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The purpose of this forum is to provide a place for people who are interested in the Irish language and various Celtic languages to discuss them, to practice them, and to share information about them, particularly (but not exclusively) in the context of traditional music and culture.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:23 am 
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Well, I am preparing for some postgraduate study and have an idea to work with gaelic languages (scottish, irish or both - for now it doesn`t matter). So I need to pick a topic for my dissertation.

The problem is I`ve just started learning gaelic languages and do not quite understand what topic is worth studying. This must be something about the connection of gaelic and modern/old english - for examble the influence of english on gaelic grammar/lexics/phonetics.

Do you have any ideas? My supervisor offered me to study the origin of complex object and c. subject in english, but I said that it would be more interesting for me (it is true!) to study phenomenons of gaelic languages, especially from retrospective view - of course in areas which are linked with english.

Sooo... any ideas? I will be really grateful for your thoughts..

Sorry for my english, I am not a native speaker)

Thanks a lot in advance!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:16 am 
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No help from me, sorry - I wanted to do something about Irish for my dissertation in 2005 but ultimately decided that I didn't know enough about the language to do a proper job. Good luck!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Ma_O wrote:
Well, I am preparing for some postgraduate study and have an idea to work with gaelic languages (scottish, irish or both - for now it doesn`t matter). So I need to pick a topic for my dissertation.

The problem is I`ve just started learning gaelic languages and do not quite understand what topic is worth studying. This must be something about the connection of gaelic and modern/old english - for examble the influence of english on gaelic grammar/lexics/phonetics.

Do you have any ideas? My supervisor offered me to study the origin of complex object and c. subject in english, but I said that it would be more interesting for me (it is true!) to study phenomenons of gaelic languages, especially from retrospective view - of course in areas which are linked with english.

Sooo... any ideas? I will be really grateful for your thoughts..

Sorry for my english, I am not a native speaker)

Thanks a lot in advance!


It might make more sense to study the effect the Gaelic languages have had on English. For example, many aspects of what we think of as an "Irish accent" (for example, not using a rising inflection at the end of a question) came about directly as result from the influence of the Irish language.

If you're interested in how English has impacted a Gaelic language, you might want to focus on written Manx, which uses a phonetic system derived from English (it often looks a little like Irish written using English phonics).

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:07 pm 
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yes, etymology of a lot of English words could be interesting for dissertation.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:26 pm 
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You might also want to ask your question here:

http://www.irishgaelictranslator.com/tr ... 3b1ba2f243

It's busier than this forum, and several of the regulars are either college students or teachers...they may be able to give you some insight.

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:40 am 
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The ~eens diminutive and popular culture, particularly as in the phrase "blown to smithereens", which has a curious phrasal quality that suggests that this is the only context that smithereen commonly appears in. I wonder if this is a relic of some sort of paddywhacking vaudeville performer's catch phrase.

"Shebeens" is another word with the same diminutive. In South Africa, of course, shebeen became the name for an unlicensed shantytown tavern, the venue in which kwela was born.

A similar event gave us pixie and pixilate, both from the Frank Capra film "Mr Deeds goes to Town", which recycled some Scots gaelic folklore. Backformation from 'pixilate' gave us 'pixil' and the unit 'px'.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:44 am 
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yes, interesting. I speculate that the crab in crabapples is from Irish Gaelic meaning sour.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:19 am 
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talasiga wrote:
yes, interesting. I speculate that the crab in crabapples is from Irish Gaelic meaning sour.


The Irish word for "sour" is "searbh." Sour apple would be "Úll Searbh" (ool SHAR-uv). The Irish term for the crab apple tree is "Fia-Úll" (deer apple), so I think it unlikely.

(Granted you're probably kidding, but since the OP isn't a native English speaker I thought it best to clarify).

This could be an interesting course of study, but I have no idea how to begin. Certainly there's been English influence on the Irish language...inevitable, between the fact that at least some people have spoken English in Ireland for more than 600 years and the fact that English is the word's current lingua franca. In the Gaeltacht especially, where people are less likely to be "purists" about the language, you'll hear a lot of borrowed English terminology (I've actually heard terms such as "mo bhicycle" and "mo bhoyfriend" :lol: ). Among learners outside the Gaeltachts, one often hears a lot of "Béarlachas" (Irish twisted to follow English structure and idiom...usually because the grammar is poorly understood and the mistakes get perpetuated), which may or may not eventually become acceptable variants (there's a lot of argument both for and against such developments that I generally try to stay out of). But those are changes in vocabulary and grammar/syntax, not in sound.

