútha: the pronunciation of chucu is shown here.

an ainm a ghlaofaí: feminine ainm; also note lenition of the autonomous form, which was not PUL’s practice.

iniubh: the pronunciation of inniu.

an blosga tháinig un: un seems to mean ann here, the unstressed variant of the pronunciation.


déarfaí: a broad f is shown here, whereas I believed all these should have a slender f.


atfadh: this form seems to come from ataim, but ataithe in PUL’s works seems to come from ataím.

ní glaotar: without lenition of the autonomous form.

cómhrainn: showing the pronunciation of cónrainn (from cónra, “coffin”) here.


phleasgfadh: unless a typo, doesn’t appear to show the éa diphthong.

air hén: shows one speaker had air héin and not air féin.

thisbeánann: I note the medial broad n, where dtaisbeáinfinn is found in one passage in Séadna.

an turas so: doesn’t show a monosyllabic trus.


braitear: a slender t is shown here, contrasting with BÓC’s usage in the appendix.

aithnítear: a slender t is shown here. Compare fuaimíotar.

tríálfad: this seems to be BÓC’s way of showing that in trialfad the vowels are separate (compare triallfad, which is a separate verb with a diphthong).

tuiltíocha: a variant plural of tuile is shown here.


guil: the genitive of gol.


mhiníl: showing a slender m.

briosga: it is stated the word briosgóid does not exist in Muskerry, although PUL had it in his works.


tsalchar: I believe salachar should be pronounced slachar, but I am struggling to reconcile this spelling here.


thiormóidís: this spelling shows that triomú is tiormú in BÓC’s Irish.

cisgém: coiscéim with a slender c here.

thrioslóig: this seems to show a slender r in truslóg.


bun ós ciunn (buinis ciunn): this possibly indicates two variant pronunciations of this phrase.

caoicís: no diphthong is shown in this word.

adéarfí: with a slender f here, in contrast to the same word with a broad f elsewhere in CFBB.


showing the genitive of datach (deatach) is not in -aí.


cadráil (caidreáil): both forms of this word are given, under the entry about cadrán/caidreán.

déleáil: no diphthong is shown in this word.


garú: the plural of garbh.


gairid: BÓC eschews the slender g pronunciation of this word.

caogad (caogaid): this word is shown with a slender d, and this may be part of a wider phenomenon, e.g. where PUL consistently had fichid for fichead.

caor: “glowing object, thunderbolt”. This word is shown with a gentive caora or caorach and plural caortha.

chroidhreach: this word is so transcribed, although the transcription leaves the pronunciation unclear.


air hén: after prepositional pronouns, BÓC consistently uses héin, not féin.

i n-úil: this seems to show a broad n here.

tomáin: showing a broad t in tiomáin.


fé ia ’n tí: some argue this phrase is the origin of fé dhéin an tí, and the transcription here might support that.

do rugadar: there is no attempt to show a slender r here.


ann hén: another example of hén for féin.

ceangail/ceangalacha: two versions of the plural are given.

uileanna: a variant genitive, equivalent to uilinne.

i gciunn/a chiunn/chiunn/chun: all these equivalents mean “in order to”, or are stated as meaning d’fhunn.


gortaíocha & gearraíocha: the plurals of gorta and gearradh.

cirte/cirtisí/córtaisí: three versions of this comparative are given.

dhá thaoibh: the dual of taobh.


cedim: variant of creidim.


chun cónaithe/cónaig: cónaig is given as a variant here.

chun/chuig: the use of chuig for chun is stated as being rare in Muskerry.

áireamh/áiriú: two versions of this verbal noun are given.

dóibh hénig: a variant of féin and another example of h pronunciation.


as ár gciunn: with os given as as.

trí áit fhli(u)ch: this transcription shows the dsf can be flich.


iompathar: I am wondering if this is a form of iompaítear.


fairsinge: this form is shown with ng, not just g.


isna: a form of ins na.

a d’iarraig rod(a) égin a tharrac: the genitive in rud or ruda is shown here.


ag gortú mh’aigne: with lenition of m’.

dertear: a form without th is shown here, unlike other entries.

níosa bhfeárr: níosa lenites, but seems to eclipse an f.

