11 Facts About Old Irish


Old Irish is thus forebear to Modern Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic.

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Old Irish is known for having a particularly complex system of morphology and especially of allomorphy as well as a complex sound system involving grammatically significant consonant mutations to the initial consonant of a word.

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Contemporary Old Irish scholarship is still greatly influenced by the works of a small number of scholars active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries such as Rudolf Thurneysen and Osborn Bergin.

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Notable characteristics of Old Irish compared with other old Indo-European languages, are:.

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Old Irish is the ancestor of all modern Goidelic languages: Modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx.

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Scottish Gaelic

Primitive Old Irish appears to have been very close to Common Celtic, the ancestor of all Celtic languages, and it had a lot of the characteristics of other archaic Indo-European languages.

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Manuscripts of the later Middle Irish period, such as the Lebor na hUidre and the Book of Leinster, contain texts, which are thought to derive from written exemplars in Old Irish now lost and retain enough of their original form to merit classification as Old Irish.

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The complexity of Old Irish phonology is from a four-way split of phonemes inherited from Primitive Irish, with both a fortis–lenis and a "broad–slender" distinction arising from historical changes.

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Old Irish had distinctive vowel length in both monophthongs and diphthongs.

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Voiceless stops of Old Irish are c, p, t They contrast with the voiced stops g, b, d Additionally, the letter m can behave similarly to a stop following vowels.

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Old Irish underwent extensive phonological changes from Proto-Celtic in both consonants and vowels.

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