Modern Irish typically uses the ISO basic Latin alphabet without[26] the letters j, k, q, w, x, y and z, but with the addition of one diacritic sign, the acute accent (á é í ó ú), known in Irish as the síneadh fada “long mark”, plural sínte fada. (The letter v has been naturalised into the language, although it is not part of the traditional alphabet, and has the same pronunciation as “bh”.) In idiomatic English usage, this diacritic is frequently referred to simply as the fada, where the adjective is used as a noun. The fada serves to lengthen the sound of the vowels and in some cases also changes their quality. For example, in Munster Irish (Kerry), a is /a/ or /ɑ/ and á is /ɑː/ in “law” but in Ulster Irish (Donegal), á tends to be /æː/.


Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Irish inis, from Proto-Celtic *enistī (“standing in (the water)”), from Proto-Indo-European *en- (“in”) + Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (“stand”). Cognate with Welsh ynys.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Irish in·fét, from in- + -fét, from Proto-Celtic *wēdo-, from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“know, see”)



From Old Irish fota, from Proto-Indo-European *wazdho- (“long, wide”); compare Latin vastus (“wide”).



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