Irish language

or Gaelic language

Celtic language of Ireland, written in the Latin alphabet introduced with Christianity in the 5th century.

Irish is conventionally divided into three periods: Old Irish (600–с 950), Middle Irish (с 950–1200), and Modern Irish (from с 1200). Ogham writing predates Old Irish. Old and Middle Irish are the vehicles of a rich literature of prose tales and verse. Classical Modern Irish was the exclusive literary medium in Ireland and Scottish Gaeldom into modern times (see Scottish Gaelic language). Literacy in Irish declined under English rule; by 1800 it was all but an unwritten language. The deaths and emigration resulting from the Irish Potato Famine and a massive shift to English afterward drastically reduced the number of Irish-speakers. Irish was revived as a literary language in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and with Irish independence (1921) it was made official. Though it is a true community language only for a small number of people on Ireland's western coast in what are called Gaeltachts, hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens and people of Irish descent have some competence in Irish.

* * *

also called  Erse , or  Gaelic , Irish  Gaeilge 

      a member of the Goidelic group of Celtic languages, spoken in Ireland. As one of the national languages of the Republic of Ireland, Irish is taught in the public schools and is required for certain civil-service posts.

      Grammatically, Irish still has a case system, like Latin or German, with four cases to show differing functions of nouns and pronouns in a sentence. In phonology it exhibits initial sandhi, in which the first consonant of a word is modified according to the prehistoric final sound of the previous word in the phrase (e.g., an tobar “the well,” mo thobar “my well”).

      Records in the Irish language date back to the ogham (ogham writing) inscriptions, written in sets of strokes or notches, of the 5th century AD; the Latin alphabet began to be used shortly thereafter. Irish literature dates from the 8th century. See also ogham writing; Celtic languages.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Irish language — This article is about the modern Goidelic language. For the form of English as it is spoken in Ireland, see Hiberno English. For the cant based partly on English and partly on Irish, see Shelta. Irish Gaeilge Pronunciation [ˈɡeːlʲɟə] …   Wikipedia

  • Irish language in Northern Ireland — The Irish language (also known as Irish Gaelic) is a minority language in Northern Ireland (known in Irish as Tuaisceart Éireann ). The dialect spoken there is known as Ulster Irish. According to the 2001 census, the highest concentrations of… …   Wikipedia

  • Dictionary of the Irish Language — ▪ Irish dictionary       authoritative dictionary of the Irish language that continues, starting with the letter D, the work of Kuno Meyer s Contributions to Irish Lexicography (1906–07), which covered A–C.       Based, according to its subtitle …   Universalium

  • History of the Irish language — fol. 170r of the Book of Ballymote (1390), the Auraicept na n Éces explaining the Ogham script. The history of the Irish language covers the period from the arrival of speakers of Celtic languages in Ireland to the present day. The earliest known …   Wikipedia

  • List of Irish-language media — The following is a list of media available in the Irish language.TelevisionTG4 TG Ceathair originally known as Teilifís na Gaeilge (TnaG) broadcasting on terrestrial television in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with a potential …   Wikipedia

  • Dictionary of the Irish Language — Dictionary of the Irish Language: Based Mainly on Old and Middle Irish Materials (also called the DIL ), published by the Royal Irish Academy, is the definitive dictionary of the origins of the Irish language, specifically the Old Irish and… …   Wikipedia

  • Dictionary of the Irish Language — Dictionary of the Irish Language: Based Mainly on Old and Middle Irish Materials (общепринятое сокращение  DIL), опубликованный Ирландской королевской академией, является наиболее полным на данный момент словарём древнеирландского и… …   Википедия

  • Hidden Ulster, Protestants and the Irish language — is a book written by Pádraig Ó Snodaigh in 1973.Revised editions appeared in 1977 and 1995. The thirdedition was published by Lagan Press.In the book, Ó Snodaigh s main point of contention was to confirm the cultural, that is Gaelic, unity… …   Wikipedia

  • Irish Literature — • It is uncertain at what period and in what manner the Irish discovered the use of letters. It may have been through direct commerce with Gaul, but it is more probable, as McNeill has shown in his study of Irish oghams, that it was from the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Irish — may refer to: * Ireland, an island in northwest Europe consisting of: ** Ireland, known as the Irish Free State up until 1937, then the Republic of Ireland, a sovereign state covering 5/6 of the island. ** Northern Ireland, a semi autonomous… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.