Irish phonology varies from dialect to dialect; there is no standard
pronunciation of the language. Irish phonology has been studied as a
discipline since the late 19th century, with numerous researchers
publishing descriptive accounts of dialects from all regions where the
language is spoken. More recently, theoretical linguists have also
turned their attention to Irish phonology, producing a number of
books, articles, and doctoral theses on the topic. One of the most
important aspects of Irish phonology is the fact that almost all
consonants appear in pairs, with one member of each pair being "broad"
and the other "slender". Broad consonants are velarized, that is, the
back of the tongue is pulled back and slightly up in the direction of
the soft palate while the consonant is being articulated. Slender
consonants are palatalized, which means the tongue is pushed up toward
the hard palate during the articulation. The contrast between broad
and slender consonants is crucial in Irish, because the meaning of a
word can change if a broad consonant is substituted for a slender
consonant or vice versa. Irish shares a number of phonological
characteristics with its nearest linguistic relatives, Scottish Gaelic
and Manx, as well as with Hiberno-English, the language with which it
is most closely in contact.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Glorious Revolution: Instead of James Francis Edward Stuart, the
Prince of Wales, acceding to the throne, his half-sister Mary and her
husband William were proclaimed co-rulers of England.
The Cambridge Union Society, one of the oldest debating societies in
the world, was founded at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge,
Work began on the covering of the Senne, burying Brussels' polluted
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American inventor Thomas Edison observed the Edison Effect, which
later formed the basis of vacuum tube diodes designed by English
electrical engineer John Ambrose Fleming.
World War II: The Allies began the strategic bombing of Dresden in
Dresden, Saxony, Germany, resulting in a lethal firestorm which killed
tens of thousands of civilians.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
concupiscent: Amorous, lustful; feeling sexy.
Wikiquote of the day:
Love has no uttermost, as the stars have no number and the sea no
rest. -- Eleanor Farjeon