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The Irish language
Irish language
(Gaeilge), also referred to as the Gaelic or the Irish Gaelic language,[5] is a Goidelic
Goidelic
language (Gaelic) of the Indo-European language family originating in Ireland
Ireland
and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language by a small minority of Irish people, and as a second language by a larger group of non-native speakers. Irish has been the predominant language of the Irish people
Irish people
for most of their recorded history, and they have brought it with them to other regions, notably Scotland
Scotland
and the Isle of Man, where Middle Irish gave rise to Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
and Manx respectively. It has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe. Irish enjoys constitutional status as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland, and is an officially recognised minority language in Northern Ireland. It is also among the official languages of the European Union. The public body Foras na Gaeilge
Foras na Gaeilge
is responsible for the promotion of the language throughout the island of Ireland.

Contents

1 Names 2 History 3 Current status

3.1 Republic of Ireland

3.1.1 Gaeltacht

3.2 Northern Ireland 3.3 European Parliament 3.4 Outside Ireland

4 Use 5 Dialects

5.1 Leinster

5.1.1 The Pale 5.1.2 General decline

5.2 Munster 5.3 Connacht 5.4 Ulster 5.5 Urban aspect 5.6 An Caighdeán Oifigiúil 5.7 An Caighdeán Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe

6 Phonology 7 Syntax and morphology

7.1 Initial mutations

8 Orthography 9 See also

9.1 Bibliography

10 References 11 External links

11.1 Literature 11.2 Grammar and pronunciation 11.3 Dictionaries

Names[edit] In An Caighdeán Oifigiúil (the official written standard) the name of the language is Gaeilge (Irish pronunciation: [ˈɡeːlʲɟə]). Before the spelling reform of 1948, this form was spelled Gaedhilge; originally this was the genitive of Gaedhealg, the form used in Classical Irish.[6] Older spellings of this include Gaoidhealg in Classical Irish [ˈɡeːʝəlˠɡ] and Goídelc [ˈɡoiðelˠɡ] in Old Irish. The modern spelling results from the deletion of the silent dh in the middle of Gaedhilge, whereas Goidelic, used to refer to the language family including Irish, is derived from the Old Irish term. Other forms of the name found in the various modern Irish dialects (in addition to south Connacht
Connacht
Gaeilge above) include Gaedhilic/Gaeilic/Gaeilig ([ˈɡeːlʲɪc]) or Gaedhlag ([ˈɡeːl̪ˠəɡ]) in Ulster Irish
Ulster Irish
and northern Connacht
Connacht
Irish and Gaedhealaing/Gaoluinn/Gaelainn ([ˈɡeːl̪ˠɪŋʲ/ˈɡeːl̪ˠɪnʲ])[7][8] in Munster
Munster
Irish. In Europe the language is usually referred to as Irish, with Gaelic or Irish Gaelic used in some instances elsewhere.[9] The term Irish Gaelic is often used when English speakers discuss the relationship between the three Goidelic languages
Goidelic languages
(Irish, Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
and Manx). History[edit] Main article: History of the Irish language Written Irish is first attested in Ogham
Ogham
inscriptions from the 4th century AD; this stage of the language is known as Primitive Irish. These writings have been found throughout Ireland
Ireland
and the west coast of Great Britain. Primitive Irish
Primitive Irish
transitioned into Old Irish through the 5th century. Old Irish, dating from the 6th century, used the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
and is attested primarily in marginalia to Latin manuscripts. During this time, the Irish language
Irish language
absorbed some Latin words, some via Old Welsh, including ecclesiastical terms: examples are easpag (bishop) from episcopus, and Domhnach (Sunday, from dominica). By the 10th century, Old Irish had evolved into Middle Irish, which was spoken throughout Ireland
Ireland
and in Scotland
Scotland
and the Isle of Man. It is the language of a large corpus of literature, including the Ulster Cycle. From the 12th century, Middle Irish began to evolve into modern Irish in Ireland, into Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
in Scotland, and into the Manx language in the Isle of Man. Early Modern Irish, dating from the 13th century, was the basis of the literary language of both Ireland
Ireland
and Gaelic-speaking Scotland. Modern Irish, as attested in the work of such writers as Geoffrey Keating, may be said to date from the 17th century, and was the medium of popular literature from that time on. From the 18th century on, the language lost ground in the east of the country. The reasons behind this shift were complex but came down to a number of factors:

discouragement of its use by Anglo-British administrations the Catholic church supporting the use of English over Irish the spread of bilingualism from the 1750s, resulting in language shift[10]

It was a change characterised by diglossia (two languages being used by the same community in different social and economic situations) and transitional bilingualism (monoglot Irish-speaking grandparents with bilingual children and monoglot English-speaking grandchildren). By the mid-18th century, English was becoming a language of the Catholic middle class, the Catholic Church and public intellectuals, especially in the east of the country. Increasingly, as the value of English became apparent, the prohibition on Irish in schools had the sanction of parents.[11] Once it became apparent that immigration to the United States and Canada was likely for a large portion of the population, the importance of learning English became relevant. This allowed the new immigrants to get jobs in areas other than farming. It has been estimated that, due to the immigration to the United States because of the Famine, anywhere from a quarter to a third of the immigrants were Irish speakers.[12] Irish was not marginal to Ireland's modernisation in the 19th century, as often assumed. In the first half of the century there were still around three million people for whom Irish was the primary language, and their numbers alone made them a cultural and social force. Irish speakers often insisted on using the language in law courts (even when they knew English), and Irish was also common in commercial transactions. The language was heavily implicated in the "devotional revolution" which marked the standardisation of Catholic religious practice and was also widely used in a political context. Down to the time of the Great Famine and even afterwards, the language was in use by all classes, Irish being an urban as well as a rural language.[13] This linguistic dynamism was reflected in the efforts of certain public intellectuals to counter the decline of the language. At the end of the 19th century, they launched the Gaelic revival
Gaelic revival
in an attempt to encourage the learning and use of Irish, although few adult learners mastered the language.[14] The vehicle of the revival was the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge), and particular emphasis was placed on the folk tradition, which in Irish is particularly rich. Efforts were also made to develop journalism and a modern literature. Although it has been noted that the Catholic Church played a role in the decline of the Irish language
Irish language
before the Gaelic Revival, the Protestant Church of Ireland
Ireland
also made only minor efforts to encourage use of Irish in a religious context. An Irish translation of the Old Testament, commissioned by Bishop Bedell, was published after 1685 along with a translation of the New Testament. Otherwise, Anglicisation was seen as synonymous with 'civilising'" of the native Irish. Currently, modern day Irish speakers in the church are pushing for language revival.[15] Current status[edit] Main article: Status of the Irish language Republic of Ireland[edit] Irish is given recognition by the Constitution of Ireland
Ireland
as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland (English is the other official language). Despite this, almost all government debates and business are conducted in English.[16] In 1938, the founder of Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge
(Gaelic League), Douglas Hyde, was inaugurated as the first President of Ireland. The record of his delivering his inaugural Declaration of Office in Roscommon
Roscommon
Irish remains almost the only surviving remnant of anyone speaking in that dialect. From the foundation of the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
in 1922 (see also History of the Republic of Ireland), a degree of proficiency in Irish was required of all those newly appointed to the Civil Service of the Republic of Ireland, including postal workers, tax collectors, agricultural inspectors, Garda Síochána
Garda Síochána
etc. By law if a Garda was stopped and addressed in Irish he had to respond in Irish as well.[17] Proficiency in just one official language for entrance to the public service was introduced in 1974, in part through the actions of protest organisations like the Language Freedom Movement. Although the Irish requirement was also dropped for wider public service jobs, Irish remains a required subject of study in all schools within the Republic which receive public money (see also Education in the Republic of Ireland). Those wishing to teach in primary schools in the State must also pass a compulsory examination called Scrúdú Cáilíochta sa Ghaeilge. The need for a pass in Leaving Certificate Irish or English for entry to the Garda Síochána
Garda Síochána
(police) was introduced in September 2005, and recruits are given lessons in the language during their two years of training. The most important official documents of the Irish government must be published in both Irish and English or Irish alone (in accordance with the Official Languages Act 2003, enforced by An Coimisinéir Teanga, the Irish language ombudsman). The National University of Ireland
Ireland
requires all students wishing to embark on a degree course in the NUI federal system to pass the subject of Irish in the Leaving Certificate or GCE/GCSE examinations.[18] Exemptions are made from this requirement for students born outside of the Republic of Ireland, those who were born in the Republic but completed primary education outside it, and students diagnosed with dyslexia. NUI Galway
NUI Galway
is required to appoint people who are competent in the Irish language, as long as they are also competent in all other aspects of the vacancy to which they are appointed. This requirement is laid down by the University College Galway Act, 1929 (Section 3).[19] The University faced controversy, however, in 2016 when it was announced that the next president of the University would not have any Irish. Misneach staged a number of protests against this decision. It was announced in September 2017 that Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, a fluent Irish speaker, will be NUIG's 13th president. For a number of years there has been vigorous debate in political, academic and other circles about the failure of most students in the mainstream (English-medium) schools to achieve competence in the language, even after fourteen years.[20][21][22] The concomitant decline in the number of traditional native speakers has also been a cause of great concern.[23][24][25][26] In 2007, filmmaker Manchán Magan found few speakers and some incredulity while speaking only Irish in Dublin. He was unable to accomplish some everyday tasks, as portrayed in his documentary No Béarla.[27] There is, however, a growing body of Irish speakers in urban areas. Most of these are products of an independent education system in which Irish is the sole language of instruction. Such schools are known as Gaelscoileanna. These Irish-medium schools send a much higher proportion of pupils on to tertiary level than do the mainstream schools, and it seems increasingly likely that, within a generation, habitual users of Irish will typically be members of an urban, middle class and highly educated minority.[28] Parliamentary legislation is supposed to be available in both Irish and English but is frequently only available in English. This is notwithstanding that Article 25.4 of the Constitution of Ireland
Ireland
requires that an "official translation" of any law in one official language be provided immediately in the other official language, if not already passed in both official languages.[29] In November 2016, it was reported that many people worldwide were learning Irish through the Duolingo
Duolingo
app.[30] Irish president Michael Higgins officially honoured several volunteer translators for developing the Irish edition, and said the push for Irish language rights remains an "unfinished project".[31] In the 2016 census, around 10% of respondents stated that they spoke Irish, either daily or weekly. [32] Gaeltacht[edit] Main article: Gaeltacht

