Interrogatives or Who the what why?

O Goireasan Akerbeltz
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Interrogatives are those little words that introduce questions. Like who, what, why, which in English or có, càite, ciamar in Gaelic. On the whole these are pretty straight forward but let's take a quick detour into history first, as there are some historical oddities which are bound to confuse you at some point.

Interrogatives are not the most stable of words, strange as that may seem. Think about it, no one uses wheretofore or whence any more for example. So they can fall out of use, fuse or do other funny stuff. A lot of that has happened to Gaelic over the centuries and that is the reason why some of the usages around interrogatives in Gaelic seem downright weird. Like asking có ás a tha thu when is normally reserved for who. Or why people in Lewis say [deː] when everyone else says [dʲeː]... So, without much further ado, here's a family tree:

That's pretty much it. So in fact, it's not the expression có ás a tha thu that's weird but actually using for "who" that's an odd innovation.

Beagan gràmair
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