If you are looking for information on the nasalization of vowels see Nasal vowels
Eclipsis is a morphophonological change triggered by certain function words (such as ar "our"). In words beginning with a vowel, this involves prefixing an orthographic <n-> in front of the word (e.g. ar n-athair, "our father"). In many (but not all) dialects the words that trigger nasalization also involves a change in the pronunciation of words beginning with initial consonants:
- words beginning with the voiced orthographic stops (actually unaspirated stops):
- words beginning with certain voiceless (actually unaspirated) sounds.
In the Gaelic Grammar Wiki, words that trigger nasalization are marked with a superscript N. This N is not pronounced. It is there to mark the effect on the following word. So if you see urN, this would be pronounced as if it were <ur> in isolation, but the following word would show the effects of eclipsis.
Dialects vary in how much eclipsis is realized as voicing, nasalization or prenasalization.
In the closely related language of Irish eclipsis is orthographically represented (eg. Irish ár mbean)
- Ó Maolalaigh, Roibeard (1999) The Development of Eclipsis in Gaelic, Scottish Language 14–15 (1995–96), 158–73; cf. ‘The Development of Eclipsis and Common Gaelic’, in Celtic Connections: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of Celtic Studies (East Linton: Tuckwell, 1999), p. 539