Official Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
areas

There are rural areas of Ireland
Ireland
where Irish is still spoken daily to some extent as a first language. These regions are known individually and collectively as the Gaeltacht, or in the plural as Gaeltachtaí. While the Gaeltacht's fluent Irish speakers, whose numbers have been estimated at twenty or thirty thousand,[33] are a minority of the total number of fluent Irish speakers, they represent a higher concentration of Irish speakers than other parts of the country and it is only in Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
areas that Irish continues, to some extent, to be spoken as a community vernacular.

The percentage of respondents who said they spoke Irish daily outside the education system in the 2011 census in the State.

According to data compiled by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
Affairs, only one quarter of households in officially Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
areas are fluent in Irish. The author of a detailed analysis of the survey, Donncha Ó hÉallaithe of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, described the Irish language
Irish language
policy followed by Irish governments as a "complete and absolute disaster". The Irish Times, referring to his analysis published in the Irish language
Irish language
newspaper Foinse, quoted him as follows: "It is an absolute indictment of successive Irish Governments that at the foundation of the Irish State there were 250,000 fluent Irish speakers living in Irish-speaking or semi Irish-speaking areas, but the number now is between 20,000 and 30,000".[33] In the 1920s, when the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
was founded, Irish was still a vernacular in some western coastal areas.[34] In the 1930s, areas where more than 25% of the population spoke Irish were classified as Gaeltacht. Today, the strongest Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
areas, numerically and socially, are those of South Connemara, the west of the Dingle Peninsula and northwest Donegal, where many residents still use Irish as their primary language. These areas are often referred to as the Fíor-Ghaeltacht ("true Gaeltacht"), a term originally officially applied to areas where over 50% of the population spoke Irish. There are larger Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
regions in County Galway
County Galway
(Contae na Gaillimhe), including Connemara
Connemara
(Conamara), the Aran Islands
Aran Islands
(Oileáin Árann), Carraroe
Carraroe
(An Cheathrú Rua) and Spiddal
Spiddal
(An Spidéal), on the west coast of County Donegal
County Donegal
(Contae Dhún na nGall), and on the Dingle (Corca Dhuibhne) and Iveragh Peninsulas (Uibh Rathach) in County Kerry
County Kerry
(Contae Chiarraí). Smaller ones also exist in Counties Mayo (Contae Mhaigh Eo), Meath (Contae na Mí), Waterford (An Rinn, Contae Phort Láirge), and Cork (Contae Chorcaí). Gweedore
Gweedore
(Gaoth Dobhair), County Donegal, is the largest Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
parish in Ireland.

A sign reads, Caution, Children

Irish language
Irish language
summer colleges in the Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
are attended by tens of thousands of teenagers annually. Students live with Gaeltacht families, attend classes, participate in sports, go to céilithe and are obliged to speak Irish. All aspects of Irish culture and tradition are encouraged. The most popular summertime Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
is Coláiste Lurgan[35] in Galway. Its main aim is to promote Irish speaking among young people in an enjoyable and stimulating way. Northern Ireland[edit] Main article: Irish language
Irish language
in Northern Ireland

A sign for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland, in English, Irish and Ulster
Ulster
Scots.

Before the partition of Ireland
Ireland
in 1921, Irish was recognised as a school subject and as "Celtic" in some third level institutions. Between 1921 and 1972, Northern Ireland
Ireland
had devolved government. During those years the political party holding power in the Stormont Parliament, the Ulster Unionist Party
Ulster Unionist Party
(UUP), was hostile to the language. The context of this hostility was the use of the language by nationalists.[36] In broadcasting, there was an exclusion on the reporting of minority cultural issues, and Irish was excluded from radio and television for almost the first fifty years of the previous devolved government.[37] The language received a degree of formal recognition in Northern Ireland
Ireland
from the United Kingdom, under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement,[38] and then, in 2003, by the British government's ratification in respect of the language of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. While the British government promised to create legislation encouraging the language as part of the 2006 St Andrews Agreement,[39] it has yet to do so.[40] The Irish Language is often used as a bargaining chip during government formation in Northern Ireland, something which is often protested by organisations and groups such as An Dream Dearg. There is currently an ongoing debate in relation to the status of the language in the form of an Irish Language Act. "An Dream Dearg" have launched a campaign in favour of such an Act notably called "Acht na Gaeilge Anois." [41] European Parliament[edit] Irish became an official language of the EU on 1 January 2007, meaning that MEPs with Irish fluency can now speak the language in the European Parliament
European Parliament
and at committees, although in the case of the latter they have to give prior notice to a simultaneous interpreter in order to ensure that what they say can be interpreted into other languages. While an official language of the European Union, only co-decision regulations must be available in Irish for the moment, due to a renewable five-year derogation on what has to be translated, requested by the Irish Government when negotiating the language's new official status. Any expansion in the range of documents to be translated will depend on the results of the first five-year review and on whether the Irish authorities decide to seek an extension. The Irish government has committed itself to train the necessary number of translators and interpreters and to bear the related costs.[42] Derogation is expected to end completely by 2022.[43] Before Irish became an official language it was afforded the status of treaty language and only the highest-level documents of the EU were made available in Irish. Outside Ireland[edit] Main articles: Irish language
Irish language
outside Ireland
Ireland
and Irish language
Irish language
in Newfoundland The Irish language
Irish language
was carried abroad in the modern period by a vast diaspora, chiefly to Britain and North America, but also to Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. The first large movements began in the 17th century, largely as a result of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, which saw many Irish sent to the West Indies. Irish emigration to the United States was well established by the 18th century, and was reinforced in the 1840s by thousands fleeing from the Famine. This flight also affected Britain. Up until that time most emigrants spoke Irish as their first language, though English was steadily establishing itself as the primary language. Irish speakers had first arrived in Australia in the late 18th century as convicts and soldiers, and many Irish-speaking settlers followed, particularly in the 1860s. New Zealand also received some of this influx. Argentina was the only non-English-speaking country to receive large numbers of Irish emigrants, and there were few Irish speakers among them. Relatively few of the emigrants were literate in Irish, but manuscripts in the language were brought to both Australia and the United States, and it was in the United States that the first newspaper to make significant use of Irish was established.[citation needed] In Australia, too, the language found its way into print. The Gaelic revival, which started in Ireland
Ireland
in the 1890s, found a response abroad, with branches of Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge
being established in all the countries to which Irish speakers had emigrated. The decline of Irish in Ireland
Ireland
and a slowing of emigration helped to ensure a decline in the language abroad, along with natural attrition in the host countries. Despite this, a handful of enthusiasts continued to learn and cultivate Irish in diaspora countries and elsewhere, a trend which strengthened in the second half of the 20th century. Today the language is taught at tertiary level in North America, Australia and Europe, and Irish speakers outside Ireland contribute to journalism and literature in the language. There are significant Irish-speaking networks in the United States and Canada;[44] figures released for the period 2006–2008 show that 22,279 Americans claimed to speak Irish at home.[45] The Irish language
Irish language
is also one of the languages of the Celtic League, a non-governmental organisation that promotes self-determination and Celtic identity and culture in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall
Cornwall
and the Isle of Man, known as the Celtic nations. It places particular emphasis on the indigenous Celtic languages. It is recognised by the United Nations as a non-governmental organisation with "Roster Status" and is part of the UN's Economic and Social Council. The organisation has branches in all the Celtic nations
Celtic nations
and in Patagonia, Argentina, New York City, US, and London, UK. Irish was spoken as a community language until the early 20th century on the island of Newfoundland, in a form known as Newfoundland Irish. Use[edit] The following 2016 census data shows:

The total number of people who answered ‘yes’ to being able to speak Irish in April 2016 was 1,761,420, a slight decrease (0.7 per cent) on the 2011 figure of 1,774,437. This represents 39.8 per cent of respondents compared with 41.4 in 2011... Of the 73,803 daily Irish speakers (outside the education system), 20,586 (27.9%) lived in Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
areas.

