This document is a placeholder for the language-specific documentation
This document is a placeholder for the language-specific documentation
Case is an inflectional feature of nouns and other parts of speech (adjectives, verbs, articles) that mark agreement with nouns.
In Irish four cases are used: common (which covers nominative and accusative case), vocative, genitive and dative. These cases are labelled respectively as
NomAcc : common case
The common case is the base form of the noun, and is used in the citation form (lemma). This word form is used for subjects and objects of a clause, and predicates of a copula.
- Tosóidh an cheolchoirm ar 8pm “The concert will start at 8pm”
- Chabhraigh an leon le Micí “The lion helped Mickey”
- Cuireann Paul an píosa seo chugainn “Paul offers this piece to us”
- D’ith sí an dinnéar “She ate the dinner”
- is láithreán uafásach é seo “this is an awful site”
- Is múinteoir é “He is a teacher”
Voc : vocative case
The vocative case is used to mark a noun as being the addresse. It is preceded by the particle
a. The vocative case triggers lenition in the word.
- ‘Slán leat, a Dhoráid! “Goodbye, Dorád!”
- a dhaoine uaisle “ladies and gentlemen”
Gen : genitive case
The genitive case indicates possesion or ownership. It’s use is similar to the use of ’s in English. Other use cases include describing the composition of an object, compound nouns, or objects of a compound preposition.
- dearadh an stáitse “outloook of the state”
- mac an fhir “son of the man”
- an Aontais Eorpaigh “the European Union”
Dat : dative case
The dative case is used with most simple prepositions in Irish. In standard Irish, the dative form is identical to the common case.
- in Eireann “in Ireland”
- le hEireann “with Ireland”
Definite: definiteness or state
In Irish, definiteness is indicated through the use of a definite particle singular an or plural na (also used with feminine singular in genitive case, see below), much like the definite article “the” in English. There is no indefinite particle, with nouns considered indefinite unless otherwise indicated.
Def : definite
Determiners an and na are both definite, as mentioned above.
The noun can also indicate definiteness, though treatment depends on case, gender and number.
In the nominative case (see Case) nouns undergo some changes following the definite article an; most feminine nouns are lenited after the definite article, while feminine nouns beginning with ‘s’ will become ‘ts’. Meanwhile, masculine nouns beginning with a vowel get the prefix ‘t-‘.
Following the plural definite article na, both masculine and feminine nouns beginning with a vowel receive the prefix ‘h’.
- an bua “the win”
- an fharraige “the sea”
- an tseachtain “the week”
- an t-aonad “the unit”
- na buntáistí “the advantages”
- na hábhair “the subjects”
In the genitive case (see Case) the singular definite article an is only used with masculine nouns. In this case, masculine nouns behave like feminine nouns in the nominative case, most masculine nouns beginning with a consonant are lenited, and those beginning with a ‘s’ change to ‘ts’. However, nouns beginning with a vowel remain the same.
The plural definite article na is used with feminine singular nouns. In this case, feminine singular nouns beginning with a vowel are prefixed by ‘h’, while those beginning with a consonant don’t change. For plural nouns, na causes an eclipses where the nouns begin with a consonant. Plural nouns beginning with a vowel receive the prefix ‘-n’.
- imeachtaí an Éirí “activities of the successful”
- chumas an pháiste “ability of the child”
- biaiste an tsamhraidh “season of summer”
- thitim na hoíche “fall of the night”
- óga na tíre “young of the country”
- eagras na bhfostóirí “organisation of the employers”
- measc na n-ábhar “middle of the subjects”
Ind : indefinite
There are no indefinite articles in Irish, however some nouns may inflect to show indefinite features.
- a gcuid uibheacha “her eggs”
- as láimh “out of hand”
Degree: degree of comparison
Degree is a feature of adjectives that describe the quality of a noun.
Pos : positive, first degree
States the quality of an object without comparing that quality to those of any other object.
Cmp : comparative, second degree
Sup : superlative, third degree
In Irish, the comparative and the superlative form is the same. In both cases, the adjective is written in the genitive case. Both the comparative and the superlative require a particle prefix. For the comparative degree, this is níos which corresponds to the English “more”. The superlative degree has particle is, which can be loosely translated as “the most”.
