February 24, 2013 at 6:22 pm #43422
If you’re asking what book I found that passage in, it’s not a grammar book. It’s just a small book of prose: “Taomanna” by Pádraic Breathnach. I could produce half a dozen other books in this room that have the same type of thing though.
If you’re asking what grammar book I use to consult about past habitual, I just looked at the verb tables available on the Nualeargais site (they, and several other references, list it as “imperfect” past).February 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm #43425
Now you’re going off on an entirely new tangent. I am simply saying what the web site classified it as so if people go there they know where to look. The subject of comparing verb tenses in Irish to Latin is not something I have any interest in.
But I’m confused by your last sentence. Isn’t “a deireadh sé” past habitual? I’m very confused at this point as to what your actual viewpoint is on this subject. Are you saying that in Corca Dhuibhne the only use of past habitual is “deireadh”?February 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm #43427LughaidhParticipant
Aye, “deireadh sé” is a past habitual.
The habitual past doesn’t quite work the same way as the imperfect in Romance languages like French and Italian and even when it does, it’s much more restricted.
that’s right, in French you also use the imperfect when you’d say “bhì mè ag…” in Irish.
Je mangeais quand il est entré = Bhì mè ag ithe nuair a thàinig sè isteach.February 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm #43429
I’m interested in where Williams got the idea of using the past habitual where one would expect the simple past or a progressive form. … The form I quoted from Corca Dhuibhne would appear to be somewhat similar to that. Williams may after all be correct.
I’d say that considering Nicholas Williams’ credentials it would be safest to assume that he is correct unless we had some strong reason to suggest otherwise. Has anyone been able to find other instances of this usage either in this book or any other? Aside from the example from Corca Dhuibhne, that is…February 24, 2013 at 10:40 pm #43431
BTW, this topic was also discussed on this forum:
This is also pertinent:
I’ll say after watching that video with the amount of effort that went into it we really should assume the usage is correct. I’m of the mind that the usage goes more to Tolkien’s intent in describing the Bilbo’s hole as a state of affairs that used to exist in the distant past but no longer does.
The tunnel wound [i.e. used to wind] on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill–The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it–and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another.February 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm #43432peann cleiteParticipant
John Ghràinne uses the habitual past, if I remember well (and the simple past of course), but as I said, it looks like most Donegal people rather use the conditional or “ba ghnàch liom” instead of the habitual past now – in my experience too. Looks like the habitual past is a bit “archaic” or maybe literary in Donegal Irish now.
For normal everyday speaking, yes, most Donegal speakers use “ba ghnách liom”, but the gnáchchaite is used copiously in oral storytelling and in writing, particularly literary writing. I agree that it’s literary but not necessary archaic. The problem is that there are less story-tellers or those that used to be “ag rá na filíochta” (such as John), especially younger ones, thus less oral usage of the tense. There are also less writers from Donegal these days, but those there are still use the tense – see O Searcaigh’s poetry for example. I like to write (not very well!) and this tense is crucial for evoking things done (habitually) in the past and to avoid ugly repetitions of ba ghnáth… ba ghnáth. Evoking nostalgic memories, for example.
Also, I would suggest that you would be hard pressed to find examples of the conditional as a replacement for the gnáthchaite in the literary work of the great Donegal writers. It’s a relatively modern (oral) thing that is increasingly acceptable, but it is surely an influence of English. Not necessarily the end of the world, but an influence of English all the same.February 25, 2013 at 5:06 am #43435
“Idir amanna thagadh cailín freastail isteach nó ghabhadh seisin amach ina coinne i gcoinne gloine bheag fíona […]. Shuífeadh sé féin aniar, bhainfeadh sé searradh as a ghuaillí, chuirfeadh an seirí lena bhéal agus déarfadh:.. “
“Cithfholcadh amháin a thobharfadh sise dó arae bheadh sí ag spáráilt an uisce.”
Written by a native speaker.
And I don’t want to fight, but talking about Romance languages in this context IS a bit of a tangent.February 25, 2013 at 5:16 am #43436
This is also pertinent:
I’m sold.February 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm #43447
I wonder about a lot of things you say. I wonder sometimes how much you’ve had to drink before you post here too.February 26, 2013 at 12:21 am #43449
Considering your methods for evaluating and investigating the topic at hand, I wouldn’t say I much value your assessment of worth, in any case.February 26, 2013 at 2:03 am #43450
There is both an email and PM functionality built into the community forums. You two might consider using those for this sort of thing.
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