Daily Irish Speakers in Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
area, 2011-2016

Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
Area 2011 2016 Actual Change 2011-2016

Cork County 982 872 -110

Donegal County 7,047 5,929 -1,118

Galway City 636 646 10

Galway County 10,085 9,445 -640

Kerry County 2,501 2,049 -452

Mayo County 1,172 895 -277

Meath County 314 283 -31

Waterford County 438 467 29

All Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
Areas 23,175 20,586 -2,589

[46]

Dialects[edit] Irish is represented by several traditional dialects and by various varieties of "urban" Irish. The latter, though sometimes referred to as "modern Irish," has acquired a life of its own and a growing number of native speakers. Differences between the dialects make themselves felt in stress, intonation, vocabulary and structural features. Roughly speaking, the three major dialect areas which survive coincide with the provinces of Munster
Munster
(Cúige Mumhan), Connacht
Connacht
(Cúige Chonnacht) and Ulster
Ulster
(Cúige Uladh). Records of some dialects of Leinster
Leinster
were made by the Irish Folklore Commission and others prior to their extinction. Newfoundland, in eastern Canada, had a form of Irish derived from the Munster Irish
Munster Irish
of the later 18th century (see Newfoundland Irish). Leinster[edit] Down to the early 19th century and even later, Irish was spoken in all the counties of Leinster: Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Offaly, Wexford
Wexford
and Wicklow. The evidence furnished by placenames, literary sources and recorded speech indicates that there were three dialects spoken in Leinster: one main dialect and two of lesser significance. The minor dialects were represented by the Ulster
Ulster
speech of counties Meath and Louth, which extended as far south as the Boyne valley, and a Munster
Munster
dialect found in Kilkenny and south Laois. The main dialect was represented by a broad central belt stretching from west Connacht
Connacht
eastwards to the Liffey estuary and southwards to Wexford, though with many local variations. The main dialect had characteristics which survive today only in the Irish of Connacht. It typically placed the stress on the first syllable of a word, and showed a preference (found in placenames) for the pronunciation cr where the standard spelling is cn. The word cnoc (hill) would therefore be pronounced croc. Examples are the placenames Crooksling (Cnoc Slinne) in County Dublin
County Dublin
and Crukeen (Cnoicín) in Carlow. East Leinster
Leinster
showed the same diphthongisation or vowel lengthening as in Munster
Munster
and Connacht
Connacht
Irish in words like poll (hole), cill (monastery), coill (wood), ceann (head), cam (crooked) and dream (crowd). A feature of the dialect was the pronunciation of the vowel ao, which generally became ae in east Leinster
Leinster
(as in Munster), and í in the west (as in Connacht).[47] Early evidence regarding colloquial Irish in east Leinster
Leinster
is found in The Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge (1547), by the English physician and traveller Andrew Borde.[48] The illustrative phrases he uses include the following (with regularised Irish spelling in brackets):

How are you? Kanys stato? [Conas atá tú?]

I am well, thank you Tam agoomawh gramahogood. [Tá mé go maith, go raibh maith agat.]

Syr, can you speak Iryshe? Sor, woll galow oket? [Sor, 'bhfuil Gaeilge [Gaela'] agat?]

Wyfe, gyve me bread! Benytee, toor haran! [A bhean a' tí, tabhair dhomh arán.]

How far is it to Waterford? Gath haad o showh go port laarg. [Cá fhad as seo go Port Láirge?]

It is one an twenty myle. Myle hewryht. [Míle ar fhichid.]

Whan shal I go to slepe, wyfe? Gah hon rah moyd holow? [Cá huain rach' muid a chodladh?]

The Pale[edit]

The Pale
The Pale
– According to Statute of 1488

The Pale
The Pale
(An Pháil) was an area around late medieval Dublin
Dublin
under the control of the English government. By the late 15th century it consisted of an area along the coast from Dalkey, south of Dublin, to the garrison town of Dundalk, with an inland boundary encompassing Naas
Naas
and Leixlip
Leixlip
in the Earldom of Kildare
Earldom of Kildare
and Trim and Kells in County Meath
County Meath
to the north. Into this area of "Englyshe tunge" the Irish language
Irish language
steadily advanced. An English official remarked of the Pale in 1515 that "all the common people of the said half counties that obeyeth the King's laws, for the most part be of Irish birth, of Irish habit and of Irish language".[49] With the strengthening of English cultural and political control, language reversal began to occur, but this did not become clearly evident until the 18th century. Even then, in the decennial period 1771–81, the percentage of Irish speakers in Meath was at least 41%. By 1851 this had fallen to less than 3%.[50] General decline[edit] English expanded strongly in Leinster
Leinster
in the 18th century, but Irish speakers were still numerous. In the decennial period 1771–81 certain counties had estimated percentages of Irish speakers as follows (though the estimates are likely to be too low):[50]

Kilkenny 57% Louth 57% Longford 22% Westmeath 17%

The language saw its most rapid initial decline in Laois, Wexford, Wicklow, County Dublin
County Dublin
and perhaps Kildare. The proportion of Irish-speaking children in Leinster
Leinster
went down as follows: 17% in the 1700s, 11% in the 1800s, 3% in the 1830s and virtually none in the 1860s.[51] The Irish census of 1851 showed that there were still a number of older speakers in County Dublin.[50] Sound recordings were made between 1928 and 1931 of some of the last speakers in Omeath, County Louth (now available in digital form).[52] The last known traditional native speaker in Omeath, and in Leinster
Leinster
as a whole, was Annie O'Hanlon (née Dobbin), who died in 1960.[11] Munster[edit] Main article: Munster
Munster
Irish Munster Irish
Munster Irish
is mainly spoken in the Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
areas of Kerry (Contae Chiarraí), Ring (An Rinn) near Dungarvan
Dungarvan
(Dún Garbháin) in Waterford (Contae Phort Láirge) and Muskerry (Múscraí) and Cape Clear Island (Oileán Chléire) in the western part of Cork (Contae Chorcaí). The most important subdivision in Munster
Munster
is that between Decies Irish (Na Déise) (spoken in Waterford) and the rest of Munster Irish. Some typical features of Munster Irish
Munster Irish
are:

The use of endings to show person on verbs in parallel with a pronominal subject system, thus "I must" is in Munster
Munster
caithfead as well as caithfidh mé, while other dialects prefer caithfidh mé (mé means "I"). "I was and you were" is Bhíos agus bhís as well as Bhí mé agus bhí tú in Munster, but more commonly Bhí mé agus bhí tú in other dialects. Note that these are strong tendencies, and the personal forms Bhíos etc. are used in the West and North, particularly when the words are last in the clause. Use of independent/dependent forms of verbs that are not included in the Standard. For example, "I see" in Munster
Munster
is chím, which is the independent form – Northern Irish also uses a similar form, tchím), whereas "I do not see" is ní fheicim, feicim being the dependent form, which is used after particles such as ní "not"). Chím is replaced by feicim in the Standard. Similarly, the traditional form preserved in Munster
Munster
bheirim I give/ní thugaim is tugaim/ní thugaim in the Standard; gheibhim I get/ní bhfaighim is faighim/ní bhfaighim. When before -nn, -m, -rr, -rd, -ll and so on, in monosyllabic words and in the stressed syllable of multisyllabic words where the syllable is followed by a consonant, some short vowels are lengthened while others are diphthongised, thus ceann [caun] "head", cam [kɑum] "crooked", gearr [ɟaːr] "short", ord [oːrd] "sledgehammer", gall [ɡɑul] "foreigner, non-Gael", iontas [uːntəs] "a wonder, a marvel", compánach [kəumˈpɑːnəx] "companion, mate", etc. A copular construction involving ea "it" is frequently used. Thus "I am an Irish person" can be said is Éireannach mé and Éireannach is ea mé in Munster; there is a subtle difference in meaning, however, the first choice being a simple statement of fact, while the second brings emphasis onto the word Éireannach. In effect the construction is a type of "fronting". Both masculine and feminine words are subject to lenition after insan (sa/san) "in the", den "of the" and don "to/for the" : sa tsiopa, "in the shop", compared to the Standard sa siopa (the Standard lenites only feminine nouns in the dative in these cases). Eclipsis of f after sa: sa bhfeirm, "in the farm", instead of san fheirm. Eclipsis of t and d after preposition + singular article, with all prepositions except after insan, den and don: ar an dtigh "on the house", ag an ndoras "at the door". Stress falls in general found on the second syllable of a word when the first syllable contains a short vowel, and the second syllable contains a long vowel, diphthong, or is -(e)ach, e.g. biorán ("pin"), as opposed to biorán in Connacht
Connacht
and Ulster.