- níos fada “longer”
níos mó “bigger”
- is fearr “the best”
- is mó “the biggest”
In Irish, three main dialects are found, with certain grammatical and lexical variations between the dialects. Words or grammatical features in the treebank which were judged to belong to a particular dialect were marked with the Dialect feature.
Connaught : Connaught dialect
The Connaught dialect is the variety of Irish spoken mostly in the province of Connaught in the west of Ireland. Only one instance of Connaught dialect is currently present in the treebank.
- Caidé (standard: Cad é) “What is it”
Munster : Munster dialect
The Munster dialect is the variety of Irish spoken mostly in the province of Munster in the south of Ireland. Most of the instances of dialect variation in the treebank are of Muster variety.
- Dhein sé (standard: rinne) “He did”
- so (standard: seo) “this”
- san (standard: sin) “that”
Ulster : Ulster dialect
The Ulster dialect is the variety of Irish spoken mostly in the province of Ulster in the north of Ireland, mostly limited to the county of Donegal.
- domhsa (standard: dom) “for me”
- fá (standard: faoi) “under”
- cha (standard: ní) (negation)
One of the characteristics of Irish is its tendency for initial mutation to occur in certain circumstances. This is triggered by the preceding word and affects the spelling of nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Ecl : eclipsis
This feature occurs when the initial consonant or vowel of a word is eclipsed by a prefixing consonant. This is either a voiced consonant for voiceless consonants, or a nasalised consonant for voiced consonants. Vowels are eclipsed by adding n- or -t. Not every consonant can experience eclipsis.
Eclipsis will happen in a number of environments:
- after the plural possessive nouns ár, bhur and a (“our”, “your (pl.)”, “their”)
- on singular count nouns following the numbers 7-10
- after the preposition i “in”
- on plural nouns in the genitive case after the definite article
- on singular nouns in the dative case after the definite article
- following certain clitics such as interrogative particles (an, nach), complementisers (go, nach) and relativisers (a, nach)
- a gcuid iarrachtaí “their efforts”
- seacht mblian “seven years”
- i nGaeilge “in Irish”
- costas na n-oibreacha “cost of the works”
- ar an bhfocal “on the word”
- nach bhfaca sé “he didn’t see”
Emp : emphatic
The emphatic form is a special form a word takes to mark the emphatic in Irish.
- dom “to me”
- domhsa “to me (emph)”
- a deirim “I said”
- a deirimse “I said (emph)”
Len : lenition
Lenition is one of the most common means of initial mutation. When lenited, h is added immediately after the initial consonant.
These are some of the environments that trigger lenition:
- following the definite article (see Definite for specifics)
- following the vocative particle a
- after certain adjectives (singular possessive pronouns, uile, aon, dhá, etc.)
- after certain simple prepositions (a, de, do, faoi, etc.)
- following the past tense of the copula is
- following preverbal particles in the past tense (níor, ar, etc.)
- verb forms in the past tense
- an fharraige “the sea”
- A Dhochtúir Van Helsing “Doctor Van Helsing”
- mo chuid oibre “my work”
- faoi cheist “under question”
- Ba mhaith liom “I would like”
- Níor chuir sin “that doesn’t put”
- tháinig “came”
HPref : h-prefix
In cases where a word causes neither lenition nor eclipsis and ends in a vowel, it will cause a h-prefix to attach the following word if that word begins with a vowel.
- go hálainn “lovely”
- na heisimirce “emigration”
- de h-Íde “from Íde”
- ní hamháin “not only”
VF : Vowel form
Vowel form is an indicator of spelling changes that occur in copular verbs when followed by a word that begins with a vowel or a lenited consonant.
- is copula, “is”
- ab ea iad “they are”
- gurbh é “it was”
- B’fhearr leis lit. “it was better for him”
Irish has two gender forms: masculine and feminine.
