The Early Irish Verb (Maynooth monographs)

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The augment and simple verbs; The augment and compound verbs; Comprehensive synchronic description of the verbal system of Old and Middle Irish.


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In Media and communication in early Irish literature , pp. In Sages, saints and storytellers [Fs. Carney] , pp. Maynooth monographs, 2. Lambert , in Peritia 8 , pp.

In LCC 20 , pp. Maynooth monographs, 3. Dumville , in Peritia 10 , pp. LEIA B IBS , Paul Russell , in JCeltL 2 , pp. Karl Horst Schmidt , in IF 99 , pp. In Rekonstruktion und relative Chronologie , pp. In MSS 53 , pp. Maigh Nuad: An Sagart, GOI In Sprachen und Schriften des antiken Mittelmeerraums [Fs. Untermann] , pp. On OIr. In Fs. In Stair na Gaeilge , pp. Numero speciale di Studi Celtici.

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A collection of monographs on the historical stages of Irish and the modern dialects, including Scottish Gaelic and Manx. Breatnach, in Medelingen van de Stichting A. William J. Kelly , in Peritia 5 , In LCC 25 , pp. In Verba et structurae [Fs.

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Log in. Kim R. Sort by: type date. Works authored The origins and development of the insular Celtic verbal complex. McCone, Kim R. A first Old Irish grammar and reader: including an introduction to Middle Irish. Echtrae Chonnlai and the beginnings of vernacular narrative writing in Ireland. McCone, Kim [ed. Echtrae Chonnlai. The early Irish verb. Towards a relative chronology of ancient and medieval Celtic sound change. The Indo-European origins of the Old Irish nasal presents, subjunctives and futures. Irish is also spoken on Tory Island off the north-west coast.

The region in the vicinity of Gaoth Dobhair is often referred to as. Word stress Stress is on the first syllable though there is considerable shortening of post-initial long vowels as opposed to western Irish , e. Donegal , Wagner [ ]. Tory Island North West Co. Donegal , Hamilton Ros Goill North Co. Donegal , Lucas The former Mayo dialects in the north-west of this county are not simply transitional between the central western and the northern dialects.

They show a large number of Ulster features due the resettlement of people from Ulster in north-west Mayo in the 17th century. Mayo by Stockman The sound structure of Irish shows a division into consonants and vowels; there is a length distinction for vowels but there is none for consonants. However, consonantal length was probably a feature of Irish before the Middle Irish period and the effects of long consonants on the vowels preceding them can still be seen today. The reflexes of these vowels are an important defining criterion for the different dialects of modern Irish see the remarks on dialects above.

For Irish today the main phonological feature is the distinction between palatal and non-palatal consonants. Phonetically, palatal consonants are produced by raising the middle of the tongue towards the palate. This provides the constriction which is the acoustic cue for such segments. Palatal sounds are indicated in transcription by placing a superscript [ j] after the sound in question. Non-palatal consonants are generally velarised with the middle of the tongue lowered and the back raised towards the velum.

Acoustically, this gives a hollow sound to non-palatal segments which indicates clearly that they are the opposite of palatal sounds with the constriction just described. Non-palatal sounds are indicated in transcription by placing a superscript [ K]. When describing the sound structure of Irish there are distinct advantages to be gained from treating the palatal and non-palatal version of sounds as pairs indicated by a single symbol as shown in the following table.

Raymond Hickey Irish Page 13 of Erris North-West Co. Palatal sounds are indicated in transcription by placing a superscript ["] after the sound in question. Non-palatal sounds are indicated in transcription by placing a superscript [ K] after the sound in question.

This notation captures a linguistically significant generalisation: there is no morphological process in Irish which is sensitive to the distinction between palatal and non-palatal sounds Hickey For instance, the initial mutations apply to words irrespective of whether they begin with a palatal or non-palatal segment. In the sound system of Irish it is important to distinguish the status which. IRISH This notation captures a linguistically signifi cant generalisation: there is no morphological process in Irish which is sensitive to the distinction between palatal and non-palatal sounds Hickey In the sound system of Irish it is important to distinguish the status which palatal and non-palatal segments can have.

