Middle Irish


Middle Irish
Middle Irish
Gaoidhealg
Pronunciation [ˈɡɯːʝeɫɡ]
Spoken in Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man
Era Evolved into Early Modern Irish about the 12th century
Language family
Writing system Latin (Gaelic alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-2 mga
ISO 639-3 mga

Middle Irish is the name given by historical philologists to the Goidelic language spoken in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man from the 10th to 12th centuries; it is therefore a contemporary of late Old English and early Middle English.[1][2] The modern Goidelic languages, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx, are all descendants of Middle Irish.

At its height, Middle Irish was spoken throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man; from Munster to the island of Inchcolm in the Firth of Forth. Its geographical range made it the most widespread of all Insular languages before the late 12th century, when Middle English began to make inroads into Ireland, and many of the Celtic regions of northern and western Britain.

Few mediaeval European languages can rival the volume of literature extant in Middle Irish. Much of this survival is due to the tenacity of a few early modern Irish antiquarians, but the sheer volume of sagas, annals, hagiographies, and so forth, which survive shows how much confidence members of the mediaeval Gaelic learned orders had in their own vernacular. Almost all of it survives in Ireland; very little survives in Scotland or Man. The Lebor Bretnach, the "Irish Nennius", survives only from manuscripts preserved in Ireland; however, Thomas Owen Clancy has recently argued that it was written in Scotland, at the monastery in Abernethy.[3]

Notes

  1. ^ Mac Eoin, Gearóid (1993). "Irish". In Martin J. Ball (ed.). The Celtic Languages. London: Routledge. pp. 101–44. ISBN 0-415-01035-7. 
  2. ^ Breatnach, Liam (1994). "An Mheán-Ghaeilge". In K. McCone, D. McManus, C. Ó Háinle, N. Williams, and L. Breatnach (eds.) (in Irish). Stair na Gaeilge in ómós do Pádraig Ó Fiannachta. Maynooth: Department of Old Irish, St. Patrick's College. pp. 221–333. ISBN 0-901519-90-1. 
  3. ^ Clancy, Thomas Owen (2000). "Scotland, the ‘Nennian’ recension of the Historia Brittonum, and the Lebor Bretnach". In Simon Taylor (ed.). Kings, Clerics and Chronicles in Scotland, 500-1297. Dublin & Portland: Four Courts Press. pp. 87–107. ISBN 1-85182-516-9. 

Further reading

  • MacManus, Damian (1983). "A chronology of the Latin loan words in early Irish". Ériu 34: 21–71. 
  • McCone, Kim (1978). "The dative singular of Old Irish consonant stems". Ériu 29: 26–38. 
  • McCone, Kim (1981). "Final /t/ to /d/ after unstressed vowels, and an Old Irish sound law". Ériu 31: 29–44. 
  • McCone, Kim (1996). "Prehistoric, Old and Middle Irish". Progress in medieval Irish studies. pp. 7–53. 
  • McCone, Kim (2005). A First Old Irish Grammar and Reader, Including an Introduction to Middle Irish. Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts 3. Maynooth. 

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Middle Irish — n. the Irish language as written and spoken from the 10th to the 15th cent …   English World dictionary

  • Middle Irish — noun Irish Gaelic from 1100 to 1500 • Hypernyms: ↑Irish, ↑Irish Gaelic * * * noun Usage: capitalized M&I : the form of Irish employed between the 11th and 15th centuries see indo european languages table * * * the Irish language of the 11th, 12th …   Useful english dictionary

  • Middle Irish — noun Date: 1952 the Irish in use between the 10th and 13th centuries see Indo European languages table …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Middle Irish — the Irish language of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. * * * …   Universalium

  • Middle Irish — Mid′dle I′rish n. peo the Irish language of the period c900–c1200 …   From formal English to slang

  • Middle Irish — /mɪdl ˈaɪrɪʃ/ (say midl uyrish) noun the Irish language from approximately 900–1200 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Middle Irish — noun The Gaelic language spoken in Ireland during the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries …   Wiktionary

  • Middle Irish (900-1200) — ISO 639 3 Code : mga ISO 639 2/B Code : mga ISO 639 2/T Code : mga ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Historical …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

  • 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 Elk — Temporal range: Middle Pleistocene to Early Holocene Mounted skeleton at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. Scientific classification Kingdom …   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.