Masc : masculine gender
In general, words ending in a broad consonant are masculine. Exceptions include words ending in slender -óir, -eoir, and -ín, which are masculine.
- madra “dog”
- múinteoir “teacher”
Fem : feminine gender
In general, words ending in a slender consonant are feminine. Exceptions include words ending in a broad -óg, or -eog, which are feminine.
- Éire “Ireland”
- néaróga “nerves”
Mood is a feature that expresses modality and subclassifies finite verb forms. It allows for a speaker to express their attitude towards what they are saying.
Ind : indicative mood
The indicative mood can be considered the default form of a verb. A verb in the indicative indicates something that has happened, is happening or will happen.
- deirim “I say”
- Conas atá sé? “How is he?”
- Breacfaidh mé síos “I will jot down”
Cnd : conditional mood
The conditional mood is used to express actions that are hypothetical or contrary to known fact. In Irish, the conditional is expressed in two different verb endings; these endings begin with the suffix -f- or -ó-. In all but the 3rd person singular and the 2nd person plural, the verb endings are synthetic and do not require a subject pronoun. Conditional clauses are often introduced using go or dá.
- ólfadh sé “he would drink”
- Dá bhfeicfeá “if you saw”
- go bhfeicfeadh sé “that he would see”
Imp : imperative mood
The imperative mood is used to give a command, express advice, or make a request.
- Ná habair liom “Don’t tell me”
- bígí ar ais anseo “be back here”
- Chuiridís oilithrigh amach “let them send the pilgrims out”
Sub : subjunctive mood
In Irish, the subjunctive mood is used to express a wish, or something that is not directly stated to be factual. It is normally formed with the particle go (positive) or nár (negative) followed by the verb in the subjunctive form. Sula ‘before’ is sometimes also used.
- Go n-imí an diabhal do bhóthar “May the devil be gone from your way”
- I nDáil na bhFlaitheas go raibh sé “that he was”
- gan stoc a shéide “without a trumpet to blow”
Negative: whether the word can be or is negated
There is no word for “yes” or “no” in Irish. Instead, a negative particle is used in combination with the verb to give a negative polarity.
The negative particle ní* is used before verbs in almost every tense, except the past. It causes lenition where this is possible, otherwise there is no change. In the past tense the particle is written as níor, and doesn’t affect the inflection.
The interrogative negative particle nach is used to pose a negative question.
The verb “to be” (in Irish bí) is given the negative form níl in the present tense, as a contraction of ní bhfuil. It can inflect to show (for instance) person.
*In the Ulster dialect, this particle also appears as cha (see Dialect)
Neg : negative
- Ní thuigim “I don’t understand”
- Níor ól sé “He didn’t drink”
- Nach bhfuil tú? “Aren’t you?”
- Níl sé sin mí-réasúnta “That is not unreasonable”
- Ach nílirse sásta “But you aren’t happy”
In Irish, noun forms fall into certain groups, that can change the spelling of the noun itself or surrounding words in certain contexts.
Strong : strong plurals
The form of a strong plural remains unchanged regardless of grammatical case, i.e. it does not inflect.
- bláthanna “flowers” (nomacc, gen)
- oibreacha “works” (nomacc, gen)
- cótaí “coats” (nomacc, gen)
Weak : weak plurals
Unlike the strong plural, a weak plural noun changes form depending on case.
- focail “words” (nomacc)
- focal “words” (gen)
- Aontais “Unions” (nomacc)
- Aontas “Unions” (gen)
Adjectives in Irish can have endings that are slender or not slender (broad). Depending on how the preceding noun ends, the form of the adjective can change.
NotSlender : broad consonants
A final consonant is termed broad if the preceding vowel is broad (a, á, o, ó, u, ú).
- dathanna príomhúla
- nótaí praiticiúla
Slender : slender consonants
A final consonant is termed slender if the preceding vowel is slender (e, é, i, í).
- na heagrais dheonacha
- thuaithe cháilitheacha
NumType: numeral type
Irish numeral forms inflect to demonstrate different grammatical roles.
Card : cardinal numbers
Cardinal numbers can be divided into those without nouns (used in counting, giving the time, etc.), and those with nouns. Those used without nouns use a particle a that is absent in those used with nouns.