páig: the genitive of pá.


bhfágfaí: a broad f is given here. Usage seems haphazhard.

coircíocha: the plural of coirce.


sgine: the genitive of scian, where Séadna has scéine.

duine le Dia: a simple person who is not all there in the head.

comh-chleamhnaithe: stated as the plural of comh-chliamhain.


comh-throm: an equal weight of something has a long o, /koːrhəm/, whereas a sufficiency of something or a fair opportunity at something is /korhəm/ (see p69).


thurcail: this is usually found as trucail in PUL’s works.


córú: the r is shown as broad or slender here.

cois ar c(h)ois le chéle: lenition or the lack of it shown here.

cosnaím: no epenthetic vowel.


chunnac: equivalent to chnuc.


bairlíní: equivalent to braillíní (sheets).

LS edition of Cúán Fithise



gléasadh – transcribed as gliasa, thus rejected Brian Ó Cuív’s argument in IWM that whereas the noun is pronounced /glʹias/, the verb is pronounced /glʹeːs-/. I am thinking that IWM reflects poetical pronunciation of the verb, and that in normal speech, there is indeed a diphthong?

mídheallraithí – mígheouruihí, with typical LS confusion of ou/au. Mígheauruihí would be better.

Conghal – this name is transcribed Conyl /ko’niːl/, and -gh- is sometimes realised as a long vowel, as in Aonghus, /eː’niːs/.

Fheargas – Earagas, with an epenthetic vowel.

Fanat – transcribed Fánad, although PUL had used the Old/Middle Irish version in Cúán Fithise.

Magh Muirisce – transcribed Má Muirishgi. Magh seems to have a long vowel, but IWM shows Magh Chromtha is just /mə xroumhə/.

Laighean – transcribed Layn. I am wondering if this is /lain/ or /ləin/, as LS does not have a good way of differentiating between these two diphthongs.

ghlaeigh sé- ghlaeg shé. In this monosyllabic verb the g retained.

gach éinne – gahéngi, where the ch seems to become h.




dúradh – transcribed as duarag, but I don’t believe any other parts of the past tense of deirim have /uə/ other than duart and duairt.

dúradar – transcribed as duaradar, but see above.




do rugadh – transcribed as do rugadh (with no ri-), but rugamair is transcribed as riugamuir. The LS recognises here that the autonomous form is not lenited after the perfective particle, and so no lenition of the r should be heard.

fionnadh – transcribed as fiona.

Laighneach – transcribed as Layineach.

lá ‘rna mhaireach – transcribed as lar n-a váireach, with a short a in lar.

nigh sé – transcribed as nig shé, although Osborn Bergin in an early article in Ériú said that this monosyllabic verb defied expectations by deleting the g in this context.

cimleadh – cimileag – showing an epenthetic vowel.

rómhainne – transcribed as rôingna. In all such emphatic forms, the suffix is -na, although the spelling appears to suffix just a neutral vowel.



coisíocht – transcribed as cuishycht. I had long wondered if the vowel in cois- was o or i.

cubus – transcribed as cús. It seems the original spelling missed lenition and should have been cubhus.

gcapaillíbh – transcribed as gapuiliv. I need to check the original text and see where I got the long -íbh from.

ar theacht – transcribed as er hacht. This seems better than the er heacht used in LS version of Séadna.

de thoradh reatha – transcribed as de hora ratha in one place and de hora reatha in another, but I think the broad r is correct.




talamh-chumscú -transcribed as talav-chûsgú, it seems the original spelling missed lenition and should have been talamh-chumhscú.

an t-each san each – transcribed as an t-each, san each, but the issue of when the article is slender before a word starting with e is a complex one. I am wondering if it should be an t-ach, san ach. More research required here.

Ultach – transcribed as Últach, but this seems just wrong. Oulhach is the pronunciation.

uathásach – transcribed as úhásach, but IWM shows the ua- is pronounced ua-. There are a number of such words, and ú- is possibly a variant.