One common misconception I frequently hear from my students is that Irish words that resemble English words were borrowed from English ("carr" for example), when often the reverse is true. There's also the presumption that words that appear to have Latin roots were borrowed from Latin and, while that is often true, in some cases it's a matter of both Latin and Irish having gotten the word from their common Proto-Indo-European roots (sometimes people forget that Latin isn't the oldest language on the planet!). While that's also a matter of vocabulary, it's something to be aware of when discussing word sounds as well...it can be hard to tell if the Irish was influenced by the English or the other way around!

One of my favorite Irish word borrowing stories is "whiskey." Most here probably know that the English word "whiskey" comes from "uisce beatha"* (ISK-eh ba)...water of life in Irish. The funny thing is, at some point Irish speakers borrowed "whiskey" BACK from English, pronouncing it "fuisce" (FWISH-keh). So now we have both a native term and a Gaelized borrowed term that is BASED on the native term...and both are considered correct! In fact, I'd hazard that you're somewhat more likely to hear "fuisce" in the Gaeltachtaí, though I can't swear to it (I certainly heard it a lot in Donegal).

Redwolf

* I know the term is similar in Scottish Gaelic, but I'm unsure of the spelling and VERY unsure of the pronunciation, so I'll let others provide it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:06 pm 
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'Riding coat' (eng) and 'redingote' (fr) are a pair that play the same trick. I'm told that redingote can be heard in english around snobby dressmakers as a french loanword.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:37 pm 
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In Scots Gaelic: uisge beatha -- I generally say it "Scotch." But sometimes I say it "Jameson"

:D

But anyway, one topic that might be interesting to explore is the origin of Scots Gaelic piping terminology. Words like Piobaireachd, crunluath, and taorluath. The first seems to be a gaelic taking of the English piper into piobaire, and then the rest means "what he does," which in the modern form refers to a specific old style of music. The other two are names of specific ornaments used in piping. No one seems certain how they came to be, but it's speculated that they may have originally simply been names of piping ornaments, which have been corrupted and canonized in the Victorian.

And then you have your piob mor (great pipe) seemingly transliterated into war pipe.

It could also be neat to look at Gaelic titles of music and how they've been translated, and mis-translated (sometimes on purpose) into English.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:05 pm 
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I'd like to know what the original Irish word for "hat" was. My understanding of the letter h in Irish (which may of course be flawed) is that it was really only used for loanwords and indication of the dots over consonants once the typewriter came into play. So what was used before "hata"?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Thanks a lot for your answers, there is definitely many things to think about... I regret I haven`t started learnig gaelic a bit earlier for it would have been a bit easier for me to define the topic for the work - but still I`ll try to manage it.

Definitely will try to ask people on irishgaelictranslator.com.

By the way, interesting story about 'whiskey' - I didn`t know it)

And - just`ve read the comment of highland-piper - hey, that sounds as a great idea, to learn the origin of lexics which is used to define musical instruments and everything about it! I even didnt think about it. The main problem is for now - is there enough material to work with? I mean, could you at least name some books (they are better to be 'big')) dealing with the history of irish/scottish musical art (piping incl.)?

Anyway, thanks a lot, there is much necessary information for me already in this topic!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:33 am 
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Ma_O wrote:
Thanks a lot for your answers, there is definitely many things to think about... I regret I haven`t started learnig gaelic a bit earlier for it would have been a bit easier for me to define the topic for the work - but still I`ll try to manage it.

Definitely will try to ask people on irishgaelictranslator.com.

By the way, interesting story about 'whiskey' - I didn`t know it)

And - just`ve read the comment of highland-piper - hey, that sounds as a great idea, to learn the origin of lexics which is used to define musical instruments and everything about it! I even didnt think about it. The main problem is for now - is there enough material to work with? I mean, could you at least name some books (they are better to be 'big')) dealing with the history of irish/scottish musical art (piping incl.)?

Anyway, thanks a lot, there is much necessary information for me already in this topic!


"Celtic Music: A Complete Guide" by June Skinner Sawyers is a good place to start.

Redwolf

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:35 am 
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avanutria wrote:
I'd like to know what the original Irish word for "hat" was. My understanding of the letter h in Irish (which may of course be flawed) is that it was really only used for loanwords and indication of the dots over consonants once the typewriter came into play. So what was used before "hata"?


I suspect there wasn't one. The ancient Irish wore long léinte (shirts), brait (cloaks) and probably covered their heads, when needed, with a hood or cowl (cochall), formed from one or the other. I'm guessing both hataí and caipíní were English importations.

Here's a pretty good site about ancient Irish clothing:

http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/ir ... ndary.html

Redwolf

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 Post subject: crabapple
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:26 pm 
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So, Redwolf, question in good faith,
what is gooseberry in Irish Gaelic?

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