- a haon “one”
- a seacht “seven”
- a sé a chlog “six o’ clock”
Numbers qualifying nouns:
- dhá bhliain “two years”
- naoi gcapall déag “nineteen horses”
- seasca punt “sixty pounds”
Pers : personal numerals
The personal numerals are used for counting people. From numbers 1-12 this system of counting differs from that used with other nouns, after that, the form is the same as the cardinal form, or a combination of the two forms.
- duine amháin “one person”
- beirt “two people”
- aon bhean dhéag “eleven women”
- seasca fear “sixty men”
Ord : ordinal numbers
Ordinal numbers can be used to show order of items. In Irish, the form uses the definite particle an. (see Definite). The English abbreviation “th” appended to a numeral, is given in Irish as ú.
- an chéad lá “the first day”
- an dara dóigh “the second prospect”
- an 17ú Marta “the 17th of March”
Number is an inflectional feature of nouns and other parts of speech (determiners, adjectives, prepositions, verbs, etc.) that mark agreement with nouns. Words can be either singular or plural. Verb endings frequently inflect depending on number and person, across many moods and tenses.
A singular noun (or pronoun) denotes one person, animal or thing.
- an duine rialta “the regular person”
- shruth leictreach ró-mhór “excessive electric current”
- deirim “I say”
- cheapfá “you would think”
- bíodh “be” (3rd person singular)
A plural noun (or pronoun) denotes several persons, animals or things.
- fiacla sealadacha “temporary teeth”
- na himroeirí áitiúla “the local players”
- na focail crua “the cruel words”
- táimid “we are”
- bígí “be” (2nd person plural)
- chuireadar “they put”
This document is a placeholder for the language-specific documentation
Person is a feature of personal and possessive pronouns and verbs. In verbs, this feature marks the subject, in some cases allowing the subject to be dropped entirely. In Irish, some verbs are constructed synthetically, and some are analytically constructed.
1 : first person
The first person refers to the speaker; singular first person includes just one speaker, while plural first person includes many speakers, or groups the speaker with others. In Irish verbs, the first person forms a synthetic verb, where the subject pronoun may be dropped from the verb. Prepositional and possessive pronouns also inflect to denote person and number.
- Molaim a gcuid iarrachtaí. “I commend their efforts.”
- Chaitheamar roinnt urchar leo. “We shot several bullets at them.”
2 : second person
The second person refers to the listener. The singular first person denotes just one listener, while the plural form denotes several listeners. Verbs in Irish do not indicate 2nd person, so subject pronouns are necessary.
- An bhfeiceann tú “Do you see”
- Amharcaigí anois an méid atá déanta agam! “Look at the amount I’ve done!”
3 : third person
The third person refers to one or more persons who are not present, i.e. neither speakers nor listeners.
- Tugann sé neart eolais dúinn “He gives us plenty of information”
- Déanann siad poll “They make a hole”
Boolean feature of pronouns, determiners or adjectives. It tells whether the word is possessive.
While many tagsets would have “possessive” as one of the various pronoun types, this feature is intentionally separate from PronType, as it is orthogonal to pronominal types. Several of the pronominal types can be optionally possessive, and adjectives can too.
Yes : possessive
Note that there is no No value. If the word is not possessive, the Poss feature will just not be mentioned in the FEAT column. (Which means that empty value has the No meaning.)
Cmpd : compound preposition
In Irish, a simple preposition can be combined with a noun to give a compound preposition. Nouns following compound prepositions are inflected in the genitive case.
- tar éis “after”
- ar feadh “for” (length of time)
- de réir “according to”
PronType: pronominal type
Art : articles
Dem : demonstrative
Ind : indefinite
Int : interrogative
Prs : person
Rel : relative
Yes : it is reflexive
The reflexive feature is a boolean feature of pronouns or determiners. It tells whether the word is reflexive, i.e. it refers to the subject of its clause.
