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A B C D1 D2 E F G H I L M N O P R S T U


N was the fifth letter of theOghamalphabet, and was called
by the namenin` ash-tree '. It was the last letter of the first
aicme or letter-group, of which the first two werebeithe(b)
andluis(l), hence the whole alphabet was often calledbeithe-
5luis-nuin; see Auraic. 976 , 1171 , 2806 , 5505 .
In Irish scriptn, medial or final (rarely initial) is commonly
expressed by a horizontal stroke above the preceding letter.
1.Irishnis of four kinds, according as it is unlenited or
lenited, non-palatal or palatal.
10 Nis unlenited in the following cases: when an absolute
initial; in the combination sn; in gemination; after r; before
a dental (d, t). In these cases, (a) when followed by a non-
palatal vowel, it is a dental, produced by pressing the flattened
tip of the tongue against the upper teeth, (b) when followed
15by a palatal one, it approximates to the sound ofgnin Ital.
ogni, Fr.ivrogne. Unlenitednis ordinarily writtennnin
medial and final position.
Lenitedn, (c) when non-palatal, corresponds to the ordi-
nary European pronunciation of the letter; (d) when palatal,
20is a weakened form of (b).Cf. IGT Introd. § 8 , where appa-
rently `.n. trom' =unlenited n(ceann,corn,coirndearg) and
`.n. séimh' =lenited n. See Ped. i 152 § 95 , Thurn. Hdb. § 132.
2.In loan-words from Latin,nremains; if final in the
Irish derivative it appears unlenited,e.g. mulenn< Lat.
25 molina.
3.O.Ir.nd, medial or final, passes intonnduring the
Mid. Ir. period;e.g. bendacht(Lat.benedictio),cland(Lat.
planta, W.plant),find`white', `hair',gránde`horrible',lend,
lind`liquid',mind`diadem',proind(Lat.prandium),rind
30`point, star' = Mid.Ir.bennacht,clann,finn,gránna,linn,
etc.This change occurred early in the case of the art.: np.
inda, Thes. ii 47.24 (Philarg.),indá, Wb. 20d5 , besideinna,
Thes. ii 247.16 ( Cambr. 38a ); but it is indicated in other occa-
sional spellings in the Glosses,e.g. claínn, Wb. 5b33 ;finnae,
35gl.pilorum, Ml. 72b16 ;linn, Tur. 109a ;proinn, Wb. 28c20 ;
pronn, 31b22 ;rinn(np.), Ml. 145d3 . The spellingnd, though
no longer corresponding to the pronunciation, continues in
use in Mid.Ir. besidenn, and is somet. substituted fornnin
words where the latter is the orig. form;e.g. cend,crand,
40 land,mann,randforcenn(W.pen),crann(W.pren),lann
(< Lat.lamina),mand`manna' (Lat.manna),rann(W.rhan).
Occas. finalrnappears asrd(prob. a mistake forrnddue to
omission of the compendium forn),e.g. ocht ṅdúird, LB
63a28 ( IT i 40.22 ) =nduirn (dorn);cartt, ZCP ii 314 x (=carn).
45 4.Mediallnis assimilated toll, a change which begins in
the O.Ir. period;e.g. élned`pollution' (as-len-), Wb. 11b9 =
eilled, Ml. 22b1 ;dun elled, 92d12 ; part.éilnithe, Wb. 31b29 =
eillidi(gs.), Ml. 63a16 ;do fuillned(fo-lín-), Ml. 26c6 =do
fuilled, 69b6 ;nud-comálnabadar who shall fulfil it, Ml. 46c20 ,
50beside-comallammar,ib.,-comallas(atar), 105a6 (<comlán).
Similarly-nl-becomes-ll-:brollach(<bron-lach,cf. bruinne
andbrú, gs.bronn),fiallach(<fian-lach),tellach`hearth'
(cf. teine`fire').
Coming between two other consonantsnoften falls out,
55 e.g. áildiu(< *áilndiu),superl.ofálind`beautiful';ní cumgat,
3 pl. pres. ofcon-icc(3 s.ní cumaing);aisdís,forgaire,frecdairc,
scríbdid, variant spellings ofaisndís,forngaire,frecndairc,
scríbndid. See ZCP v 1.
5.Initialnis occas. prosthetic, due either to orig. eclipsis
60of an initial vowel,e.g. Dún n-Áis(=Dún Náis, mod.Naas?),
Loch Nén, (prob. =Loch nÉn), or to influence of the art.;
for prob. exx. seeNairmein,1 nairne,nangtha,napa,nena,
noll; the wordnuimir(Lat.numerus, O.Ir.umir) is prob. a
learned re-formation. Conversely, an initialnmay be dropped
65through being assigned to the art.;cf. es`weasel',úall`cry,
wail
',úna`famine', with1 nes,núall,núna.
6. Nmarks nasalization of initial vowels and initial d, g,
see Ped. § 261 fg ., Thurn. Hdb. § 237 , and IGT Introd. § 8.
7.In Mid.Ir.nis oft. used in the formation of adjs. in-ach,
70-aide, abstract nouns and denom. vbs. on the analogy of forms
in-ach,etc.derived from n-stems; such derivations are found
beside forms withoutn;e.g. bendachtnach,bennachtnach
(bendacht, gs.-an);bertnaigid`shakes, brandishes', besideber-
taigid;créchtnaigid`wounds' (crécht);machtnaigid`wonders',
75besidemachtaigid;mainnechtnach,-naige, besidemainnech-
tach;mairgnech`lamentation' (mairg);malartnach,-naigid,
besidemalartach,-aigid;neimnech`venomous',neimnige
`virulence' (neim);nemnaige`sanctity' (nem).