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).

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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.
That was the call from MG Alba, the organisation that operates Scotland's Gaelic language channel in partnership with the BBC.
categories LEARNER AWARD To celebrate an outstanding contribution towards the learning of the Gaelic language. Open to individuals, groups and organisations that inspire the learning of Gaelic by devising new methods of teaching or who create innovative learning resources for any age.
The programme includes a range of indoor workshops and outdoor excursions, around the town and surrounding area and allow those taking part to immerse themselves in the Gaelic language. No knowledge of Gaelic is necessary, as the course will be carried out mostly in English.
She said: "I am so proud to be conducting Scotland's debut entry at Eurovision, and proud that the Gaelic language and our rich choral tradition will be seen and heard by millions across the world, maybe for the first time."
She has also recently presented two features on The One Show and was delighted to get the chance to show off the Gaelic language.
Indeed "what if?" is a recurring motif of the book, and the author's great achievement is to have chronicled the unharnessed potential of a Gaelic language dramatic movement in a way which should spur practitioner readers (and those who fund and guide them) to greater ambition.
"That is to recognise and harness the significant economic potential of our Gaelic language and culture and to use that to support our work across all parts of the tourism sector to provide a world-class, high-quality experience for every single visitor.
An information session on the Gaelic language will be held on Friday, August 24, at Paisley's Watermill Hotel.
In my opinion if Mr Liddle's column had mocked the Irish and the Gaelic Language or the Scots and their language he would have been given his P45 and the IPSO would have disciplined the Sunday Times.
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.