Imatges de pÓgina

infinitive, and participle, imply the force of nouns, in Irish, as in all other languages.

39. These, and the like, may more properly be considered as participial phrases, composed of the infinitive, and a preposition, than as simple participles.

40. This second form of the present tense is the origin nal, and correct one; the first is nothing more than the simple verb, with a prefixed; but they are both very commonly used, both in writing and speaking.

41. In all interrogations, an? is either expressed or understood; sometimes it is pronounced a, on account of the following consonant; sometimes it is entirely omitted, as in the present instance; and sometimes, before b, it is changed into m; as, a mbuailir? Wilt thou strike?

42. This form of the preter tense differs from the preceding, in the omission of the sign do. The sign of the preter was anciently written ro, or ad, as well as do; but in modern speaking, and writing, it is very often omitted, and the tense is ascertained by the form of the verb.

43. Instead of raibh siad, in the third person plural, rabhadar' was commonly in use some time since; but it is hardly understood at present.

44. These persons are indifferently written biann, or bionn. (See note 10.) This consuetudinal tense, (which some writers make a separate mood), is very much used, in all verbs, to denote an usual or habitual state of acting or being

45. The interrogative an? is here changed into m, for sound's sake, the a beilig usually omitted. (See note 41.)

46. The second person plural is sometimes written beithi, instead of beidh, ye shall be.

47. In such expressions as these, the relative a, who, is always expressed or understood.

48. Muna is most correctly the sign of this tense; and mur, which is also used, is nothing more than a rapid and vulgar manner of expression.

49. This also may be written bhias; or, as it is sometimes pronounced, bheadhas.

50. Mur is frequently used, instead of muna, in this tense, as in the present, negative, subjunctive.

51. These expressions are jiterally translated, it were good with me that I were; and, it were better with me that I were. Many such phrases are used; as, budh mbian liom, I desire; is truagh liom nach raibh me, I am sorry I am not. -52. The potential can hardly be called a simple mood,



in Irish, as it is always formed by the combination of two or more words. These forms of expression, however, are extremely common, and necessary to be well understood. And, as they are equivalent to the compound moods and tenses of the English, and other languages, it seems proper to arrange them under the title of a separate mood.

53. Many regular verbs might be exhibited as examples, all differing in some minute particulars; but a remarkable proof of that which is chosen being one of the most proper is, that it is the same which has been adopted by Me Stewart, in his Galic grammar, published long since this was written.

54. In these expressions, (as in those noted 47,) the relative a, who, which, is always expressed or understood.

55. The sign do is frequently omitted in this tense; and the personal terminations are seldom used in vulgar conversation. In the Erse dialect, they are entirely omitted.

In old manuscripts, the termination seam, or siom, is sometinies written in the first person plural; as, do bhuailseam, for, do bhuaileamar, we struck.

56. To these may be added the preter interrogative, negative, nachar bhuail me, did I not strike? Nar is sometimes written for nachar, by mistake.

57. The second person plural is sometimes written buailfidhe; and the third person, buailtid. The f, in the first form of the future, is introduced in order to give inore strength to the expression; and the termination is written indifferently ead, or id, when the penult ends in a small vowel; as, bristead, or, brisfid, I shall, or, will break.

But if the penult be broad, ad only is used; as, casfad, I shall, or, will twist. There are many verbs, however, which do not admit f in the future.

58. The same observation, with respect to the relative, which is made, notes 47, and 54, is to be continued here.

59. When the penult ends in a broad vowel, the termination of this tense is regularly fainn; as, da gcasfainn. :

But more usually a broad vowel is inserted, before inn, to correspond with that in the penult; as, da gcastainn, or gcasfuinn, had I twisted.

T'he f is frequently omitted in this tense, except in the second person singular: and the second person plural is frequently used, without the pronoun. T'be orthography of the several persons is various, in different manuscripts, but still the radical sounds are retained; as,




Shad 1, or if? Da gcuirea- } had we sent. Da gcuirinn,

I had sent; } Da gcuirfea,

hadst thou s Da gcurthaoi, or,

or, had je sent. Da gcuirthea,

Da geuirfithe, Da gcuireadh se, had he sent; Da gcuiridis, had they sent.


60. It will be an usefol exercise for the learner, here, to form a number of potential phrases, by combining liom, leat, &c. damh, duit, &c. with such words as those eshiited in these examples.

61. The simple participle is buailte. The termination is somewhat various, in different verbs : see page 66, Formation of the passive voice. Thus, when the last vowel of the penult is broad, the termination is ta; as, casta, twisted; or an i is inserted in the penult; as, brugh bruighte, bruised. When the termination of the imperative is a soft guttural, the t is often aspirated, for sound's sake; as, giorruigh, shorten, giorruighte, or rather giorruighthe, shortened.

62. This termination is often lengthened by poetic invention, dh being inserted before the last syllable; as, buailfidhear, for buailfear.

