On Tue, Oct 24, 2006 at 05:34:20PM +0200, Henrik Theiling wrote:

> How is Gaelic 'slainte' pronounced?

It's pronounced exactly as it's spelt. :-)

Its pronunciation varies depending on where you are, but it's always quite
consistent with the orthography. Here in the north-west of Ireland, it'd be
pronounced /'sla:n_jt_j@/, where /t_j/ is realised as [tS] and /a/ as /A/.

> And why?  (I.e., the orthographic
> rules leading to the pronunciation would be interesting to me,
> too. :-))

The only thing I can think of that might confuse somebody not familiar with
the Irish and Scots Gaelic orthographies is palatalisation, which in this
case is indictated with the use of 'slender' vowels ('e' and 'i') on either
side of a palatalised consonant cluster. Orthographic vowels don't quite
correspond one-to-one with the phonological vowels as you might expect them
to. Here's a rough concordance that works more or less for my local dialect,
such as it is. I'll use the letters 'B' to indicate unplatalised ('broad')
consonant clusters and 'S' to indicate palatalised ('slender') consonant

  a   B-/a/-B   [a]
  á   B-/a:/-B  [A:]
  e   S-/e/-S   [E]
  é   S-/e:/-S  [e:]
  i   S-/i/-S   [I]
  í   S-/i:/-S  [i:]
  o   B-/o/-B   [A] or [o]
  ó   B-/o:/-B  [o:]
  u   B-/u/-B   [U] or [o]
  ú   B-/u:/-B  [u:]
  ai  B-/a/-S
  ea  S-/a/-B
  eá  S-/a:/-B
  eái S-/a:/-S
  ái  B-/a:/-S
  ei  S-/e/-S
  ae  B-/e:/-S
  éa  S-/e:/-B
  éi  S-/e:/-S
  aei B-/e:/-S
  ui  B-/i/-S
  io  S-/i/-B  (also pronounced /jo/)
  aí  B-/i:/-S
  oí  B-/i:/-S
  uí  B-/i:/-S
  uío B-/i:/-B
  ío  S-/i:/-B
  oi  B-/o/-S
  eo  S-/o:/-B
  eoi S-/o:/-S
  eó  S-/o:/
  ói  B-/o:/-S
  úi  B-/u:/-S
  iúi S-/u:/-S

I'm sure there are others, but none come to mind. I also haven't brought up
the correspondence between true diphthongs (as opposed to orthographic ones
you see above) and how they're written.

One other thing. In unstressed short syllables, _a_, _e_, _o_, and _ea_ are
pronounced as a schwa. This, if I remember correctly, can also be triggered
by certain neighbouring consonant clusters.

How length, quality, position and palatalisation are indicated using vowels
is probably one of the most complex area of Scots and Irish Gaelic
orthography. The rest is pretty simple.

> And is it written correctly?

Almost. You missed the fada on the 'a'. It should be "sláinte".


Keith Gaughan -- [log in to unmask] --
It's like having Valentine's Day once a month.
    -- Jeff Parke, on the monthly arrival of bills