In Irish, the reflexive pronoun is féin
- bhí fhios agam cheana féin “I already knew”
- bhí a chiall féin do gach duine ina thaibhreamh féin “Everybody’s own meaning was in his own dream”
Tense is a feature that specifies the time when the action took / takes / will take place, in relation to the current moment or to another action in the utterance.
Past : past tense
The past tense denotes actions that happened before the current moment. In Irish, past tense is indicated in the verb through the addition of lenition and/or a d’- prefix.
- Bhí a ngruanna faoi lasadh. “Their cheeks were glowing.”
- D’fhan sé ansin inné. “He stayed there yesterday.”
Pres : present tense
The present tense denotes actions that are happening right now or that habitually happen.
- Tá sé ina chodladh. “He is asleep.”
- Dathaíonn siad na pictiúir. “They colour in the pictures.”
Fut : future tense
The future tense denotes actions that will happen after the current moment. In Irish, the future is indicated by the addition of a -f-, or -ó- suffix, with endings depending on person.
- Caithfidh mé sin a fhoghlaim! “I have to learn that!”
- Tosóidh an cheolchoirm ar 8pm. “The concert will start at 8PM.”
VerbForm: form of verb or deverbative
In Irish, verb form is a feature of words which have the appearance of a verb, although they function as other parts of speech.
This feature appears most commonly as an
inifitive construction, which functions as a noun. This feature also appears as a
particle or a
Inf : infinitive
The infinitive verb form functions as a noun. The inifitive is always preceded by a particle or a preposition. Following a particle, the verb form takes lenition.
Introduced by particle
- a dhéanamh “to do”
- a chur “to put”
- a rá “to talk”
Introduced by preposition
- le déanamh “to do”
- chun féachaint “to see”
- á rá “to talk”
Cop : copula
The copula verb form usually functions as a copula verb, though it can also be used as a mark, to introduce a complement clause, or as the root of the sentence. The copula takes many forms - predominately is, as well as gur, ba, ní, etc. (see cop)
- Is mise Briain “I am Brian”
is é an watt (W) an t-aonad cumhachta “The watt (W) is the unit of power”
- Dá mba mise thú “If I were you”
- Más rud é “if it is a thing”
Ar mhaith leat “would you like”
- Sin a bhfuil ann “That is what is there”
- Cén fáth a ndeachaigh sé amach? “For what reason did he go out?”
Part : participle
The participle verb form functions as an adjective. It can be used to modify the head noun, or to introduce an adjectival predicate complement. (see xcomp:pred) The participle is usually inflected by adding the suffix -te (-the) or -ta (-tha) to the lemma.
- Gailge briste “broken Irish”
- na ndaoine fásta “the adults” lit. “the grown people”
- Dé Domhnaigh seo caite “this past Sunday”
Introducing complement clause
- Tá gearán déanta ag Unison “Unison have made a complaint”
- An mothaíonn tú sábháilte? “Do you feel safe?”
- Tá a lán scríofa ar an ábhar seo “There’s a lot written on this topic”
Vnoun : verbal noun
Verbal nouns are nouns that take the form of a verb. They may be used to introduce a clausal complement, (see xcomp), as a conjunct, or as a root of the sentence. The noun is preceded by the preposition ag which loosely translates to “in the process of” in this situation.
- beidh Máire Andrews ag insint scéalta difriúla “Mary Andrews will be telling different stories”
- bhí Bhreandán ag caitheamh a chuid airgid “Brendan was spending his money”
- Bhí Éamonn ag obair go lánaimsireach “Eamon was working full-time”
The Irish autonomous voice is similar to the passive construction, in that the agent of the verb is not (necessarily) specified. However, in this constuction, the object remains in accusative case, as opposed to the nominative case used in the passive voice. The subject in this construction remains anonymous, as a dummy subject.
Auto : autonomous voice
The autonomous voice is formed with a different verb ending: -t(e)ar in the present tense, -(e)adh in the past tense, -f(e)ar, in the future tense, and -f(a)í in the conditional.
- Tugadh an bhreith “the verdict was given”
- rugadh iníon óg rua d’Eithne “a young redheaded daughter was born to Eithne”