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A first letter of the Irish alphabet, and first in the a-group
in Ogam alphabet. Irish name ailm, q.v.
In later lang. ă is used as glide with e before neutral cons.
(see under e), and is used itself with follg. glide -i- before
5palatal cons. with increasing regularity from the O.Ir. period
on; also as glide in O.Ir. before final -e, -i preceded by
neutral cons. (daltae, daltai, etc.), see Thurn. Gramm. § 87 ,
§ 98 . ă appears for o in certain phonetic environments, § 81 .
§ 82 , § 95 ; on the alteration a/e (daig, dego; saigid, segait) see
10 § 83 and Celtica iii 182 ; on the spellings au, ai before u-quality
consonants see Thurn. Gramm. § 80 . In the classical lang. ă
alternates for metrical purposes with ŏ and ŭ (even in stressed
syllables with certain limitations), and á with ó, see TD Introd.
lxvi , IGT Introd. § 141 , § 143 . Long á is sometimes spelt
15 aa in O.Ir., see Thurn. Gramm. § 27 .
In native words ă represents Indo-European *ĕ and *ə,
Thurn. Gramm. § 50 ; original *ā in final unstressed syllables,
§ 93 ; original *e in certain proclitics (la, amm, etc.), § 115 .
It appears as a secondary vowel after syncope and loss of
20final syllables with nasals, l and r (immainse, cétal, arathar),
§ 112 . It also arises with original vocalic sonants (other
than *i and *u) in certain phonetic contexts, §§ 213, 215 .
Long á represents Indo-European *ā and *ō, Thurn.
Gramm. § 51 , and also *ă after compensatory lengthening,
25 § 125 .
The diphthong aí, ái represents Indo-European *ai and
*oi, §§ 66 ff. , and aú, áu (archaic) Indo-European *au, *ou,
etc., § 69 .
In Latin loanwords ă represents ă, Ped. § 121 , and somet.
30 ŏ, § 122. Long á represents ā, § 126 ; and occasionally ă,
§ 121 . The diphthong goes back to ae in saígul, § 132 .

1 a voc. part. leniting. In O.Ir. frequ. á (see Celtica ii 339 -
40 ). See Thurn. Gramm. § 248 , Ériu ix 92, 85 . á fir, Wb.
10a10 . á dǽ, Ml. 119a13 . a phop[ui]l, Wb. 10c20 . á huili
35duini .i. a cach duini `O all man i.e. O every man' 1c8 . a
chossa, 12a33 . a galatu burpu, 19b4 . a huili chenéla, Ml.
67b17 . a thvsv gl. o mea tu, Sg. 204b6 . a ch[l]éirchén choch-
laich, AU i 224.1 (758). a Chu Chulaind a cathbúadaig Breg,
LU 8145 ( FB 11 ). a Fhroích, TBFr. 379 . a chliar sa,
40 BNnÉ 288.7 . a dhuine, TSh. 164 . a dhreach dhonn,
Aithd.D. 54.5 .
With intervening poss. adj.: a mo aine a mó chland, Sg.
204b2 . a mo phopa Láig, TBC 652 . ammo phopa Ḟingin,
4311 . In a few early exx. a is apparently omitted before mo,
45see ZCP xix 365 . a mo is not found in classical verse and the
few late exx. found in translation literature may be due to
English influence: a mo anoim, Desid. 2411 . a mo anuim,
2419 . a ar nAthair, Parrth. Anma 765 . a mo Ṡethracha,
RSClára 47a .

50 2 a In O.Ir. also á (see Celtica ii 339 - 40 ), e ( Thurn. Gramm.
285 ). Poss. adj. (proclitic form of , q.v.) of 3 s. m. and n.
(leniting), 3 s. f. (geminating) and 3 pl. of all genders (nasal-
ising). When a numeral intervenes between poss. and noun
the usage fluctuates. The older is represented by a nda ara.
55 LU 4729 , the later by a da nduma, LL 1541 , where the
initial of the noun is mutated independently of the numeral.
The poss. of the third person is also used in combinations
such as adám my two, adád your two, adár our two. Similarly
with trí. See Ériu xi 146 ff. and the numerals , trí.
60For the forms in combination with prepositions see the
several prepositions.
