ga / Irish / Gaeilge

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ga / Irish / Gaeilge

Strictly speaking, this isn't about plurals as such, but forms of words used after numbers.

I'm not sure I completely understand how these rules work or how they're to be implemented. I've a feeling I've explained these in detail to people in the past but nothing's ended up in the software, so maybe this a good place to record how it should work for future reference.

There are two systems for counting things: one is arguably more natural and is used in the living dialects, the other is probably used more in schooling. The first system does not use plurals but initial consonants are mutated. The second system uses plural forms and no mutations, so it's like English.

There is also a system for counting people which affects only 1-10 & 12. In the context of numerals I suppose the noun could just be left out, though that would cause warnings. If a noun is also included then it is only affected by beirt "two".

Zero (nialas) is not a natural counting number. It's much more natural to say "no X" (X ar bith) than "zero X".

Examples using bád "boat".

Mutation System
No. Mutation Example
0 none 0 bád (understandable but not natural)

bád ar bith ("no boat" would be better)

1 lenition + amháin 1 bhád amháin

(in speech bád or bád amháin is maybe more natural)

2-6 [12-16, 21-26, 31-36...] lenition 2 bhád
7-10 [17-19, ...] eclipsis 7 mbád
20 [30 ... 100...1000] none 20 bád

One could be conflated with 2-6, i.e. 1 bhád is understandable, though when spelled out (aon bhád') could mean "any boat" rather than "one boat".

There are also exceptions for measuring nouns with numbers higher than 2. These nouns are either in the plural or a special form and are not mutated.

Plurals System
No. Example
0 0 bád? / 0 báid? / bád ar bith

(nialas báid just sounds demented)

1 1 bhád
everything else 2 báid, 20 báid
Counting people
No. Example With noun
1 duine / duine amháin (it is the noun)
2 beirt (lenition) beirt fhear
3 triúr (no mutation) triúr fear
4 ceathrar (no mutation)
5 cúigear (no mutation)
6 seisear (no mutation)
7 seachtar (no mutation)
8 ochtar (no mutation)
9 naonúr (no mutation)
10 deichniúr (no mutation)
12 dháréag (no mutation)
Category Examples Rules
one 1 one → n is 1;
two 2 two → n is 2;
few 3-6 few → n in 3..6;
many 7-10 many → n in 7..10;
other 0, 11-999;

1.2, 2.07, 3.94, 7.81, 11.68...

other → everything else

This seems to be using System 1 up to 10 then plurals (i.e. System 2) for everything else.

Based on the Mutations System (and ignoring Personal Numbers) I've amended the Irish entry to...

Language Code Group Rules Examples Note
Irish ga has-duala
Broken link!
n is 0
n is 1
2-6, 12-16, 21-26, 31-36...
7-10, 17-19, 27-29...
2-6, 12-16, 21-26, 31-36...
7-10, 17-19, 27-29...
see Talk page for details

I don't know how to represent these mathematically.

I don't know what the broken link is about, but if it's about the dual case, that's pretty much defunct.

Moilleadóir 04:19, 4 February 2013