On the one hand palatal — nonpalatal sounds are part of the lexical structure of words. This is not part of a process but is a property of words in Irish. For that reason, I use the pair of terms palatality — non-palatality to denote this property. On the other hand palatal — non-palatal sounds are involved in an essential process of Irish morphology.

The process is called palatalisation with its mirror counterpart, de-palatalisation. This is the change in the feature [ palatal] from a positive to a negative value, or the reverse, to indicate a change in grammatical category, e. The basic principle is one of alternation in the codas of syllables: the fi nal sound or sounds in a syllable shift in value. All consonants in a coda are affected by this as is the vowel preceding these, assuming that it is phonemically a short vowel, e.

The vowel system of Irish shows a distinction between long and short vowels across the dialects. The realisation and occurrence of vowels vary between the dialects and vowel differences are the primary indicators of different regional accents.

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Long vowels. In the history of Celtic, inherited infl ections were lost due to phonetic reduction of unstressed syllables. Various sandhi phenomena also occurred where the onsets of lexical words were lenited fricativised or nasalised if the preceding word ended in a vowel or nasal respectively. These low-level phonetic changes were later functionalised. In pre-Old Irish a system evolved, known as initial mutation in which at least three distinctions were available at the front end of lexical words gemination may also have been an option, but this was lost later , giving the following options in Modern Irish.

This was the result of co-articulation in the environment of high vowels, typically found in infl ectional endings. After its functionalisation, palatalisation contrasted in the grammar with non-palatalisation. In Modern Irish palatalisation and mutations have two domains. Irish 1 Lexical Palatalisation distinguishes many citation forms, beag. Lenition marks the head in compounds. In the genitive the reverse is the case masculines show lenition; feminines do not.

Mutations are also important in signalling coreferentiality and the relationship between dependents and their heads, e. These can be classified according to the changes which can occur on the left and the right margin of lexical bases as evident from the following description and example. Raymond Hickey Irish Page 16 of Irish, along with the other Celtic languages, is a post-specifying language. The canonical word order is VSO. This order must be adhered to and if elements of a sentence are moved to the front for the purpose of topicalisation, then this is done via clefting.

NOM John. Post-specification applies irrespective of the complexity of the noun-modifying phrase as seen from the following examples. GEN] c. The verb system of Irish has been greatly simplified since the earliest period. At present the system has three tense distinctions — present, past and future — and a formal distinction between indicative and subjunctive.

These distinctions are made by inflectional endings, and in the past and subjunctive, by an initial mutation as well. Because of the large number of former verb forms, many suppletive forms survive rendering the paradigms of common verbs irregular. Non-finite verb forms. There is no infinitive in Irish. Ba mhaith leis dul VN amach. This applies to any such structure, irrespective of whether the sentence expresses purpose or not. VN] b. Nouns and determiners. In Irish, nouns are distinguished by gender and case in a manner which derives ultimately from Indo-European.

There are two genders and two cases nominative and genitive , although previously there were more and a few opaque examples of earlier cases still exist, e. Irish has only one article, the definite article. In an indefinite context there is no article, so that the absence of an article is equivalent to the indefinite in English. VN from-her] The range of the definite article is greater than English and it is used in statements of a general nature. Is tusa an fear cliste. Personal pronouns. SG sing? Ar ghlac sibh an cuireadh?

Old Irish and Early Christian Ireland: A Basic Bibliography

PL get the invitation? Demonstrative pronouns. Prepositions play a greater role in Irish compared to English. Where one has a verb in English, one frequently finds a noun in Irish, due to the strong nominalisation tendency of the language. In such situations, syntactic relations like subject and object are frequently expressed by means of prepositions with personal pronouns. These combinations resulted in the earliest stages of Irish in synthetic forms of preposition plus pronoun, a few examples of which are given in the following. Because of the clarity of the semantic relations which are expressed by such prepositional pronouns, sentences may occur in which no verb is present.

Ghoid siad an carr orm. The vocabulary of modern Irish shows many layers resulting from its history. There are of course inherited words of Indo-European stock, but also many older loans. The main sources of these are Latin during the Old Irish period and afterwards, Old Norse loans from the Scandinavian period ninth to eleventh centuries , Anglo-Norman words from the end of the twelfth century onwards.