The LS of Sliabh na mBan bhFionn


síbhrog – shí-vrog (or vrú) – the LS edition indicates here that the brog is a variant of brugh.

foirfeacht – I had proposed to transcribe this fuirfeacht, but I see that pronunciation is fuirihacht, and so I propose fuiritheacht as the spelling in the Muskerry House Style.

fionn – this is fiún in LS, but the plural adjective, fionna, is fiona, probably implying /fʹunə/or /fʹinə/, with a short vowel. My confusion stems from the fact the spelling of the plural adjective was finna in the original, which would point to an /i/…

san – transcribed sun here, but son is more in line with IWM.

béarfaí, fágfaí – transcribed as biarfí and fágfí, in line with the slender pronunciation of the f in the autonomous ending.

dhá – governing the verbal noun, transcribed as á.


seachas – transcribed as shochas

ag na – transcribed ig na (aige sna doesn’t seem to be universally employed in Cork Irish)

iairlis – transcribed iarlish, which dovetails with the presentation in IWM, which shows that r resists slenderisation by a following slender l.


theas – transcribed heas, possibly pointing to a front vowel, /has/, as in IWM. In any case h cannot be slenderised.

abhras – transcribed as ouras, but auras would be a better transcription.

curtí – transcribed as curtí, which seems a better choice than cuirtí for PUL’s Irish, as r resists slenderisation by a following slender t.

ceirthlín – transcribed as cerhlín, a reasonable choice, but IWM has /kʹar’hlʹi:nʹ/, with an a.

gach éinne – gahéngi, with h, not ch in the middle.

sléibhe – just pronounced shlé (tsléibhe is transcribed as tlé here)

áirnéan – transcribed árnéan, as r resists slenderisation by a following slender n.


mórsheisear – transcribed muarheshar, but IWM shows /muəriʃər/.

cabhail – transcribed couil, but cauil is probably a better transcription.

a ‘nín ó – transcribed a ‘nín ó. It seems a ‘nín ó! is the normal pronunciation in the vocative, slenderising the ending by analogy with the masculine declension, but a ‘níon ó existed too.


fheabhas – transcribed ous, where aus would be better (see IWM)


imithe – transcribed as imìhi, showing the stress.
lagachar – transcribed as lagàchar – is the stress on the second syllable in this word?
dheallraigh sí – transcribed gheoura shí, but as often in LS ou is written where au would be better: gheaura shí

leathrann – transcribed as leah-reaun, which appears to show the r of rann is slenderised in the lenitable environment in this word.


adúradh – transcribed as aduarag, but I am dubious that the vowel is ua, other than in duart and duairt. Dúramair in IWM has a long /u:/.


um an dtaca sun – transcribed um a daca sun, whereas Shán Ó Cuív had written um a daici in his transcription of Séadna.

dheallramh – transcribed gheourav, where gheaurav would be better


dúradar – transcribed as duaradar, but judging by the transcription of dúramair in IWM, dúradar would be a better transcription.


tuaigh: transcribed as tueg. Here Shán Ó Cuív shows the correct pronunciation of the dative, where in his transcription of Séadna, he had

transcribed tuaigh as tua.

gach aon rud – gahärod


ghlais – transcribed ghluish

im sheasamh – transcribed am’ heasav, where hasav would make more sense.

a roth an turainn – this vocative is transcribed as a reoh a turuing, with the r shown as slenderised.

Notes on the LS of Aesop

In the preface, it is specifically stated that Osborn Bergin is aiming to show the pronunciation of the generation of the 1850s.
Some words have alternatives:
* dálta can be /dɑːltə/ or /dɑːlhə/, and all similar words exhibit the same choice.
* seisean can be /ʃiʃən/ or /ʃeʃən/.
* gach éinne can be /gə xeːŋʹi/ or /gɑh eːŋʹi/.
* tíormaigh can be /trʹimigʹ/ or /tʹiːrmigʹ/.
* i rachtaibh/i riochtaibh can be /ə rɑxtivʹ/ or /ə ruxtivʹ/.
* Usage varies regarding the article in ar an mbórd, which may be /erʹ ə moːrd/.
Osborn Bergin also points out that final vowels are often and regularly elided before vowels:
* duine acu: /dinʹ ə’ku/.
* ag faire orthu: /ə farʹ orhə/.
* agus me im chodladh: /ɑgəs mʹəm xolə/.
Fluent readers should elide as shown above.

