Old Irish

Old GaelicOldearly IrishOld Irish languageGaelicIrishGoídelcIrish, OldO.Ir.9th-century Irish
Old Irish (Goídelc; Sean-Ghaeilge; Seann Ghàidhlig; Shenn Yernish; sometimes called Old Gaelic) is the oldest form of the Goidelic languages for which extensive written texts are extant.wikipedia
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Irish language

IrishGaelicIrish Gaelic
Old Irish is thus forebear to Modern Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic.
Older spellings of this include Gaoidhealg in Classical Irish and Goídelc in Old Irish.

Goidelic languages

GaelicGoidelicGaelic languages
Old Irish (Goídelc; Sean-Ghaeilge; Seann Ghàidhlig; Shenn Yernish; sometimes called Old Gaelic) is the oldest form of the Goidelic languages for which extensive written texts are extant. Old Irish was the only member of the Goidelic/Gaelic branch of the Celtic languages, which is, in turn, a subfamily of the wider Indo-European language family that also includes the Slavonic, Italic/Romance, Indo-Aryan and Germanic subfamilies, along with several others.
The next stage, Old Irish, is found in glosses (i.e. annotations) to Latin manuscripts—mainly religious and grammatical—from the 6th to the 10th century, as well as in archaic texts copied or recorded in Middle Irish texts.

Manx language

ManxManx Gaeliclanguage
Old Irish is thus forebear to Modern Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic.
Primitive Irish transitioned into Old Irish through the 5th century.

Ogham

OgamOgham alphabetOgham script
Fragments of Primitive Irish, mainly personal names, are known from inscriptions on stone written in the Ogham alphabet.
Ogham (Modern Irish or ; ) is an Early Medieval alphabet used primarily to write the early Irish language (in the "orthodox" inscriptions, 4th to 6th centuries AD), and later the Old Irish language (scholastic ogham, 6th to 9th centuries).

Cambrai Homily

7th-century Irish homilycolors of martyrdomhomily
The earliest Old Irish passages may be the transcripts found in the Cambrai Homily, which is thought to belong to the early 8th century.
The homily is also the oldest single example of an extended prose passage in Old Irish.

Book of Armagh

The Book of ArmagharArdmachanus
The Book of Armagh contains texts from the early 9th century.
The document is valuable for containing early texts relating to St Patrick and some of the oldest surviving specimens of Old Irish, and for being one of the earliest manuscripts produced by an insular church to contain a near complete copy of the New Testament.

Stowe Missal

Lorrha MissalStowe (Lorrha) Missal
The Liber Hymnorum and the Stowe Missal date from about 900 to 1050.
The Stowe Missal, which is, strictly speaking, a sacramentary rather than a missal, is an Irish illuminated manuscript written mainly in Latin with some Old Irish in the late eighth or early ninth century, probably after 792.

Palatalization (phonetics)

palatalizedpalatalizationpalatalisation
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" (velarised vs. palatalised) distinction arising from historical changes.
For example, according to Thurneysen, palatalized consonants at the end of a syllable in Old Irish had a corresponding onglide (reflected as in the spelling), which was no longer present in Middle Irish (based on explicit testimony of grammarians of the time).

Primitive Irish

Primitive Irish languageearly Irish languageIrish, Primitive
Apparently, neither characteristic was present in the preceding Primitive Irish period, though initial mutations likely existed in a non-grammaticalized form in the prehistoric era.
Old Irish, written from the 6th century onward, has most of the distinctive characteristics of Irish, including "broad" and "slender" consonants, initial mutations, some loss of inflectional endings, but not of case marking, and consonant clusters created by the loss of unstressed syllables, along with a number of significant vowel and consonant changes, including the presence of the letter p, reimported into the language via loanwords and names.

Osborn Bergin

BerginOsborn J. Bergin
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 (1857–1940) and Osborn Bergin (1873–1950).
He is best known for his discovery of Bergin's Law, which states that while the normal order of a sentence in Old Irish is verb-subject-object, it is permissible for the verb, in the conjunct form, to be placed at the end of the sentence.

Proto-Indo-European nominals

heterocliticnominalProto-Indo-European noun
Most PIE noun stem classes are maintained (o-, yo-, ā-, yā-, i-, u-, r-, n-, s-, and consonant stems).

Middle Irish

GaelicMiddle Irish languageMedieval Gaelic
undefined 700–850; by 900 the language had already transitioned into early Middle Irish.

Gloss (annotation)

glossglossesglossed
They are represented mainly by shorter or longer glosses on the margins or between the lines of religious Latin manuscripts, most of them preserved in monasteries in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France and Austria, having been taken there by early Irish missionaries.
Glosses of Christian religious texts are also important for our knowledge of Old Irish.

Rudolf Thurneysen

Thurneysen, RudolfThurneysen
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 (1857–1940) and Osborn Bergin (1873–1950).
It is in this period that Thurneysen has been called the greatest living authority on Old Irish.

Indo-European languages

Indo-EuropeanIndo-European languageIndo-European language family
Old Irish was the only member of the Goidelic/Gaelic branch of the Celtic languages, which is, in turn, a subfamily of the wider Indo-European language family that also includes the Slavonic, Italic/Romance, Indo-Aryan and Germanic subfamilies, along with several others.

Scottish Gaelic

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

Celtic Rite

Liber HymnorumCelticBobbio Missal
The Liber Hymnorum and the Stowe Missal date from about 900 to 1050.
The Book of Deer is a 10th-century gospel book from Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with early 12th-century additions in Latin, Old Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

Nasalization

nasalizednasalnasalisation
In Old and Middle Irish, the lenited was a nasalized bilabial fricative.

Proto-Celtic language

Proto-CelticCelticCommon Celtic
Primitive 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.
Although some complete sentences are recorded in Gaulish and Celtiberian, the oldest Celtic literature is found in Old Irish and Middle Welsh.

Lenition

lenitedspirantizationsoft mutation
For example, Indo-European intervocalic * in * "people" resulted in Proto-Celtic, Primitive Irish *tōθā, Old Irish and ultimately debuccalisation in most Irish and some Scottish dialects to, shift in Central Southern Irish to, and complete deletion in some Modern Irish and most Modern Scots Gaelic dialects, thus.

Old Irish grammar

simple
Verbs conjugate for 3 tenses: past, present, future; 3 aspects: simple, perfective, imperfective; 4 moods: indicative, subjunctive, conditional, imperative; 2 voices: active, and passive; independent, and dependent forms; and simple, and complex forms.
This article describes the grammar of the Old Irish language.

Sonorant

sonorantssonorant consonantResonant
The precise articulation of the fortis sonorants is unknown, but they were probably longer, tenser and generally more strongly articulated than their lenis counterparts, as in the Modern Irish and Scottish dialects that still possess a four-way distinction in the coronal nasals and laterals.
Old Irish had one of the most complex sonorant systems recorded in linguistics, with 12 coronal sonorants alone.

Dependent and independent verb forms

independentabsolute and conjunct verb endingsan independent and a dependent conjugation
Verbs conjugate for 3 tenses: past, present, future; 3 aspects: simple, perfective, imperfective; 4 moods: indicative, subjunctive, conditional, imperative; 2 voices: active, and passive; independent, and dependent forms; and simple, and complex forms.
The distinction between dependent and independent forms originates with two distinct but related phenomena in Old Irish: the contrast between absolute and conjunct verb endings, and the contrast between prototonic and deuterotonic forms.

Early Irish literature

medieval Irish literatureOld Irish literatureearliest Irish literature
The Amra is written in archaic Old Irish and is not perfectly understood.