Connacht[edit] Main article: Connacht
Connacht
Irish Historically, Connacht
Connacht
Irish represents the westernmost remnant of a dialect area which stretched across the centre of Ireland
Ireland
to the east coast. The strongest dialect of Connacht
Connacht
Irish is to be found in Connemara
Connemara
and the Aran Islands. Much closer to the larger Connacht Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
is the dialect spoken in the smaller region on the border between Galway (Gaillimh) and Mayo (Maigh Eo). The northern Mayo dialect of Erris
Erris
(Iorras) and Achill
Achill
(Acaill) is in grammar and morphology essentially a Connacht
Connacht
dialect, but shows some similarities to Ulster Irish
Ulster Irish
due to large-scale immigration of dispossessed people following the Plantation of Ulster
Ulster
though it is this form of Irish which is closest to the true original Connacht
Connacht
dialect which would have been spoken in Counties Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim and East Galway. Features in Connacht
Connacht
Irish differing from the official standard include a preference for verbal nouns ending in -achan, e.g. lagachan instead of lagú, "weakening". The non-standard pronunciation of the Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
Cois Fharraige area with lengthened vowels and heavily reduced endings gives it a distinct sound. Distinguishing features of Connacht
Connacht
and Ulster
Ulster
dialect include the pronunciation of word final broad bh and mh as [w], rather than as [vˠ] in Munster. For example, sliabh ("mountain") is pronounced [ʃlʲiəw] in Connacht
Connacht
and Ulster as opposed to [ʃlʲiəβ] in the south. In addition Connacht
Connacht
and Ulster
Ulster
speakers tend to include the "we" pronoun rather than use the standard compound form used in Munster
Munster
e.g. bhí muid is used for "we were" instead of bhíomar. As in Munster
Munster
Irish, some short vowels are lengthened and others diphthongised before -nn, -m, -rr, -rd, -ll, in monosyllabic words and in the stressed syllable of multisyllabic words where the syllable is followed by a consonant. This can be seen in ceann [cɑ:n] "head", cam [kɑ:m] "crooked", gearr [gʲɑ:r] "short", ord [ourd] "sledgehammer", gall [gɑ:l] "foreigner, non-Gael", iontas [i:ntəs] "a wonder, a marvel", etc. The form '-aibh', when occurring at the end of words like 'agaibh', tends to be pronounced as an 'ee' sound. There are a number of differences between the popular South Connemara form of Irish, the Mid-Connacht/ Joyce Country
Joyce Country
form (on the border between Mayo and Galway) and the Achill
Achill
and Erris
Erris
forms in the north of the province. In South Connemara, for example, there is an tendency to substitute a "b" sound at the end of words ending in "bh" [β], such as sibh, libh and dóibh, something not found in the rest of Connacht
Connacht
(these words would be pronounced respectively as "shiv," "liv" and "dófa" in the other areas). This placing of the B-sound is also present at the end of words ending in vowels, such as acu (pronounced as "acub") and leo (pronounced as "lyohab"). There is also a tendency to omit the "g" sound in words such as agam, agat and againn, a characteristic also of other Connacht
Connacht
dialects. All these pronunciations are distinctively regional. The pronunciation prevalent in the Joyce Country
Joyce Country
(the area around Lough Corrib
Lough Corrib
and Lough Mask) is quite similar to that of South Connemara, with a similar approach to the words agam, agat and againn and a similar approach to pronunciation of vowels and consonants. But there are noticeable differences in vocabulary, with certain words such as doiligh (difficult) and foscailte being preferred to the more usual deacair and oscailte. Another interesting aspect of this sub-dialect is that almost all vowels at the end of words tend to be pronounced as í: eile (other), cosa (feet) and déanta (done) tend to be pronounced as eilí, cosaí and déantaí respectively. The Irish of Achill
Achill
and Erris
Erris
tends to differ from that of South Connacht
Connacht
in many aspects of vocabulary and, in some instances, of pronunciation. It is often stated that the Irish of these regions has much in common with Ulster
Ulster
Irish, with words ending -mh and -bh having a much softer sound, with a tendency to terminate words such as leo and dóibh with "f", giving leofa and dófa respectively. In addition to a vocabulary typical of other area of Connacht, one also finds words like amharc (meaning "to look" and pronounced "onk"), nimhneach (painful or sore), druid (close), mothaigh (hear), doiligh (difficult), úr (new), and tig le (to be able to – i.e. a form similar to féidir). Irish President Douglas Hyde
Douglas Hyde
was possibly one of the last speakers of the Roscommon
Roscommon
dialect of Irish.[53] Ulster[edit] Main article: Ulster
Ulster
Irish Linguistically the most important of the Ulster
Ulster
dialects today is that of the Rosses (na Rossa), which has been used extensively in literature by such authors as the brothers Séamus Ó Grianna and Seosamh Mac Grianna, locally known as Jimí Fheilimí and Joe Fheilimí. This dialect is essentially the same as that in Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair = Inlet of Streaming Water), and used by native singers Enya
Enya
(Eithne) and Moya Brennan
Moya Brennan
and their siblings in Clannad
Clannad
(Clann as Dobhar = Family from the Dobhar [a section of Gweedore]) Na Casaidigh, and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
from another local band Altan. Ulster Irish
Ulster Irish
sounds very different and shares several features with southern dialects of Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
and Manx, as well as having lots of characteristic words and shades of meanings. However, since the demise of those Irish dialects spoken natively in what is today Northern Ireland, it is probably an exaggeration to see present-day Ulster Irish
Ulster Irish
as an intermediary form between Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
and the southern and western dialects of Irish. Northern Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
has many non- Ulster
Ulster
features in common with Munster
Munster
Irish. One noticeable trait of Ulster
Ulster
Irish, Manx Gaelic and Scots Gaelic is the use of the negative particle cha(n) in place of the Munster
Munster
and Connacht
Connacht
ní. Though southern Ulster Irish
Ulster Irish
tends to use ní more than cha(n), cha(n) has almost ousted ní in northernmost dialects (e.g. Rosguill
Rosguill
and Tory Island), though even in these areas níl "is not" is more common than chan fhuil or cha bhfuil.[54][55] Another noticeable trait is the pronunciation of the first person singular verb ending -im as -am, also common to Ulster, Man and Scotland
Scotland
(Munster/Connacht/ Leinster
Leinster
siúlaim "I walk", Ulster siúlam). Urban aspect[edit] Irish was spoken as a community language in Irish towns and cities down to the 19th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was widespread even in Dublin
Dublin
and the Pale.[56] The Irish of Dublin, situated as it was between the east Ulster dialect of Meath and Louth to the north and the Leinster-Connacht dialect further south, may have reflected the characteristics of both in phonology and grammar. In County Dublin
County Dublin
itself the general rule was to place the stress on the initial vowel of words. With time it appears that the forms of the dative case took over the other case endings in the plural (a tendency found to a lesser extent in other dialects). In a letter written in Dublin
Dublin
in 1691 we find such examples as the following: gnóthuimh (accusative case, the standard form being gnóthaí), tíorthuibh (accusative case, the standard form being tíortha) and leithscéalaibh (genitive case, the standard form being leithscéalta).[57] English authorities of the Cromwellian period, aware that Irish was widely spoken in Dublin, arranged for its official use. In 1655 several local dignitaries were ordered to oversee a lecture in Irish to be given in Dublin. In March 1656 a converted Catholic priest, Séamas Corcy, was appointed to preach in Irish at Bride’s parish every Sunday, and was also ordered to preach at Drogheda
Drogheda
and Athy.[58] In 1657 the English colonists in Dublin
Dublin
presented a petition to the Municipal Council complaining that in Dublin
Dublin
itself "there is Irish commonly and usually spoken".[59] There is contemporary evidence of the use of Irish in other urban areas at the time. In 1657 it was found necessary to have an Oath of Abjuration (rejecting the authority of the Pope) read in Irish in Cork so that people could understand it.[60] Irish was sufficiently strong in early 18th century Dublin
Dublin
to be the language of a coterie of poets and scribes led by Seán and Tadhg Ó Neachtain, both poets of note.[61] Scribal activity in Irish persisted in Dublin
Dublin
right through the 18th century. An outstanding example was Muiris Ó Gormáin (Maurice Gorman), a prolific producer of manuscripts who advertised his services (in English) in Faulkner's Dublin
Dublin
Journal.[62] In other urban centres the descendants of medieval Anglo-Norman settlers, the so-called Old English, were Irish-speaking or bilingual by the 16th century.[63] The English administrator and traveller Fynes Moryson, writing in the last years of the 16th century, said that "the English Irish and the very citizens (excepting those of Dublin
Dublin
where the lord deputy resides) though they could speak English as well as we, yet commonly speak Irish among themselves, and were hardly induced by our familiar conversation to speak English with us".[64] The demise of native cultural institutions in the seventeenth century saw the social prestige of Irish diminish, and the gradual Anglicisation of the middle classes followed.[65] The census of 1851 showed that the towns and cities of Munster
Munster
still had significant Irish-speaking populations. In 1819 James McQuige, a veteran Methodist lay preacher in Irish, wrote: "In some of the largest southern towns, Cork, Kinsale and even the Protestant town of Bandon, provisions are sold in the markets, and cried in the streets, in Irish".[66] Irish speakers constituted over 40% of the population of Cork even in 1851.[50] The 19th century saw a reduction in the number of Dublin’s Irish speakers, in keeping with the trend elsewhere. This continued until the end of the century, when the Gaelic revival
Gaelic revival
saw the creation of a strong Irish–speaking network, typically united by various branches of the Conradh na Gaeilge, and accompanied by renewed literary activity.[67] By the 1930s Dublin
Dublin
had a lively literary life in Irish.[68] Urban Irish has been the beneficiary, over the last few decades, of a rapidly expanding independent school system, known generally as Gaelscoileanna. These schools teach entirely through Irish, and there are over thirty in Dublin
Dublin
alone. It is likely that the number of urban native speakers (i.e. people who were born into Irish-speaking households and educated through Irish) is on the increase. It has been suggested that Ireland's towns and cities are acquiring a critical mass of Irish speakers, reflected in the expansion of Irish language
Irish language
media.[69] Colloquial urban Irish is changing in unforeseen ways, with attention being drawn to the rapid loss of consonantal mutations (which are intrinsic to the language). It is presently uncertain whether the urban Irish of non-native speakers will become a dialect in its own right or grow further apart from native Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
Irish and become a creole (i.e. a new language).[69] An Caighdeán Oifigiúil[edit]

