Old Irish/ Sengoídelc

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Ciarán12
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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-22, 0:02

ceid donn wrote:The only thing confusing me after a quick look over the first lessons if the use of superscript letters at the end of some words--is that's typical of how Old Irish is transcribed or just how this program is doing it?


Well, I'm certainly no expert on the conventions used in Old Irish transcription, so I don't really have any better an idea than you do. Things like superscript "N" and "L" I'm sure are "nasalization" and "lenition" respectively. They do have weird notation like this though - "fo°ácaib". I'm not sure what the "°" is about.

ceid donn wrote:Other than that, it's not really too intimitating. :D That a lot of the words are clearly the origin words of modern day Gaelic words is reassuring.


Yeah, ditto Modern Irish. But what I'd really like to do is get to the point where I can not only recognise the words, but create grammatically sound sentences of my own in it. It might not be so hard to recognise the words and essentially ignore the complex grammatical endings (because you get the gist anyway), but learning to come up with the right endings yourself is the really hard bit I'd say.

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby ceid donn » 2012-08-22, 4:26

Well, using a language to express your own thoughts is always the most challenging. But if that's what you wish to do, then go for it. :D

I'll dig into the online lesons and see how that goes for me.

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby ceid donn » 2012-08-23, 5:22

Just curious--what do you think of the A Grammar of Old Irish text? I'm thinking I should just go ahead and get a copy.

And I came acrss this, but didn't see it mentioned in the thread so far (unless I overlooked it): http://www.amazon.com/Sengoidelc-Old-Ir ... 0815630727 Do you have this book too?

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby księżycowy » 2012-08-23, 11:27

I have Sengoidelc: Old Irish for Beginners. It's a great textbook in my opinion, as it goes into some good detail in regard to the pronunciation and grammar (though probably not as much as Thurneysen's, though that's just a guess at this point). Though I'm also curious what Thurneysen's book is like too. I've been tossing around the idea of getting it as well.

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-23, 15:46

I have Sengoidelc: Old Irish for Beginners in PDF form, which makes it a bit of a pain in the ass to use, but I had a look through some of it and compared it to Thurneysen's book. Stifter uses a very strange set of conventions for transcribing Old Irish phonology. He does go on to describe the symbols he uses, but I think it's needlessly obscure. On the other hand, Thurneysen doesn't do much of a better job, as he only describes OIr. sounds with reference to other languages, often classical ones, or by saying 'Classical European quality' in describing vowels, which is highly in accurate and, to me, frustrating. Why couldn't they both just use normal IPA? :? Anyway, if you're willing to grapple with Stifter's transcriptions, then he actually has quite a good section on phonology. He has fully phonetically transcribed texts which will help you get a grip on the spelling system. I haven't had time to look through the rest of his book much, but it seems quite good. It's more modern then Thurneysen and written in a more accessible style. He also mentions a few things that have changed (in popular academic opinion) since Thurneysen's time, so it's good to have a more up-to-date resource for the language. But Thurneysen is more authoritative, so I'm glad I have his book too. Stifter's book is lain out in a lesson by lesson format, which would make it a good course book to study from, but Thurneysen's book is a good reference grammar. Basically, I like and dislike them both. Regardless, I'll most likely be using Thurneysen more as I have the actual book in print form, which makes it easier to use.

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby ceid donn » 2012-08-24, 16:59

Hmm. Tempted just to get both. :P May go with Old Irish for Beginners as it's cheaper and I can get a copy easily. They have it in Kindle format-but yeah, using ebooks/pdfs for language texts is annoying.

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-24, 21:10

ceid donn wrote:Hmm. Tempted just to get both. :P May go with Old Irish for Beginners as it's cheaper and I can get a copy easily. They have it in Kindle format-but yeah, using ebooks/pdfs for language texts is annoying.


[flag]sga[/flag] Dag-ċoicell! :waytogo:
(my poor attempt at saying "Good idea" in Sengoídelc...)

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby księżycowy » 2012-08-24, 22:31

Ciarán12 wrote:[...] Thurneysen doesn't do much of a better job, as he only describes OIr. sounds with reference to other languages, often classical ones, or by saying 'Classical European quality' in describing vowels, which is highly in accurate and, to me, frustrating. [...] Thurneysen's book is a good reference grammar.

I had thought as much.

ceid donn wrote:Hmm. Tempted just to get both. :P May go with Old Irish for Beginners as it's cheaper and I can get a copy easily.