Chapters 1-5
roimh: transcribed as /rimʹ/, although I prefer to let roimh stand where it is found in the original.
fabhaill: transcribed as /foulʹ/ – I think there is great confusion between /ou/ and /au/ in WM Irish. /ou/ is found in labhair and a few words, and I believe both Osborn Bergin and Shán Ó Cuív overused /ou/. Here /faulʹ/ would be better.
chómhachtaibh: transcribed as /xoːx’tiːvʹ/, but as PUL had cómhachta and not cómhachtaí in the plural, I believe it is better to let dative plural ends whether long or short, stand as they were in the original text.
dá, ‘ghá: Bergin transcribes +the verbal noun as /dɑː/ and ‘ghá+the verbal noun as /ɑː/. Both are generally /ɑː/ in Irish today, although there may have been some use of /dɑː/, which is etymologically unsound. I transcribe as and dhá in my editions
shuigh sé: one of the few verbs that has an audible g in the preterite, /higʹ ʃeː/.
á rá, ag rá: with a slender r, /ɑː rʹɑː, ə rʹɑː/.
árdliaigh: I had thought it was pronounced with a broad g, but Bergin has /ɑːrd-lʹiə/.
aige: Bergin has /igʹ’i/.
gearánta: Bergin has /gʹi’rɑːntə/; I assumed the first vowel would be omitted and the g slenderised.
gcurfá: /gər’fɑː/. It seems PUL had a broad r in this word.
fheabhas: /ous/, where /au/ would be better.
beirthe: /bʹerhə/, with a broad r.
tar: /tɑr/ where tair, with a slender r, is widely attested as the local form.
ioscad ghaoil: transcribed “iosgad guíl”, possibly /iskəd giːlʹ/, but it is not clear why Bergin has removed lenition here.
is geárr: /iʃ gʹaːr/, but I am not sure it is correct to slenderise the s other than before third-person pronouns.
do rug: /də rʹug/ with a slender r.
cá: transcribed /ka/ with no long a, but this may be a typographical error.
an t-iománaí: /ən tʹu’mɑːniː/. I am wondering if a slender t provides a contrast with the apparently broad t of tiománaí.
marófar: /mə’roːfər/, where the slender r seems wrong, but the r was written slender in the original text. Maróidís in fable 6 has the same problem, showing this is no one-off mistranscription.
dtosnaímís: /dosə’niːmʹiːʃ/, where the epenthetic vowel seem wrong, unless Bergin heard that from some speakers.
mar seo: /mɑrʹ ʃo/, where the r is given as slender. And the same thing elsewhere in this text for mar sin.
imbriathar: spelt am briathar in the original and transcribed as if /əm brʹiahər/. It may be that the labial consonants m an b remain broad despite the slender r, and that ambriathar would be a better spelling?
do ghnó féin dein: /də ɣnoː fʹeːnʹ dʹeːnʹ/, as if the imperative dein is ossified in this proverb.
seabhac: /ʃouk/, where once again /au/ would be better.

Chapters 6-10
géill: hostages, transcribed as /gʹeːlʹ/. Yet I am left wondering whether gill would not be a better plural of geall, but the fact that the original glossary claimed the singular was giall may provide the answer here.
inníor: transcribed as /iː’ŋʹiːr/, but the length of the first vowel seems erroneous, conflicting with IWM.
thúirlic: the past tense of túirleacan is transcribed as if /huːrlʹigʹ/, resolving a long-standing query of mine as to the pronunciation. However, the context is thúirlig an phiast, and in fable 18 below thúirlic sí is transcribed /huːrlʹikʹ ʃeː/.
chruaigh sé sa ghadaíocht: /xruəgʹ ʃeː/.
gcroich, croiche: shown as /groh, crohi/, but I am wondering if /i/ pronunciations are also possible here.