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Main article: An Caighdeán Oifigiúil An Caighdeán Oifigiúil ("The Official Standard"), often shortened to An Caighdeán, is the standard language, which is taught in most schools in Ireland, though with strong influences from local dialects. It was published by the translators in Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
in the 1950s.[70] Its development in the 1950s and 1960s had two purposes. One was to simplify Irish spelling, which had retained its Classical spelling, by removing many silent letters, and to give a standard written form that was mutually intelligible by speakers with different dialects.[70] Many aspects of the Caighdeán are essentially those of Connacht Irish; this is because this is the "central" dialect which forms a "bridge", as it were, between the North and South. In practice, dialect speakers pronounce words as in their own dialect; the spelling reflects the pronunciation of Classical Irish. For example, ceann "head" in early modern Irish was pronounced [cenːˠ]. The spelling has been retained, but the word is variously pronounced [caunˠ] in the South, [cɑːnˠ] in Connacht, and [cænːˠ] in the North. Beag "small" was [bʲɛɡ] in early modern Irish, and is now [bʲɛɡ] in Waterford Irish; [bʲɔɡ] in Cork-Kerry Irish; varies between [bʲɔɡ] and [bʲæɡ] in the West; and is [bʲœɡ] in the North. The simplification was weighted in favour of the Western dialect. For example, the early modern Irish leaba, dative case leabaidh [lʲebˠɨʝ] "bed" is pronounced [lʲabˠə] as well as [lʲabˠɨɟ] in Waterford Irish, [lʲabˠɨɟ] in Cork-Kerry Irish, [lʲæbˠə] in Connacht
Connacht
Irish ([lʲæːbˠə] in Cois Fharraige Irish) and [lʲæbˠi] in the North.[Not clear whether these pronunciations are for the nominative or the dative case.] Native speakers from the North and South may consider that leabaidh should be the representation in the Caighdeán rather than the actual leaba. However, leaba is the historically correct nominative form and arguably preferable to the historically incorrect yet common use of the dative form for the nominative. On the other hand, in some cases the Caighdeán retained classical spellings even though none of the dialects had retained the corresponding pronunciation. For example, it has retained the Classical Irish
Classical Irish
spelling of ar ("on", "for", etc.) and ag ("at", "by", "of", etc.). The first is pronounced [ɛɾʲ] throughout the Goidelic-speaking world (and is written er in Manx, and air in Scottish Gaelic), and should[clarification needed] be written either eir or oir in Irish. The second is pronounced [iɟ] in the South, and [eɟ] in the North and West. Again, Manx and Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
reflect this pronunciation much more clearly than Irish does (Manx ec, Scottish aig). In many cases, however, the Caighdeán can only refer to the Classical language, in that every dialect is different, as for example in the personal forms of ag.

Munster : agùm [əˈɡumˠ], agùt [əˈɡut̪ˠ], igè [ɨˈɟe], icì [ɨˈci], agùing [əˈɡuŋʲ] / aguìng [əˈɡiŋʲ] (West Cork/Kerry agùin [əˈɡunʲ] / aguìn [əˈɡinʲ]), agùibh/aguìbh [əˈɡuβʲ] / [əˈɡiβʲ], acù [əˈkˠu] Connacht : am [amˠ] (agam [ˈaɡəmˠ]), ad [ˈad̪ˠ] (agad [ˈaɡəd̪ˠ]), aige [ˈeɟɨ], aici [ˈecɨ], ainn [aɲʲ] (againn [ˈaɡɨɲʲ]), aguí [ˈaɡi], acab [ˈakəbˠ] Ulster : aigheam [ɛimˠ], aighead [ɛid̪ˠ], aige [ˈeɟɨ], aicí [ˈeci], aighinn [ɛiɲʲ], aighif [ɛiɸʲ], acú [ˈakˠu] Caighdeán : agam [ˈaɡəmˠ], agat [ˈaɡət̪ˠ], aige [ˈeɟɨ], aici [ˈecɨ], againn [ˈaɡɨɲʲ], agaibh [ˈaɡɨβʲ], acu [ˈaku] / [ˈakə]

The second purpose was to create a grammatically regularised or "simplified" standard which would make the language more accessible for the majority English-speaking school population. In part this is why the Caighdeán is not universally respected by native speakers. Native speakers traditionally spoke their own dialect (or the Classical dialect if they had knowledge of that). Of course, the simplification of Irish was not the original aim of the developers, who rather saw the Caighdeán as a means of easing second-language learners into the task of learning "full" Irish. The Caighdeán verb system is a prime example, with the reduction in irregular verb forms and personal forms of the verb – except for the first person. The Caighdeán, in general, is used by non-native speakers, frequently from the capital, and is sometimes also called " Dublin
Dublin
Irish" or "Urban Irish". As it is taught in many Irish-language schools (where Irish is the main, or sometimes only, medium of instruction), it is also sometimes called " Gaelscoil
Gaelscoil
Irish". The so-called "Belfast Irish", spoken in that city's Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
Quarter, is the Caighdeán heavily influenced by Ulster Irish
Ulster Irish
and Belfast English. The differences between dialects are considerable, and have led to recurrent difficulties in defining standard Irish. In recent decades contacts between speakers of different dialects have become more frequent and the differences between the dialects are less noticeable.[71] An Caighdeán Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe[edit] As of August 2012,[72] the first major revision of the Caighdeán Oifigiúil is available, both online[73][74]and in print.[75] Among the changes to be found in the revised version are, for example, various attempts to bring the recommendations of the Caighdeán closer to the spoken dialect of Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
speakers,[76] including allowing further use of the nominative case where the genitive would historically have been found.[77] Phonology[edit] Main article: Irish phonology

This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode
Unicode
characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

In pronunciation, Irish most closely resembles its nearest relatives, Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
and Manx. One notable feature is that consonants (except /h/) come in pairs, one "broad" (velarised, pronounced with the back of the tongue pulled back towards the soft palate) and one "slender" (palatalised, pronounced with the middle of the tongue pushed up towards the hard palate). While broad–slender pairs are not unique to Irish (being found, for example, in Russian), in Irish they have a grammatical function.