63. The preter negative may be formed thus; muna be gur bualadh me; or, muna mbuailfidh me.

64. These verbs nearly correspond, in their nature, to · those commonly denominated neuter. But they are not so numerous, as none of them are used to denote any strong exertion, even when the action does not fall upon another object.

65. The observation made on the letter a, with respect to the preposition ann, is fully exemplified here, and throughout these verbs. See also page 92, rule 10*.

66. This interrogative can hardly be used, in the first person, but it is exhibited here, for the sake of uniformity.

67. As it has been more than once observed in other notes, there is some variety in this tense, as spoken in different places; thus, Ni choidealam, ni choidealfad, or ni choideala me, I will

1 not sleep. ! A gcoidealfad? a gcoidealam? &c. shall I sleep? &c.

68. As the potential mood is formed, in these verbs, by aid of the same words that are already exbibited in bi, and buail, it is unnecessary to repeat it here. It may be almost superfluous to observe, that reflected verbs, implying to action done to another, are incapable of being inflected in the passive voice.

69. Having

69. Having studied the full examples of conjugations, the learner will here see the original simplicity, and remarkable regularity, of the Irish verbs. That the imperative is the root, from which all the other parts are forined, will be evident, on the slightest inspection. The same observation occurred to Mr. Stewart (Galic. Grammar, page 82); but it is somewhat singular, that, in giving the examples of the conjugations, he does not place the imperative first in order.

70. The form, do bhuaileadh, corresponds more exactly with the general rule; although do bhualadh is more common. The same may perhaps be observed of some other verbs, but the difference is so inconsiderable, that it does not seem worthy of being noted as an irregularity.

71, 72. When these references were made, for, notes, it was intended to insert the observations, which have already been made, at notes 57, and 59.

73. In the following tables, as many of these verbs as occurred to the author's observation are inserted. He does not pretend to say, that the lists are complete; but they contain, at least, the greater part of such words; and the learner will easily attain the knowledge of any others, in the course of reading, and speaking:

74. Some of the foregoing verbs may be otherwise formed, in the infinitive; as,

Cosain,- do chosaint,- do chosnamh, defend.
Creid, -chreidinheal,-chreideadh, believe.
Måsgal,--mhusgailt - mhusgladh, awaken.
Treig,---threigmheal,-threigint, forsake.
Tuig,--thuigmheal,--thuigsin, understand.

Samhal,--shamhladh,-shamhailt, compare. Note, that t is often added to n, where it might be well omitted ; as,

Lean, do leanmhuint, for, do leanmhuin, follow, 75. This, with the three foregoing blank references, is intended to point out words, in which there is some deviation from the general rules. But these irregularities are more owing to local idioms, than to any radical variety of expression, and they are noted here, that the learner inay not hesitate in generally infecting all verbs, according to the common rules.

If the imperative tioman, drive, were used, there would be no irregularity in this verb, in which the "a" is the leading and radical vowel.

76. It has been justly observed, by General Vallancey, that “ from the description giren of the irregular verbs,

by: She gave it to me. Thug se leis è,


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by M'Curtin, and Molloy, they are sufficient to deter any one from attempting to learn this language; whereas, they are neither more numerous, nor more difficult, than those of the Latin, French, and English languages.

77. Nim, I do, in old manuscripts, is written gnim; and rinneas, I did, is written roighreas. M'Curtin remarks, that g should always be retained in this verb, to distinguish it from ni, not; but this is not observed in the Irish bible, or many correct modern works.

The preter interrogative of all the irregular verbs, except abair, say, is formed by a or an, instead of nar.

78. The imperative abair is compounded of ad, and beir; as also the preter dubhairt, of do, and beirt. Thus, in ancient manuscripts, we read, amhuil is beirt an file, as the poet says; ad beart an file, the poet said. Hence dubhras, and dubbairt, will not admit of do as the sign of the preter, because this particle is compounded in the verb itself.

Deirim, dearaid, &c. are also contractions of do, and beir.

The participles radh, radha, and the passive ràite, said, are from an obsolete verb, raitear, it is said, or called; to be found in old manuscripts.

79, 80. Tabhair is compoundeď of to, an obsolete párticle, or sign of the dative, and beir; and properly means give. Beir is often used alone, in the imperative, to signify give, bring, carry, lay hold on, overtake, or bring forth young.

The preter tense of tabhair is tugas, tug me, I gave, or brought. The preter of beir is rugas, rug nie, I look, l'hid hold on, overtook, or brought forth.



Tabhair deoch dhamh, Give a drink to me.
Tabhair leat è,

Bring it with you.
Beir leat è,
Tabhair uait è,

Give it from you.
Beir uait è,
Beir air so,

Lay hold on this.
Bheara me dhuit è,

I will give it to you. Bearamoid orra,

We shall overtake them, Beara me cloidheamh liom, I will bring a sword with me. Beara si clann,

She will bear a child. Thug si dhamh è,

He brought it with him. Rug se leis è,

He took it with him. Rug si orra,

She overtook them. Rug si nac,

She bore a son.

81. The


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