Chapters 11-12
saighead: pronounced /siːd/ here, but I am thinking /səid/ may be a better transcription.
shraing: prounounced /hriːŋʹ/ here, but I am thinking /hriːŋgʹ/ is a better transcription.
urchair: transcribed as if /urəxirʹ/, but IWM has /ruxirʹ/ for this word. I suppose it depends on how quickly the first u is pronounced.

doimhneas: /doŋʹəs/, where /deŋʹəs/ is also possible.
agead chlaínn: transcribed as agat’chluíng, implying /igʹət xliːŋʹ/, i.e., the ch devoices the d of agead.
tar éis: /trʹeːʃ/.


abha: /ou/, where /au/ would have been the better transcription.
sula: Osborn Bergin transcribes as /sɑrə/.
cuilith: transcribed as /kilʹihi/, which conforms better to the accepted form cuilithe.
chosnóidh: /xosə’noː/ with an epenthentic vowel.
stoirm: transcribed as sdoirim, which implies a pronunciation /storʹimʹ/ with an o.
i riochtaibh: transcribed as if /ə rɑxtivʹ/, and i reachtaibh is a possible variant.

croiceann: transcribed as if /krokʹən/, where /krekʹən/ is also possible.
uime: transcribed as if /imʹ’i/, with the accent on the second i.
ná rug: transcribed as /nɑː rʹug/, and I would like to check that the r is definitely slender even in non-lenitable circumstances.


deól: transcribed as if from deol, possible a mistranscription.


os cómhair: transcribed as as côir, showing that os is or can be pronounced /ɑs/, although IWM shows /os/.
abhal: transcribed as if úll, showing that even if spelt abhal, as the traditional spelling, this is the same as ubhall or úll.
dias: transcribed as if dias (and not lias), showing that replacing d by l was not universal.
inead: transcribed as if from ionad here.
poillín: transcribed as pouilín, but I think this a mistranscription, although poll is definitely /poul/.
aoibhneas: transcribed as ívneas, without an epenthetic vowel between the v and the n. This seems a mistranscription, as shown in IWM.
doircheacht: transcribed as doirihacht, which seems to show the pronunciation is with an o.
ollbhúirth: transcribed as alavúirh, and I am wondering if oll- as a prefix is generally pronounced /ɑl(ə)/.
ghlam: transcribed as ghlaum, indicating the diphthong.
uallfairte: transcirbed as ulhirti, and ulfairte was found in the original text. I would like further confirmation that there is no diphthong in the first syllable.
ní beag liomsa dhe:  transcribed /ní beog lium-sa ghe/, which may show that ní beag liom doesn’t have to be /nʹiː bʹe lʹum/.

coileán an mhada ruaidh: pronounced cuileán a vada rueg, showing that ruaidh is pronounced with a slender g.
den altóir: transcribed do’n altóir, showing that den is don in pronunciation, but transcription like this is not consistent.
thúirling sí: transcribed as húirlic shí ( see also comment in ch 6-10 above): I am wondering if it is normally húirlig and húirlic before shí as the g is devoiced.
oinigh: transcribed oinig, implying the first vowel is o.
folláin: transcribed as fuláin, but better without the first vowel at all, fláin.


ar ghálaibh aonair: transcribed as er ghaluiv änuir, indicating correctly there should not have been a long á in the original.
luachra: transcribed as luachra, with no sign of an epenthetic.


tirim: transcribed as trim.
thiormaigh: transcribed as hriumuig, but híormuig would also be possible.
ionfhuar: transcribed as onuar.
táim dhom loscadh le tart: transcribed as táim am losga le tart, and I am very dubious over the authenticity of this dhom.

roinneamair: transcribed as roingeamuir as if there were no diphthong in the first syllable. I need more evidence on this one.
abhac: transcribed as ouc, where auc would be better, reflecting a continual confusion over whether /au/ or /ou/ is the vowel in such words. I assume that Brian Ó Cuív had it right in IWM that most of these are /au/, but there are some words like leabhar that have /ou/.

martaol: transcribed as mairtäl, but looking at the transcription in CFBB, there would be no need for the slender r here.
thíormaigh:  transcribed as hriuma, and I think this is the more dialectal form than híorma.
taispeánadh: tisbeánag with slender t.
taighde: transcribed as tuídi, where Shán Ó Cuív uses the transcription tayidi in this LS edition of Séadna.
fomoraigh: transcribed as fouruig, but the m is not lenited in the original text or the glossary there to. Even so, fomhóraigh is the form in Ó Dónaill’s dictionary.
trioblóid:  transcribed triubalóid, showing the epenthetic vowel, but I am still a little unclear as to the first vowel.  Paragraph 315 of IWM may imply /ə/.
tsaibhris: transcribed as toivirish, because LS finds it hard to show an /e/ after a broad consonant (see roiv for raibh).

