Lá Altaithe Shona Dhaoibh

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    Go dtuga an séasúr seo áthas, buíochas agus níos mó Gaeilge dhaoibh!

    Héilics Órbhuí

    Gurb amhlaidh duitse chomh maith!

    Interestingly enough, I believe it should be “sona” and not “shona”, despite what is commonly used. Likewise with “lá breithe shona dhuit” which is what will most likely come up when searching how to say this in Irish. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but it should be “sona” because “lá” is masculine. The mistake comes from the fact that “breithe” is genitive, but the “sona” is modifying “lá”, since you’re saying the day of the birth was happy not the day of a happy birth.

    I don’t mean to single you out, but I have seen this a lot lately in greetings, and I’d be fine if someone told me I’m wrong, but I think I’m right.


    Yeah, if you were gonna use “sona,” it’d technically be unlenited here along with in “lá breithe/breithlá…” Off the top of my head, I’d guess that the permanently lenited form “shona” has probably spread under the influence of things like “Nollaig shona…” &c.

    Compare also lenited “mhaith” in some dialects after other words that are normally masculine, e.g., “eolas mhaith,” “cleachtadh mhaith,” in Connemara Irish, again maybe having come about by analogy with phrases related in meaning but where the nouns are feminine, as “aithne mhaith,” “taithí mhaith”…

    There are yet other examples of lenited adjectives after theoretically masculine nouns, too, or indeed of adjectives that seem to be more or less permanently lenited when used with certain meanings, or when used adverbially. Cf., e.g., “diabhal thiománta,” “níl a fhios agam shaolta,” “ní raibh deoraí shaolta riamh ann,” &c.…

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