Consonant phonemes

Labial Coronal Dorsal Glottal

broad slender broad slender broad slender

Stop voiceless pˠ pʲ t̪ˠ tʲ k c

voiced bˠ bʲ d̪ˠ dʲ ɡ ɟ

Fricative/ Approximant voiceless fˠ fʲ sˠ ʃ x ç h

voiced w/v vʲ

ɣ j

Nasal mˠ mʲ n̪ˠ nʲ ŋ ɲ

Tap

ɾˠ ɾʲ

Lateral

l̪ˠ lʲ

Vowel phonemes

Front Central Back

short long short short long

Close ɪ iː

ʊ uː

Mid ɛ eː ə ɔ oː

Open

a

ɑː

Diphthongs: iə, uə, əi, əu. Syntax and morphology[edit] Main articles: Irish grammar, Irish declension, Irish conjugation, and Irish syntax Irish is a fusional, VSO, nominative-accusative language. Irish is neither verb nor satellite framed, and makes liberal use of deictic verbs. Nouns decline for 3 numbers: singular, dual, plural; 2 genders: masculine, feminine; and 4 cases: ainmneach (nominative and accusative), gairmeach (vocative), ginideach (genitive), and tabharthach (prepositional). Adjectives agree with nouns in number, gender, and case. Adjectives generally follow nouns, though some precede or prefix nouns. Demonstrative adjectives have proximal, medial, and distal forms. The prepositional case is called the dative by convention. Verbs conjugate for 3 tenses: past, present, future; 2 aspects: simple, habitual; 2 numbers: singular, plural; 4 moods: indicative, subjunctive, conditional, imperative; relative forms; and in some verbs, independent and dependent forms. Verbs conjugate for 3 persons and an impersonal form in which no agent can be determined. There are two verbs for "to be", one for inherent qualities, and one for transient qualities. The passive voice and many other forms are periphrastic. There are a number of preverbal particles marking the negative, interrogative, subjunctive, relative clauses, etc. There is a verbal noun, and verbal adjective. Verb forms are highly regular, many grammars recognise only 11 irregular verbs. Prepositions inflect for person and number. Different prepositions govern different cases. Some prepositions govern different cases depending on intended semantics. The word ag (at), becomes agam (at me) in the first person singular. When used with the verb bí (to be), ag indicates possession. Irish shares this attribute with Russian.

Tá leabhar agam. "I have a book." (Literally, "there is a book at (on) me," cf. Russian "У меня есть книга") Tá leabhar agat. "You have a book." Tá leabhar aige. "He has a book." Tá leabhar aici. "She has a book." Tá leabhar againn. "We have a book." Tá leabhar agaibh. "Ye have a book." Tá leabhar acu. "They have a book."

Numerals have 4 forms: abstract, impersonal, personal, and ordinal.

"a dó" Two. "dhá leabhar" Two books. "beirt" Two people. "dara" Second.

Initial mutations[edit] Main article: Irish initial mutations In Irish, there are two classes of initial consonant mutations, which express grammatical relationship and meaning in verbs, nouns and adjectives:

Lenition (séimhiú) describes the change of stops into fricatives. Indicated in Gaelic script by a sí buailte (a dot) written above the consonant, it is shown in Latin script
Latin script
by adding a h.

caith! "throw!" – chaith mé "I threw" (lenition as a past-tense marker, caused by the particle do, now generally omitted) gá "requirement" – easpa an ghá "lack of the requirement" (lenition marking the genitive case of a masculine noun) Seán "John" – a Sheáin! "John!" (lenition as part of the vocative case, the vocative lenition being triggered by a, the vocative marker before Sheáin)

Eclipsis (urú) covers the voicing of voiceless stops, and nasalisation of voiced stops.

athair "father" – ár n-Athair "our Father" tús "start", ar dtús "at the start" Gaillimh "Galway" – i nGaillimh "in Galway"

Mutations are often the only way to distinguish grammatical forms. For example, the only non-contextual way to distinguish possessive pronouns "her," "his" and "their", is through initial mutations since all meanings are represented by the same word a.

their shoe – a mbróg (eclipsis) his shoe – a bhróg (lenition) her shoe – a bróg (unchanged)

Due to initial mutation, prefixes, clitics, suffixes, root inflection, ending morphology, elision, sandhi, epinthesis, and assimilation; the beginning, core, and end of words can each change radically and even simultaneously depending on context. Orthography[edit] Main article: Irish orthography Modern Irish traditionally used the ISO basic Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
without the letters j, k, q, w, x, y and z, but with the addition of one diacritic sign, the acute accent (á é í ó ú), known in Irish as the síneadh fada ("long mark"; plural: sínte fada). However, some gaelicised words use those letters: for instance, 'Jeep' is written as 'Jíp' (the letter v has been naturalised into the language, although it is not part of the traditional alphabet, and has the same pronunciation as "bh"). In idiomatic English usage, this diacritic is frequently referred to simply as the fada, where the adjective is used as a noun. The fada serves to lengthen the sound of the vowels and in some cases also changes their quality. For example, in Munster
Munster
Irish (Kerry), a is /a/ or /ɑ/ and á is /ɑː/ in "father" but in Ulster Irish (Donegal), á tends to be /æː/. Traditional orthography had an additional diacritic – a dot over some consonants to indicate lenition. In modern Irish, the letter h suffixed to a consonant indicates that the consonant is lenited. Thus, for example, 'Gaelaċ' has become 'Gaelach'. Around the time of the Second World War, Séamas Daltún, in charge of Rannóg an Aistriúcháin (the official translations department of the Irish government), issued his own guidelines about how to standardise Irish spelling and grammar. This de facto standard was subsequently approved by the State and called the Official Standard or Caighdeán Oifigiúil. It simplified and standardised the orthography. Many words had silent letters removed and vowel combination brought closer to the spoken language. Where multiple versions existed in different dialects for the same word, one or more were selected. Examples:

Gaedhealg / Gaedhilg(e) / Gaedhealaing / Gaeilic / Gaelainn / Gaoidhealg / Gaolainn → Gaeilge, "Irish language" Lughbhaidh → Lú, "Louth" (see County Louth
County Louth
Historic Names) biadh → bia, "food"

The standard spelling does not necessarily reflect the pronunciation used in particular dialects. For example, in standard Irish, bia, "food", has the genitive bia. In Munster
Munster
Irish, however, the genitive is pronounced /bʲiːɟ/.[78] For this reason, the spelling biadh is still used by the speakers of some dialects, in particular those that show a meaningful and audible difference between biadh (nominative case) and bídh (genitive case) "of food, food's". In Munster
Munster
the latter spelling regularly produces the pronunciation /bʲiːɟ/ because final -idh, -igh regularly delenites to -ig in Munster pronunciation. Another example would be the word crua, meaning "hard". This pronounced /kruəɟ/[79] in Munster, in line with the pre-Caighdeán spelling, cruaidh. In Munster, ao is pronounced /eː/ and aoi pronounced /iː/,[80] but the new spellings of saoghal, "life, world", genitive: saoghail, have become saol, genitive saoil. This produces irregularities in the match-up between the spelling and pronunciation in Munster, because the word is pronounced /sˠeːl̪ˠ/, genitive /sˠeːlʲ/.[81] The dot-above diacritic, called a ponc séimhithe or sí buailte (often shortened to buailte), derives from the punctum delens used in medieval manuscripts to indicate deletion, similar to crossing out unwanted words in handwriting today. From this usage it was used to indicate the lenition of s (from /s/ to /h/) and f (from /f/ to zero) in Old Irish texts. Lenition of c, p, and t was indicated by placing the letter h after the affected consonant; lenition of other sounds was left unmarked. Later both methods were extended to be indicators of lenition of any sound except l and n, and two competing systems were used: lenition could be marked by a buailte or by a postposed h. Eventually, use of the buailte predominated when texts were written using Gaelic letters, while the h predominated when writing using Roman letters. Today, Gaelic type
Gaelic type
and the buailte are rarely used except where a "traditional" style is required, e.g. the motto on the University College Dublin
Dublin
coat of arms[citation needed] or the symbol of the Irish Defence Forces, The Irish Defence Forces cap badge
Irish Defence Forces cap badge
(Óglaiġ na h-Éireann). Letters with the buailte are available in Unicode
Unicode
and Latin-8 character sets (see Latin
Latin
Extended Additional chart).[82] See also[edit]

