Irish language


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Irish language,

also called Irish Gaelic and Erse, member of the Goidelic group of the Celtic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Celtic languagesCeltic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. At one time, during the Hellenistic period, Celtic speech extended all the way from Britain and the Iberian Peninsula in the west across Europe to Asia Minor in the east, where a district still known as
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). The history of Irish as a literary language falls into three periods: Old Irish (7th–9th cent. A.D.), Middle Irish (10th–16th cent.), and Modern Irish (since the 16th cent.). In the medieval period a great Irish literature flourished. Grammatically, there are still four cases for the noun (nominative, genitive, vocative, and, in some dialects, dative). In pronunciation the stress is on the first syllable. An acute accent is placed over a vowel to denote length, and a dot is placed over a consonant to indicate aspiration. The alphabet employed today for Irish can be called a variant or a derivative of the Roman alphabet that took shape about the 8th cent. A.D. It has 18 letters: 13 consonants and 5 vowels. The oldest extant Irish texts are inscriptions written in the ogham script (see oghamogham,
 ogam,
or ogum
, ancient Celtic alphabet of one of the Irish runic languages. It was used by the druids and abandoned after the first few centuries of the Christian era.
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). These texts date back to the 5th cent. A.D. or perhaps earlier and differ as much from the early literary Irish that follows them as Latin does from Old French. Native speakers of Irish are now concentrated in the western counties of Ireland. The government of Ireland is trying, thus far unsuccessfully, to revive Irish as the primary language of the country; it is an official language, and the study of Irish is required in preparatory schools. See also Gaelic literatureGaelic literature,
literature in the native tongue of Ireland and Scotland. Since Scots Gaelic became separate from Irish Gaelic only in the 17th cent., the literature is conventionally divided into Old Irish (before 900), Middle Irish (until 1350), Late Middle or Early Modern
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.

Bibliography

See H. Wagner, Linguistic Atlas and Survey of Irish Dialects (4 vol., 1958–69); R. P. M. and W. P. Lehman, An Introduction to Old Irish (1975).

References in periodicals archive ?
Yes, they did give an additional [euro]1million to the 20-year Irish Language Strategy but at the same time they reduced the vital capital funding provided to Udaras na Gaeltachta by the same figure.
He shows that substantial numbers of Irish citizens and at all levels of society continued to use the Irish language and to see it as a marker of shared religious, historical, and cultural identities.
Recognition of Gaeltacht areas, a right to avail of an Irish medium education and the appointment of an Irish language commissioner are also in draft measures outlined by Sinn Fein Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin.
This essay will begin by analysing their similar plots, and will proceed to examine how both writers negotiate historical fact, the Irish language, the performance of Gaelic culture, the burgeoning women's movement, and the chasm between rural and urban Ireland of the revival.
But the many thousands of people in the USA who are fluent in Irish have not had access to a TV channel that has a regular and ongoing schedule of Irish language content, We know that there is a significant demand for TV content in Irish among the many users of Irish right across that country.
Finally, it offers taught courses through the Irish language in the Arts, Science and Commerce Faculties, and much of its administration is undertaken through the Irish language.
This programme will link closely with the LE[degrees]ofa initiative launched by Culture Minister CarEil NE[degrees] ChuilE[degrees]n last September to encourage people to become fluent in the Irish language.
Ian Malcolm's research continues this northern focus by studying attitudes among Protestants toward the Irish language in post-1998 Northern Ireland.
Lack of progress on an Irish Language Act has been linked to the DUP/Sinn Fein impasse.
AN IRISH language newspaper held up as an example for future Welsh publications is on the verge of collapse.
O'Leary (Irish studies, Boston College) describes the revival of the Irish language in the years just following the revolution to the advent of the Second World War, a time when the dreams of the Gaelic Leaguers seemed to come true.
AN Ulster Unionist MLA, strongly opposed to the promotion of the Irish language in his council, is the great grandson of a fluent Irish speaker.

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