corrán: transcribed corán, although I believe this would be better as crán.
dhruid: transcribed as ghrid, and Shán Ó Cuív also uses similar transcription in his LS version of Séadna, and I have only just realised that IWM also shows the first d in druid is slender.
ceannrach: transcribed as ceaunrach, but I would go with Brian Ó Cuív’s transcription in IWM showing deletion of the n.
a chonách air é: transcribed as chnách er é, confirming the elision of the o.

gídh gur: transcribed as cé gur. I think gídh gur is an older form, but in my view if it is so written, it would be better to pronounce it that way to show the archaism.
dtigheadh: transcribed as díoch, this is the older form of dtagadh.
ollphiast: transcribed as olafiast, this shows that oll- is followed by a vowel, but the quality of the vowel is shown here as /o/, and not the /ɑ/ indicated above in ollbhúirth.
air sean: transcribed as er shon, but I think air sin in the correct interpretation of this, and the sean here is some kind of cleaving towards more classical norms.

nothing exceptional


gairgeach: transcribed as goirigeach, probably indicating an i in the first syllable.
a ‘nín ó: transcribed as a nín ó, confirming that the feminine noun iníon is aligned with the masculine declension in the vocative, at least in so far as it is slenderised.
maróinn: transcribed as maireóing, but this appears to be a constant mistake in LS to put a slender r in this word and its cognates.


ruaidh: transcribed rueg in the genitive.
rugadh: transcribed rugag, as the autonomous does not take lenition
scoileann: transcribed sgoileann, with no sign of an h (scoiltim is also possible).
leamhán: transcribed liován.


ghlaeigh sé: transcribed ghlaeg shé, showing the g.
scéidh sé: transcribed shgég shé, showing the g is pronounced.
sháigh sé: transcribed háig shé, showing the g is pronounced.


an ghaoith: gaoith as a nominative is transcribed here as gäh.
fhulag: transcribed as ulag, although olag would be possible too.
scuainne: transcribed as sguenhi, where I had expected sguengi.
dhúinne: transcribed as ghúing-na.
anois: transcribed as inìsh, but it seems a mistake to put a slender n in here.
dtigeann: transcribed as dtagan, although the older form was not wrong.
i ndiaidh na fearthana: transcribed a nie na fearhana, and the -dh should be deleted in pronunciation before na.


in aghaidh an lae: transcribed as a nay ‘n lä showing the -dh should be deleted before the article.


sula: transcribed as sar a.
phréamhaigh sé: transcribed as friàvuig shé, but the presence of the g seems a mistake.
loirgnibh: transcribed as loiriginiv, whereas the LS edition of Séadna transcribed this word as loraganuiv. I assume Osborn Bergin has it right here.
shlinnibh: transcribed as hlíngiv, but I would like to check the length of the vowel, as I believe the addition of a syllable in the dative should shorten it.
sceímhealaibh: transcribed as shgiviàluiv, but IWM gave the pronunciation of sceímheal as /ʃkʹiːl/.


faoiseamh: transcribed as fäshav. I hadn’t spotted it before, but IWM also concurs in this, and so the original spelling is misleading.

34 – nothing exceptional.


greadadh chút, mar ghaoith: transcribed greada chút, mar ghäth, but it seems correct to use the dative here.
leagthí: transcribed as leagtí, but autonomous endings were often with th, and I prefer to leave them as is where th occurs in original texts.


peoca: the transcription pé ‘cu doesn’t really attempt to give the pronunciation.
munab: transcribed as marab.


gliocas: transcribed as gliucas, implying a u.
curtar: transcribed as curtar, confirming this pronunciation as against cuirtar.

38, 39 – nothing exceptional.


