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TEAGLAMAÍ
EILE NA nGUTAÍ
OTHER VOWEL COMBINATIONS
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CUMANN CARAD NA GAEILGE
The Philo-Celtic Society
 
TEAGLAMAÍ EILE NA nGUTAÍ
The Other Combinations of Vowels

Summary

We have other vowel combinations which aren't surprising in sound.  

'aa' is now spelled and pronounced á.  'oo' is now spelled and pronounced ó.  'uu' is now spelled and
pronounced ú.  'ee' is now spelled and pronounced é.  'ii' is now spelled and pronounced í.  

We don't really use au, eu (which has been almost entirely replaced by éa), ie, iu, oa, ou, oe, ue, uo, in
modern Irish.  

So that leaves 'oi', 'ui and io.'


Pronunciation Of The Other Vowel Combinations

This is very simple for the most part.  You can pronounce either letter.  It's your call.  

In other words, 'oi' is a short 'o' or a short 'i' - you get to decide.  

The same goes for 'ui'.  You can say it as a short 'u' or as a short 'i' - your call.  

Similarly, 'io' is a short 'i' or a short 'o' - you get to decide.  If you say them quickly together, you can even
get a slight y-glide.  So, for example, iomaí can be pronounced much like 'yummy'.  

However, if 'io' is followed by an n, in other words if we're dealing with 'ion-', then some dialects will
pronounce this as ín and others as ún and others as yun.

As you see, 'io' has 5 common variations in pronunciation, the most of all the vowel combinations,

Click on the vowel combinations highlighted in blue below to hear them.  Memorize them.
oi
short o or short i - your call
ui
short u or short i - your call
io
This can be pronounced as a short i or short o or as a broad y-glide similar to yuh,
and when this is followed by an N, some dialects will pronounce 'ion' as
ÍN or ÚN.
ion-
This can be pronounced as a short 'in' or short 'on' or 'yun', or as ín or ún - your
call.
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