Scottish Gaelic

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Scottish Gaelic


the language of the Scots who inhabit the northern (mountainous) part of Scotland and the islands of the Hebrides. It belongs, along with Irish and Manx, to the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. Scottish Gaelic is a descendant of the language of the Irish who began to migrate to Scotland in the fifth century A.D. It began to separate from Irish only in the 13th century. Records from the 11th to the 15th century do not differ linguistically from those of the Irish. One of the oldest records in Scottish Gaelic proper is the Book of the Dean of Lismore, which dates from the early 16th century. Modern Scottish Gaelic is split into two dialect areas—the eastern and the western. The written literary language, which took shape during the 18th and early 19th centuries, is extremely conservative; consequently, literary works in Scottish Gaelic are written in the dialects with a more or less standardized orthography. Scottish Gaelic differs from Irish Gaelic in phonetics, its simplification of the noun and verb systems, and the presence of Scandinavian lexical items. According to the 1961 census, Scottish Gaelic was spoken by approximately 80.000 people: however, only approximately 1,000 were monolingual Scottish Gaelic speakers.


Stewart, A. Elements of Gaelic Grammar. 5th ed. Edinburgh. 1901.
Dwelly, E. The Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary, 5th ed. Glasgow, 1949.


References in periodicals archive ?
An Tuil: Anthology of Twentieth-century Scottish Gaelic verse.
As was seen in the brief look into the English and Scottish Gaelic aspect systems, Standard English does not generally accept progressive markings with statives, unlike Scottish Gaelic, which pairs stative verbs in the present tense only with periphrastic constructions, or verbal nouns which in English are always progressive.
In the following section, nine of the features of Stirlingshire Gaelic that were noted by Diack are considered and, in order to establish Stirlingshire Gaelic's place in the continuum of Scottish Gaelic dialects, an attempt is made to compare this with the data published in The Survey of the Gaelic Dialects of Scotland (SGDS).
We are also working with representatives from the Scottish Executive to make similar arrangements for the use of Scottish Gaelic.
Previous investigations on Scottish Gaelic have mentioned ways in which certain registers seem to differ from one another, but these have been largely based upon introspective or anecdotal evidence.
The awards seek to reward all aspects of Scottish Gaelic culture and language, highlighting some of the excellent work undertaken to maintain its growth and heritage.
Raghnall MacilleDhuibh, writing in Gaelic, traces the remarkable story of how John MacKenzie put together his Eachdraidh a' Phrionnsa (1844), the account of the 1745 Rising which Raghnall sees as the first significant book of secular prose in Scottish Gaelic.
The White Paper proposes the standardisation of this test and the provision of the language classes in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic for those seeking citizenship.
Speakers of Scottish Gaelic are well used to the compound noun batasmuide ('boat of steam, steamship') and its noun-phrase variants, such as bata na smuid(e), which are employed fairly regularly in day-to-day Gaelic.
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic is a Celtic language closely related to Manx and Irish and more distantly to Welsh, Cornish and Breton.
Much more problematic is the chronic decline of Scottish Gaelic, spoken by 200,000 people one hundred years ago and now down to 50,000, with many of the speakers aged 70-plus.

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