Tair: transcribed as tar, which was probably the original spelling, but not the local form.


me féin: transcribed mi hén whereas thu féin earlier in the sentence was hu fén.
mhuineál: transcribed as vuineál, whereas CFBB shows this should have a slender m.
tslabhra: transcribed tloura, with the constant confusion of /au/ and /ou/ in LS.
churfá: transcribed chuirfá, but it seems from the general spelling in PUL’s works that chuirfá is better.
réidh: transcribed , but seems mistaken.


ghearán: transcribed ghreán.
do tánathas: transcribed do hánahas, and I had been dubious about tánathas, as irregular verbs are normally lenited in the autonomous.
choisíocht: transcribed chushycht, but it seems there is an o here.


líntibh: transcribed as líontuiv.
ó chiainibh: transcribed as ó chianuiv, but this is not the local form.


gcosnóidís: gosanóidísh, with an epenthetic.
mharódh: transcribed vaireóch, but  the slender r is wrong.
led chluais: transcribed let chluesh, as the ch would devoice the d of led.


giob: pronounced giub.
fógra: an epenthetic vowel is not shown.
shampla: transcribed as houmpala, but, apart from the ou/au problem, the LS of PUL’s An Teagasg Críostaidhe does not show an epenthetic vowel.
beirthe: transcribed bèarha, and maybe I should write bertha, lest beirthe be confused for beirithe.
dtairrigthear: transcribed as dtaruigtear.
éascacht: trasncribed as iasgacht, but this seems a mistake, as IWM says éasca is /e:skə/.
casachtach: the transcription shows this is accented on the middle syllable.
is amhlaidh mar atá an scéal: amhlaidh is pronounced amhla in this phrase.


shiopa: transcribed hupa, ie without the slender ch sound that lenited slender s sometimes, but not always, gives.

47 – nothing exceptional.


caismirt: I thought this had an epenthetic vowel, but none is shown.
mórán: this is transcribed as mórán, aligning with the transcription in IWM that shows a long vowel in this word. Yet Brian Ó Cuív uses muarán in his CFBB.


údhálta: this is transcribed as if pronounced údhálta here, but two varying transcriptions in the LS edition of Séadna indicate variously údhalta and úáltha. More research required here.


phlaoisc: pronounced /fliːʃkʹ/ (I had wondered whether the long e sound of the nominative would be kept).

Letiriú Shímplí

Leitiriú Shímplí

Más âuluig ná tuigean tú a vuil shgríofa ansò, ná bíoch cesht ort; rod ish ea é ná cuirean a lán duíni muarán suimi aun!

Shán Ó Cuív’s leitiriú shímplí was used, and approved by PUL too. I use the leitiriú shímplí edition of Séadna to check Muskerry pronunciation. The system was geared solely to Muskerry Irish pronunciation, regardless of spelling.

The charts belows show the system, with IPA (as given in The Irish of West Muskerry) on the left and LS on the right.

Consonants: the broad/slender quality of consonants is shown purely by vowels, with the exception of slender s, which is written sh. Dh and gh are both written gh; sh and th are both written h. The marginal consonants /z/ and /ʒ/ don’t appear to represented. The affricate /tʃ/ is not represented either (t sh would be used). The devoicing of l, n and r is shown by an h before the letter (hl, hn, hr). Incorrectly, /sk/ and /ʃkʹ/ are written sg and shg.

b b
k c
x ch
d d
f f
g g
ɣ gh
j gh
h h
l l
m m
n n
ŋ ng
ŋʹ ng
p p
r r
s s
t t
v v

Vowels: silent vowels are not written, eg gabháil becomes gváil. Epenthetic vowels are written: leitriú becomes leitiriú. Broad vowels are flanked by e and i as necessary to show the quality of surrounding consonants. Similarly, slender vowels can be flanked by o and u. The vowels are shown in the first column below in a broad-vowel-broad environment, then slender-vowel-broad, broad-vowel-slender, slender-vowel-slender. An exception is where the use of sh for slender s already shows the slender quality. In this case, you would write shúl and not shiúl for siúl.