I Denoting possession, ownership, relationship, connection,
etc. (a) a thuaithe of his folk, Wb. 5a23 . a bullu `His members',
9d4 . a chnámi, 4d15 . á luum `their pilot', 4a14 . irroimed
65cách a chéele, 6d4 (see céile). ní diá geneluch, Trip.² 78 .
a hétach her clothes, TBFr. 232 . a mmod ┐ a fit `her portion',
Mon. Tall. 149.14 (§ 60) . inna mbossán LU 3231 ( SC § 2 ).
al-lorga ┐ a mbachla their croziers, PH 5103 . gan fios a gcéille,
Donl. vi 9 . co cend a seacht mbliadan till he was seven,
70 ZCP xi 134. 31 .
With adjj. used substantivally. iss é a fír `that is the truth
of it
', BColm. 100.7 . ēill ngēisi . . . cia de bud ferr la hUltu a
mbeō na a mmarb do brith dōib, TBC² 692 (perh. to be
referred to II). bit lía a mairb and andat a mbí, LU 8266
75( FB 21 ).
(b) With copula in relative clauses expressing genitival
relation ( Thurn. Gramm. 321 - 2 ). Cf. issa gl. quorum, Ml.
90c3 . intí asa ainm bís isnaib titlaib, 2c3 . Tenobi ata
(= ata a) scél ro-c[h]lotha `of Tenobius whose tidings have
been heard
', Fél. Aug. 24 . in fer asa erbaid aire, Trip.² 408 .
bennachais in ríg bá (= ba a) gaisced he blessed the king
whose armour it was
, LU 5048 (TBC). an mhaighden-so
5'sa hainm an Tnūith this maiden whose name is envy, Desid.
1652 . Occasionally also with intervening adj.: na féle assa
fortrén taitnem `of the feasts whose radiance is mighty',
Fél. Prol. 330 . ata (= ata a) n-aidbli bríga `whose vigours are
vast
', Ep. 34. nocon ḟetar cúich in Cu/Culaind asa caini
10clú, LU 4561 (TBC). Note also: a bronnad aineclann cháich
as a aí the honour price of each person who owns it (of a mill),
Críth Gabl. 240 , ( Thurn. Gramm. 322 ).
With dat. of accompaniment, a oenur, a ndíis, a triur etc.,
see these words. On the construction tá sé ina ríg see
15Dillon ZCP xvii 307 ff. and prep. i.
(c) With nouns indicating quantity, portion (of something),
likeness, etc. (for fuller treatment see the nouns concerned):
ni ro-pheccaig . . . a becc in the smallest degree, PH 2622 . a
bheag nó a mhór do thoirthibh, TSh. 3751 . denum-ne a
20choibes ┐ a macsamla, PH 119 . a thri chomméit three times as
much
, LU 8248 ( FB 19 ). nochon accasa riam a chutrumma
anything to equal it, TBFr. 50 . ní áirmhim a leth nó a thrían
gach a fúaras ó sin siar, ZCP viii 220 § 22 . tria tharmcruth-
ugud a letheti `the like of it', PH 3091 . ara lin do gablaibh i
25fodlait(h)er grā[d] túa[i]the, Críth Gablach 4 . is e a mét
ro-s-lín oman, PH 1121 . a shamail-seo do clochad, 7328 .
dā dabaigh décc do lionn maith/a thrí urdāil do deghbraith,
ZCP viii 116.1. i n-urmhōr the greater part of them, ML². 1825 .
So also with adjj. compounded with com- e.g. a chomglan
30so, Maund. 22 .
II As objective gen. with vnn. of transitive verbs: á híc
`his salvation' (that he has been saved), Wb. 2b11 . a marbad
`killing them', 4a12 . ní arilset geinti a fírianugud, `the gen-
tiles have not deserved to be justified
' 4d10 . a chomalnad
35`to fulfil it', 5d10 . ma ad-ced torbe inna thec[h]t `if ye should
see benefit in its going
' (i.e. in so going), 11b22 . a bronnad,
Críth Gabl. 240 . a indarpae `he must be banished', Mon. Tall.
147.32 (§ 54). dénam-ne an degaithris, let us worthily imitate
them
, ZCP viii 216.15 . dutracht lim a nguidhe I wish to pray
40to them
, Ériu i 226. § 1 . ro-gab Petar uad-som a chairiugud
Peter accepted his reproval (of himself) from him, PH 5892 .
ada fis . . . araen . . . ada nanfis . . . imaraen, the knowledge
. . . ignorance of both of them
, Laws iii 276.18 . Hence in
construction OC + vn.: occá sirḟegad imme anair, LU 2028
45( FA 10 ). aga thabhairt fo dera coimhéud na bochtaine,
RSClára 41a .
With DO introducing agent: massu ed béso mó a fius
dúibsi `the knowledge of it that ye have', Wb. 19b11 . act cuit a
scribint domsa, 13a23 . ní fitir nech díb for araile a n-imch-
50ossait do Bricrind, LU 8251 ( FB 20 ). in pendit nopeinebad
ind laoch . . . a denam do a mac tar a cend, Mon. Tall.