In addition to these, there are many loans from English, some stemming from the early period of English in Ireland, i. This occurs not just with poor speakers of Irish but with native speakers as well. Indeed the latter very often have a more relaxed attitude to code-switching, integrating the English words into the grammar of Irish in the process, e.

Wortstellung im Urinselkeltischen: Rekonstruktion und Typologie

Whether one can regard the equivalents to English as established in Irish frequently depends on register. There are many calques on English compounds and phrases which are found in formal and technical writing in an attempt to reach an Irish equivalent. Some of these are English stems with an Irish verbal ending, e. Some are translations, piece by piece of English originals, e. Others are semantic equivalents created in Irish, often to neo-classical words in English, e. Apart from word formation, Irish has a complex system of word formation by which it can create new words from native lexical stock.

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Compounding is a frequent device resulting in new meanings, e. There also exist a series of productive prefixes which add specificiable meaning to bases. The following is a small selection which illustrate the principle. The alphabet consists basically of the following 13 consonant and 5 vowel graphemes: b, c, d, f, g, h, l, m, n, p, r, s, t; a, o, u, i, e.

Eight Latin letters, which are found in English, do not occur in Irish, namely j, k, q, v, w, x, y, z some of these may occur in technical loanwords or names but are not significant for the spoken language. The consonant graphemes are adequate for representing the consonant phonemes of Irish given a few combinatory devices, notably 1 the use of ng to indicate the velar nasal [ n], 2 the use of. However, historical developments have served to render this principle opaque, e.

In word-medial and word-final position both. The consonant inventory of Irish must fulfil several functions. It must show the quality of two sets of consonants, non-palatal and palatal respectively. Here Irish is presented with the same problem as the Slavic languages written with the Latin alphabet west and some south Slavic languages. But it has neither a palatal sign nor in some instances two vowel graphemes as in Russian.

Irish indication of consonant quality is a task performed by vowels. An additional complication is that many consonant graphemes have no phonetic realisation as they are simply left over from an earlier stage of the language when they were pronounced. While it is true that the spelling reform of did away with the most obvious inconsistencies in spelling it by no means created a phonetically accurate alphabet.

In the following the functions of written vowels and consonants in Modern Irish are outlined briefly. Written vowels in Irish can represent phonetic vowels or they can serve to indicate the consonantal quality of adjacent consonants. There is a rule of orthography which requires that each consonant be flanked on both sides by a similar consonant quality indicator. If Irish orthography were consistent each syllable would consist of three vowels: a phonetic vowel indicator flanked on both sides by a consonant quality indicator. This is in fact found in a few cases.

A vowel grapheme may indicate the quality of the consonant to the left or right of it or both, e. It is also found to indicate the glottal fricative which appears on zero mutation before vowel-initial words, e. Among the fricatives of Irish only S is an original independent phoneme. Old Irish fer and Latin. The other fricatives, V, X, J, derive from historical lenition. Irish does not use a single grapheme for these but two, the Latin letter for the corresponding stop followed by h. Those consonants which result from lenition must be represented by the original consonant plus a postposed h.

There are difficulties with this procedure, however. Firstly, as there is no single grapheme for V in Irish,. Vowels which are nasalised also take a prefixed n, cf. Irish is a language with a long history and a considerable body of both fictional literature and language research work connected with it.

Although formerly the native language of several million people it has been reduced to some tens of thousands who use the language as their first means of communication in living and historically continuous communities. Apart from this, there are many people in present-day Ireland with a strong interest in the language and its culture. Given that the latter group is numerically by far the greater, it is probably their forms of Irish which will survive into the twenty first century.

Public support for the language, both within Ireland and through the official recognition of Irish by the European Union, is important in providing a social framework in which the language can prosper. Certain issues about the language seem intractable, such as the inconsistent orthography or the question of what dialect might be taken as standard. However, these would be surmountable if the language was perceived as fully functional for modern life. Whether the language will not only survive but perhaps spread within Ireland is a question which ultimately rests on its perception as a medium fit for use in contemporary Irish society.

Ball, Martin J. The Celtic languages. Bergin, Osborn Breatnach, Risteard B. The Irish of Ring, Co. Dublin: Institute for Advanced Studies.