Irish language

(redirected from Gaelic language)

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 classic literature ?
In this sore and irritable mood did the captain pursue his course, keeping a wary eye on every movement, and bristling up whenever the detested sound of the Gaelic language grated upon his ear.
Gaidhlig Dumgal, the region's Gaelic language and culture society, celebrated Robert Burns at the Gordon Memorial Hall in Castle Douglas.
But they also want to introduce a Gaelic language act - one that would put the language spoken by less than 3 per cent of people in the province on a daily basis on the same legal footing as English.
All three places once shared the same Gaelic language, and a similar, clearly potent, kinship endures between their musical traditions.
Cnoc Soilleir will support the growth of Celas Uibhist community-led activity around Gaelic language learning, music and dance, as well as the Lews Castle College UHI music programmes.
I'm now doing a course at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the centre for Gaelic language.
Gaelic language activist Domhnall O Lubhlai, 84, died in 2013 without facing prosecution for hundreds of sexual abuse claims dating back over half a century.
The Gaelic Language Act 2005 recognises both English and (Scottish) Gaelic as official languages of Scotland which are to be treated with 'equal respect' by public authorities (McLeod 2006).
HM Treasury on Tuesday revealed that the British government is providing an additional GBP1m for MG ALBA to support the production of Gaelic language content and continue to provide a service for Gaelic speakers in Scotland.
Galway -- Considered the most Irish of all cities, here, one is surrounded by Gaelic language and tradition, while strolling medieval streets, scenic shorelines and historic squares.
He studied Irish folk culture and the Gaelic language.
It is impossible to speak of BBC Alba without providing some information about the Scottish Gaelic language, which is a key part of the Scottish identity and its regional television.