163.17 (§ 86) . With LA: ro aduim Sinoip a claí la hErcuil
`that she had been defeated', St. Ercuil 1138 . With ó: ro-p
áil dó a aimsiugud o diabul, PH 2020 .
55With other nouns (with wide variation in the force of the
poss.): a lóg the reward for it, Wb. 5d35 . a lúach soin don rí
ní rug, IGT Decl. ex. 1271 . ricfaither a les do gille, Sc.M²
§ 7 (see less). dommanic amh a hadbur cause for it, Ériu
v 72.15 . go dtugsad a rige do D. they gave the kingship of it
60to D.
, Ériu i 102 § 60 . bid lia turim a chath the combat for him,
Sc.M² § 3 . nī cōir a chuma to grieve for him, Arch. iii 221.24 .
a húamun fear of him, ZCP viii 218 § 20 . co naca fir Erenn
. . . a reir uaimsea so that the men of Ireland may see me
submitting to him
, Ériu v 240.132 . d'fulair a grádh ar
65hIrúath by imposing love for herself on Herod, Ériu iv 178 § 29 .
ferr les a sidh na a cocudh `that he would rather be on peaceful
than on hostile terms with them
', St. Ercuil 1859 . a aitherrach
sin do fregra, Maund. 27 . aenduini nach fuair a soludh
who did not profit by him, CCath. 1188 . pontifex a grēc
70 p. is the Greek for it, ZCP viii 113.25 .
As subjective gen. with vnn. of intrans. vbs.: á buid
`that it is', Wb. 11d3 . a mbith samlaid, Laws iv 212.2 . a éc he
died
, Ann. Inisf. 1075.2 . a ndul coríg Locha Léin that they
should go
, ZCP viii 316.7 . in gabul tirimm a beth fo blath,
75 PH 1317 .
III In prolepsis. (a) With follg. noun in gen. a dénum
in maid sin, Wb. 1d7 . a masse in choirp `its, the body's, beauty',
28c25 . a n-athir inna fer, 4c1 . a ndírmann / in tríir imrádam,
Fél. Oct. 11 . a cathim na raod sin, Mon. Tall. 132.22 (§ 13) .
a n-andord mac n-Usnig, IT i 72.4 . dia fholcud a chind,
TBFr. 256 . romórad dano a ainm Dé ┐ Colmáin, BColm. 54.6 .
Later also with nom.: nipa mor a glanad deitsiu ind
5chomairle dobeir Findio deit, Mon. Tall. 154.5 (§ 67) . mairg
dá dtig a seac[h]na so / an teaghdhais i dtá Íosa, Dán Dé v 31 .
a innisin . . . na hoibreacha, RS Clára 19a . With follg. DI
(partitive): a foróil bess lib dinaib anib, Wb. 16c22 . is mór
a thorbe de dúnni, 1a3 .
10(b) With abstract noun forming adverbial phrase modify-
ing verb of follg. rel. clause: is e a erat fritammiurat `that is
the
(lit. its) length of time they will hurt me', Ml. 33a1 . a lére
ropridchissi, Wb. 24c17 . ba sed a barbardacht atraachtatar,
MU² 494 . ara ḟoillsi ┐ ara imchuibde ro indis scéla Crist,
15 Trip.² 13 . a imisle ro bui sé isin comlunn, St. Ercuil 1134 .
a dhoimhne do chuaidh an cló, Dán Dé xxiii 24 . fo bhīthin a
onōraighi airmitnighi rothaisspēin a s[h]upāilce mōr-
thrōcairecha dhōip, Fl. Earls 170.22 . In the follg. the phrase
is adjectival rather than adverbial: a lomnachtaighe
20fhágbhas an bás iad, TSh. 657 . a threise atá an chlí, Dán
Dé xxiii 10 .
(c) Anticipating a following clause. With finite verb:
is mó a fius deitsiu a ndo-rigeni di maith, Wb. 30a8 . a dérbad
co n-id fír na hí atberimsi, PH 2036 . a lorgairecht cionnus
25congbhaidhther . . ., RSClára 135b . a mheas gur dlisdionach,
Donl. vi 20 . Note also: aní rongéni ho gnimaib á epert,
Ml. 31b24 . With vn.: dorucadar a buideachus risna deithib
Ercuil d'iaraidh a n-ingine, St. Ercuil 937 . a thecht dim bas
d'faghail don te, 2549 . a theacht de sin é do chailleamh an
30ghill, TSh. 10638 .
Common in compd. prepp., see dáil, degaid, deóin, dochum,
éis, muin, son, etc.