Béarlachas, Anglicisms in Irish Buntús Cainte, a course in basic spoken Irish Cumann Gaelach, Irish language
Irish language
Society Dictionary of the Irish Language Comparison of Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
and Irish Goidelic
Goidelic
substrate hypothesis Hiberno-Latin, a variety of Medieval Latin
Latin
used in Irish monasteries. It included Greek, Hebrew and Celtic neologisms. Irish name and Place names in Ireland Irish words used in the English language Irish, a subject of the Junior Cycle examination in Secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge List of Irish-language media List of artists who have released Irish-language songs List of English words of Irish origin List of Ireland-related topics List of Irish-language given names Modern literature in Irish Status of the Irish language

Bibliography[edit]

Caerwyn Williams, J.E. & Ní Mhuiríosa, Máirín (ed.). Traidisiún Liteartha na nGael. An Clóchomhar Tta 1979. McCabe, Richard A.. Spenser's Monstrous Regiment: Elizabethan Ireland and the Poetics of Difference. Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
2002. ISBN 0-19-818734-3. Hickey, Raymond. The Dialects of Irish: Study of a Changing Landscape. Walter de Gruyter, 2011. ISBN 3110238306. Hickey, Raymond. The Sound Structure of Modern Irish. De Gruyter Mouton 2014. ISBN 978-3-11-022659-1. De Brún, Pádraig. Scriptural Instruction in the Vernacular: The Irish Society and its Teachers 1818–1827. Dublin
Dublin
Institute for Advanced Studies 2009. ISBN 978-1-85500-212-8 Doyle, Aidan, A History of the Irish Language: From the Norman Invasion to Independence, Oxford, 2015. Fitzgerald, Garrett, ‘Estimates for baronies of minimal level of Irish-speaking amongst successive decennial cohorts, 117-1781 to 1861–1871,’ Volume 84, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 1984. Garvin, Tom, Preventing the Future: Why was Ireland
Ireland
so poor for so long?, Gill and McMillan, 2005. Hindley, Reg (1991, new ed.). The Death of the Irish Language: A Qualified Obituary. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-4150-6481-1 McMahon, Timothy G.. Grand Opportunity: The Gaelic Revival and Irish Society, 1893–1910. Syracuse University Press 2008. ISBN 978-0-8156-3158-3 Ó Gráda, Cormac. 'Cé Fada le Fán' in Dublin
Dublin
Review of Books, Issue 34, 6 May 2013:[83] Kelly, James & Mac Murchaidh, Ciarán (eds.). Irish and English: Essays on the Linguistic and Cultural Frontier 1600–1900. Four Courts Press 2012. ISBN 978-1846823404 Ní Mhunghaile, Lesa. 'An Eighteenth Century Irish scribe's private library: Muiris Ó Gormáin's books' in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Volume 110C, 2010, pp. 239–276. Ní Mhuiríosa, Máirín. ‘Cumann na Scríbhneoirí: Memoir’ in Scríobh 5, ed. Seán Ó Mórdha. Baile Átha Cliath: An Clóchomhar Tta 1981. Ó hÓgáin, Dáithí. Labhrann Laighnigh: Téacsanna agus Cainteanna ó Shean-Chúige Laighean. Coiscéim
Coiscéim
2011. Ó Laoire, Muiris. '‘Language Use and Language Attitudes in Ireland’ in Multilingualism in European Bilingual Contexts : Language Use and Attitudes, ed. David Lasagabaster and Ángel Huguet. Multilingual Matters Ltd. 2007. ISBN 1-85359-929-8 Shibakov, Alexey. Irish Word Forms / Irische Wortformen. epubli 2017. ISBN 9783745066500 Williams, Nicholas. 'Na Canúintí a Theacht chun Solais' in Stair na Gaeilge, ed. Kim McCone and others. Maigh Nuad 1994. ISBN 0-901519-90-1

References[edit]