a, ɑ a, ea, ai, eai lag, teag, tais, geaitire
a:, ɑ: á, eá, ái, eái bás, breá, páirc, ileáin
e -, èa, oi, e -, bhèadh, roiv, ber
e: ä, ae, éa, é näv, raeg, buidéal, céli
i -, i, io, ui -, fios, min, buin
i: y, i:, ío, uí cyra, sí, síos, luí
o o, eo, oi, – cos, deoch, toil, –
o: ó, eó, ói, eói óg, deór, cóir, feóil
u u, ui, iu, – muc, cuisle, piuc, –
u: ú, úi, iú, iúi cú, úil, ciún, ciúin
ə a

You will notice that, although reputedly phonetic, ui is used twice above, making it unclear if Shán Ó Cuív believed cuid should be pronounced with /i/ or /u/. In fact both pronunciations are found. The only examples I can find of a broad consonant followed by /e/ are saibhir (transcribed sevir, but this would be shevir in this system had the s been slender and so doesn’t count as an example), and raibh, which is transcribed roiv in the LS edition of Séadna. So it is likely that the LS system used oi twice too.


ia ià, -, ià, iài iàdach, -, bias, fiàin
ia, -, ia, ie iad, -, cial, blien
ua, ue, -, – suas, uer, -, –
əi ay, ayi, ?, ei Tayg, cayil, ?, dein
ai -, ay, -, – -, ayimshir, -, –
au au, aui, eau, eaui aun, auing, geaul, meauir
ou ou, oui, eou, eoui poul, louir, leour, leouir

Note that ay is used twice for the dipthong in  and the diphthong in aimsir. Also in the transcription in Séadna, au and ou are frequently confused, with abhainn appearing as ouing instead of auing. It is not clear what Shán Ó Cuív had for /iə/ flanked by slender and broad consonants. Riamh is written ryav to show the r remains broad at the beginning of the word.

ã, ɑ̃ â lâv
ĩ î
ô fôr
ũ û
ãi ây âyileas
ãu âu âuluig
õu ôu dôun

As shown above LS choosed to show nasalised vowels and diphthongs, although these have been dropped in the modern-day Cork Irish. These would also be flanked by vowels to show the slender or broad quality of consonants surrounding them (as in âyileas above, but examples of every possible permutation are hard to find). IWM shows that /ə̃i/ is also a possible nasalised diphthong, but Shán Ó Cuív didn’t seem to realise that, writing dein for deimhin.

Finally, grave accents were used in LS to differentiate some words, and were also used to show a word that was stressed on a non-initial syllable that nevertheless had a short vowel:

as às (out of)
de dè (from him)
di dì (from her)
do dò (to him)
amuigh amùh

It is clear Shán Ó Cuív had no knowledge of phonetics, but the LS editions of PUL’s books can be used to look up many pronunciations used in Muskerry Irish.

The following is a list of PUL’s works published in LS, as edited by Shán Ó Cuív and Osborn Bergin, with the ones I have obtained asterisked:

*Don Cíchóté, part I. (Parts II and III are on this site here and here.)
*Aithris ar Chríost, book I. (PDF on this site) Book II (PDF here), Book III part 1 (PDF here), Book III part 2 (PDF here), Book III part 3 (PDF here), Book III part 4 (PDF here).
*Sliabh na mBan bhFionn. (PDF on this site)
*Aesop a Tháinig go hÉirinn, I-V. (PDF on this site)
*Mo Sgéal Féin, part I. (PDF on this site)
*An Teagasc Críostaí (PDF at
*Ár nDóithin Araon.
*Muire Mháthair i Lourdes – has the Lourdes hymn by PUL with ordinary and simplified spelling (PDF on this site)
*An Choróinn Mhuire – PUL’s Rosary with ordinary and simplified spelling (PDF on this site).
* Gein gan Teimheal – PUL’s version of the Immaculate hymn with ordinary and simplified spelling (PDF on this site).
*11 Fables from Cnósach a Dó of Aesop (PDF on this site).
*PUL’s translation of For he’s a jolly good fellow in ordinary and simplified spelling (PDF on this site).

Other things in LS are Pádraig Ó Laoghaire’s Cayint na Nuíni, Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chónaill’s Cuíni Airt Í Laere (some pages of the version linked to are badly scanned), Shán Ó Cuív’s own short stories incl Cúirt na Dála, and the monthly newspaper in LS Glór na Ly, which I have photocopies of and which gives LS versions of a number of other texts on a serialised basis.