^ a b "7. The Irish language" (PDF). Cso.ie. Retrieved 24 September 2017.  ^ a b "2011 Census, Key Statistics for Northern Ireland" (PDF). Nisra.gov.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2017.  ^ [1] ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Irish". Glottolog
Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ "Definition : Gaelic". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 5 January 2015.  ^ Dinneen, Patrick S. (1927). Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla (2d ed.). Dublin: Irish Texts Society. pp.  507 s.v. Gaedhealg. ISBN 1-870166-00-0.  ^ Doyle, Aidan; Edmund Gussmann (2005). An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik Języka Irlandzkiego. pp.  423k. ISBN 83-7363-275-1.  ^ Dillon, Myles; Donncha Ó Cróinín (1961). Teach Yourself Irish. pp.  227. ISBN 0-340-27841-2.  ^ " Ireland
Ireland
speaks up loudly for Gaelic". New York Times. 29 March 2005.  An example of the use of the word "Gaelic" to describe the language, seen throughout the text of the article. ^ De Fréine, Seán (1978). The Great Silence: The Study of a Relationship Between Language and Nationality. Irish Books & Media. ISBN 978-0-85342-516-8.  ^ a b Ó Gráda 2013. ^ ""The unadulterated Irish language": Irish Speakers in Nineteenth Century New York New-York Historical Society". New-York Historical Society. 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2017-07-29.  ^ See the discussion in Wolf, Nicholas M. (25 November 2014). An Irish-Speaking Island: State, Religion, Community, and the Linguistic Landscape in Ireland, 1770–1870. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-30274-0.  ^ McMahon 2008, pp. 130–131. ^ "The Irish language
Irish language
and the Church of Ireland". Church of Ireland. Retrieved 2017-07-29.  ^ " Ireland
Ireland
speaks up loudly for Gaelic". The New York Times. 29 March 2005.  ^ Ó Murchú, Máirtín (1993). "Aspects of the societal status of Modern Irish". In Martin J. Ball and James Fife (eds.). The Celtic Languages. London: Routledge. pp. 471–90. ISBN 0-415-01035-7. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ "NUI Entry Requirements – Ollscoil na hÉireann – National University of Ireland". Nui.ie. Retrieved 7 July 2012.  ^ [2] Archived 30 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine. ^ 'Academic claims the forced learning of Irish "has failed",' Irish Independent, Thursday 19 January 2006: Independent.ie ^ 'End compulsory Irish, says FG, as 14,000 drop subject,' Irish Examiner, 4 May 2010: Irishexaminer.ie[permanent dead link] Retrieved 2 June 2010. ^ Donncha Ó hÉallaithe: "Litir oscailte chuig Enda Kenny": BEO.ie ^ Lorna Siggins, 'Study sees decline of Irish in Gaeltacht,' The Irish Times, 16 July 2007: Highbeam.com ^ Nollaig Ó Gadhra, 'The Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
and the Future of Irish, Studies, Volume 90, Number 360 ^ Welsh Robert and Stewart, Bruce (1996). 'Gaeltacht,' The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature. Oxford University Press. ^ Hindley, Reg (1991). The Death of the Irish Language: A Qualified Obituary. Taylor & Francis. ^ Magan, Manchán (9 January 2007). "Cá Bhfuil Na Gaeilg eoirí? *". The Guardian. London.  ^ See the discussion and the conclusions reached in 'Language and Occupational Status: Linguistic Elitism in the Irish Labour Market,’ The Economic and Social Review, Vol. 40, No. 4, Winter, 2009, pp. 435–460: Ideas.repec.org ^ "Constitution of Ireland". Government of Ireland. 1 July 1937. Archived from the original on 17 July 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2007.  ^ "Over 2.3m people using language app to learn Irish". Rte.ie. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2017.  ^ "Ar fheabhas! President praises volunteer Duolingo
Duolingo
translators". Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 23 September 2017.  ^ "Census of Population 2016 – Profile 10 Education, Skills and the Irish Language - CSO - Central Statistics Office". Retrieved 2018-02-11.  ^ a b Siggins, Lorna (6 January 2003). "Only 25% of Gaeltacht households fluent in Irish – survey". The Irish Times. p. 5.  ^ Hindley 1991, Map 7: Irish speakers by towns and distinct electoral divisions, census 1926. ^ "Coláiste Lurgan". Lurgan.biz. Retrieved 23 September 2017.  ^ "CAIN: Issues: Language: O'Reilly, C. (1997) Nationalists and the Irish Language in Northern Ireland: Competing Perspectives". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2015.  ^ GPPAC.net Archived 13 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Belfast Agreement – Full text – Section 6 (Equality) – "Economic, Social and Cultural issues"". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 7 July 2012.  ^ " Irish language
Irish language
future is raised". BBC
BBC
News. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2007.  ^ "'We will continue to campaign until we achieve equality for the Irish language'". Connemara
Connemara
Journal. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2017.  ^ "Thousands call for Irish Language Act during Belfast rally". Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 15 January 2018.  ^ "Is í an Ghaeilge an 21ú teanga oifigiúil den Aontas Eorpach". Archived from the original on 18 March 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008.  ^ "Irish to be given full official EU language status". EURACTIV.com. Retrieved 23 September 2017.  ^ O Broin, Brian. "An Analysis of the Irish-Speaking Communities of North America: Who are they, what are their opinions, and what are their needs?". Academia. Retrieved 31 March 2012.  ^ "1. Detailed Languages Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 Years and Over for the United States: 2006–2008", Language (table), Census, 2010  ^ "Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 1 - CSO - Central Statistics Office". Cso.ie. Retrieved 2017-07-29.  ^ Williams 1994, pp. 467–478. ^ Borde, Andrew (1870). F.J. Furnivall, ed. "The Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge". N. Trubner & Co. pp. 131–135.  ^ "State of Ireland
Ireland
& Plan for its Reformation" in State Papers Ireland, Henry VIII, ii, 8. ^ a b c d See Fitzgerald 1984. ^ Cited in Ó Gráda 2013. ^ "The Doegen Records Web Project DHO". Dho.ie. 5 September 1928. Retrieved 19 March 2016.  ^ " Douglas Hyde
Douglas Hyde
Opens 2RN 1 January 1926". RTÉ News. 15 February 2012.  ^ Hamilton, John Noel (1974). A Phonetic Study of the Irish of Tory Island, County Donegal. Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast.  ^ Lucas, Leslie W. (1979). Grammar of Ros Goill Irish, County Donegal. Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast.  ^ William Gerard
William Gerard
commented as follows: "All Englishe, and the most part with delight, even in Dublin, speak Irishe", while Richard Stanihurst lamented that "When their posteritie became not altogither so warie in keeping, as their ancestors were valiant in conquering, the Irish language
Irish language
was free dennized in the English Pale: this canker tooke such deep root, as the bodie that before was whole and sound, was by little and little festered, and in manner wholly putrified." See "Tony Crowley, "The Politics of Language in Ireland
Ireland
1366–1922: A Sourcebook" and Leerssen, Joep, Mere Irish and Fior-Ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality, Its Development and Literary Expression Prior to the Nineteenth Century, University of Notre Dame Press 1997, p. 51. ISBN 978-0268014278. There were still an appreciable number of Irish speakers in County Dublin
County Dublin
at the time of the 1851 census: see Fitzgerald 1984. ^ See Ó hÓgáin 2011. ^ Berresford Ellis 1975, p. 156. ^ Quoted in Berresford Ellis, p. 193. ^ Berresford Ellis 1975, p. 190. ^ Caerwyn Williams & Uí Mhuiríosa 1979, p. 279 and 284. ^ Ní Mhunghaile 2010, pp. 239–276. ^ McCabe, p.31 ^ Cited in Graham Kew (ed.), The Irish Sections of Fynes Moryson's unpublished itinerary (IMC, Dublin, 1998), p. 50. ^ Ó Laoire 2007, p. 164. ^ Quoted in de Brún 2009, pp. 11–12. ^ Ó Conluain & Ó Céileachair 1976, pp. 148–153, 163–169, 210–215. ^ Uí Mhuiríosa 1981, pp. 168–181. ^ a b Ó Broin, Brian (16 January 2010). "Schism fears for Gaeilgeoirí". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 February 2018.  ^ a b "Beginners' Blas". BBC. June 2005. Retrieved 18 March 2011.  ^ "Irish Dialects". Irishlanguage.net. Retrieved 31 October 2015.  ^ Niamh Ní Shúilleabháin (2 August 2012). "Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe don Ghaeilge". Gaelport.com (in Irish). Retrieved 2 August 2012.  ^ "An Caighdeán Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe" (PDF) (in Irish). Seirbhís Thithe an Oireachtais. January 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012. [dead link] ^ "An Caighdeán Oifigiúil" (PDF) (in Irish). January 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2018.  ^ "Foilseacháin Rialtais / Government Publications—Don tSeachtain dar críoch 25 Iúil 2012 / For the week ended 25 July 2012" (PDF) (in Irish and English). Rialtas na hÉireann. 27 July 2012. p. 2. Retrieved 2 August 2012. M67B Gramadach na Gaeilge 9781406425766 390 10.00 [permanent dead link] ^ Vivian Uíbh Eachach, ed. (January 2012). An Caighdeán Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe (PDF) (in Irish). Seirbhís Thithe an Oireachtais. p. 7. Rinneadh iarracht ar leith san athbhreithniú seo foirmeacha agus leaganacha atá ar fáil go tréan sa chaint sna mórchanúintí a áireamh sa Chaighdeán Oifigiúil Athbhreithnithe sa tslí is go mbraithfeadh an gnáthchainteoir mórchanúna go bhfuil na príomhghnéithe den chanúint sin aitheanta sa Chaighdeán Oifigiúil agus, mar sin, gur gaire don ghnáthchaint an Caighdeán Oifigiúil anois ná mar a bhíodh.  ^ Vivian Uíbh Eachach, ed. (January 2012). An Caighdeán Oifigiúil—Caighdeán Athbhreithnithe (PDF) (in Irish). Seirbhís Thithe an Oireachtais. p. 7. Retrieved 2 August 2012. Triaileadh, mar shampla, aitheantas a thabhairt don leathnú atá ag teacht ar úsáid fhoirm an ainmnigh in ionad an ghinidigh sa chaint.  ^ Doyle, Aidan; Gussmann, Edmund (2005). An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik Języka Irlandzkiego. p. 412. ISBN 83-7363-275-1.  ^ Doyle, Aidan; Gussmann, Edmund (2005). An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik Języka Irlandzkiego. p. 417. ISBN 83-7363-275-1.  ^ Dillon, Myles; Ó Cróinín, Donncha (1961). Teach Yourself Irish. p. 6. ISBN 0-340-27841-2.  ^ Doyle, Aidan; Gussmann, Edmund (2005). An Ghaeilge, Podręcznik Języka Irlandzkiego. p. 432. ISBN 83-7363-275-1.  ^ Unicode
Unicode
5.0, " Latin
Latin
Extended Additional" (PDF).  (163 KB). Retrieved 13 October 2007. ^ "CÉ FADA LE FÁN". Drb.ie. Retrieved 23 September 2017. 

External links[edit]

Irish edition of, the free encyclopedia

Find more aboutthe Irish languageat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Travel guide from Wikivoyage Learning resources from Wikiversity

Wikisource
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Language Links Database – language links and resources for Irish language Discover Irish Gaeilge ar an ghréasán Irish online resources 'Gael-Taca (Corcaigh)' "Learning Irish?," BBC "Social Network for learners, teachers and speakers," Gaelscoil
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Archive Card Collection. A UCD Digital Library Collection. Irish Dialect
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Archive Manuscript Collection. A UCD Digital Library Collection.

Literature[edit]

Extract from An Bíobla Naofa (the Bible in Irish), published by An Sagart in 1981 Extract from the Tiomna Nua (New Testament) 1970, tr. Coslett Ó Cuinn, published by Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise Extract from An Bíobla Naomhtha (The Holy Bible), 16th-17th century translation done under the supervision of William Bedell, republished in 1817 by the British and Foreign Bible Society

Grammar and pronunciation[edit]

Learn Irish Grammar with audio and pronunciation An Gael Magazine – Irish Gaelic Arts, Culture, And History Alive Worldwide Today A short Irish and Breton phrase list with Japanese translation(Renewal) incl sound file Braesicke's Gramadach na Gaeilge (Engl. translation) Irish language
Irish language
in Mayo Die araner mundart (a phonological description of the dialect of the Aran Islands
Aran Islands
by F. N. Finck, from 1899) A dialect of Donegal (a phonological description of the dialect of Glenties
Glenties
by E. C. Quiggin, from 1906) Trinity College Dublin
Dublin
The Irish Language Synthesiser Cruinneog - publishers of Irish grammar checker software Anois

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Acmhainn.ie – Dictionary and terminology resource General Gaelic Dictionaries Irish-English Audio/Image dictionary

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