I'd say start with Old Irish for Beginners and pick up the grammar when you get the chance, that's my plan. (After I restart my Irish for the 4th or 5th time :whistle:)

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-24, 23:16

księżycowy wrote:(After I restart my Irish for the 4th or 5th time :whistle:)


Go n-éirí leat! :wink:
We can always use more people to talk to on the Irish forum :)

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby księżycowy » 2012-08-24, 23:25

I'm working on it, trust me. It's just that my Irish studies have been sidelined by work, French and needing to study more. :P

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-24, 23:34

księżycowy wrote:I'm working on it, trust me. It's just that my Irish studies have been sidelined by work, French and needing to study more. :P


I know what you mean. I just spent the last 4 years with EVERYTHING except Japanese sidelined. And now, at last, wonderlust freedom!!!

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby Ennys » 2012-08-26, 20:26

Old Irish! I'm trying to work a bit on it at the moment, too!
I did old Irish at university, in my first term in my first year, and got pretty terrified by it. 'This form palatalizes'. But wat the hell is palatalization??
It's only now that I dare to take a serious look at it again, an actually, it isn't that difficult. It is a language with many, many rules, but there is a general system that normally works out. Just trust your Turneysen and don't get afraid by vowels that may be spelled in many, many ways...

I just started with Stifter's Sengoidelc, and I must say that his background information is great, and so are the sheep designs ;) I'm am rather refreshing knowledge of the language than actually acquiring it, so maybe my opinion isn't represengtative, but I think the explanations are pretty clear, too.

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoidelc

Postby ceid donn » 2012-09-03, 21:32

I'm not sure what all goes on the Old Irish, but in Scottish Gaelic, you get palatalization when you lenite "c" (add a "h" after it):

an cat - the cat
mo chat - my cat (1S possessive pronoun lenites)

an cidsin - the kitchen
chun a' chidsin - to(ward) the kitchen (chun takes the genitive that lenites certain masculine nouns)

The hard c turns into a softer (and raspier) sound that's produced by raising the back of your tongue toward your palate and forcing the c sound through. (This is different from the final "ch" in Scottish Gaelic like in "loch" which is a gutteral kh sound similar to German.)

I would assume palatalization if Old Irish is similar.

Anyhow, I ordered the Stifter book this weekend. Hopefully it'll get here this week. :partyhat:

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoídelc

Postby eien » 2012-11-25, 17:45

Late answer to the point of uselessness, but while I have no idea how Scottish Gaelic phonetics work, in OI lenition doesn't induce palatalization. Rather, it's what's referred to in modern Scottish Gaelic and Irish language study as the 'slender' or 'broad' quality of a consonant. That is, consonants which precede an 'i' or an 'e' sound* (close/mid front, tongue near the palate) are palatalized, a sound process which is kinda like adding a 'y' sound after it.

*Not just that. The declension and conjugation systems employ palatalization, usually as a vestige of an ending that got eroded away. Also, consonant clusters created by syncope are palatalized if the vowel which used to separate them was an 'i' or 'e' sound.

edit: Oh, also 's' sounds become 'sh' sounds after palatalization. Weird quirk.

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoídelc

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-11-25, 17:59

eien wrote:Late answer to the point of uselessness, but while I have no idea how Scottish Gaelic phonetics work, in OI lenition doesn't induce palatalization. Rather, it's what's referred to in modern Scottish Gaelic and Irish language study as the 'slender' or 'broad' quality of a consonant. That is, consonants which precede an 'i' or an 'e' sound* (close/mid front, tongue near the palate) are palatalized, a sound process which is kinda like adding a 'y' sound after it.


Yes, that's how the term 'palatalisation' is used in works on Modern Irish too ('velarisation' being used for 'broad' consonants). Lenition causes different changes depending on the consonant being lenited, but it usually turns a stop into a fricative - cill [kʲɪl] becomes chill [çɪl].

eien wrote:*Not just that. The declension and conjugation systems employ palatalization, usually as a vestige of an ending that got eroded away.


I sometimes think learning Old Irish might be easier if I learned the words with their Primitive Irish endings (so I would know when certain changes, like lenition and eclipsis of the following words, is supposed to occur).

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoídelc

Postby eien » 2012-11-25, 18:21

Ciarán12 wrote:I sometimes think learning Old Irish might be easier if I learned the words with their Primitive Irish endings (so I would know when certain changes, like lenition and eclipsis of the following words, is supposed to occur).


David Stifter's Sengoídelc, when it introduces new conjugation or declension paradigms, has charts with reconstructed Primitive Irish, Proto-Celtic, and PIE. It's hugely helpful in addition to interesting in its own right. Some background in other old Indo-European languages is also useful.

(would have used tables here but I can't get them to work)
For example, consider the masculine o-stem: singular nominitive ech, genitive eichL, prepositional euchL, accusative echN, vocative eichL; plural nominative eichL, genitive echN, plural echaib, accusative e(u)chuH, vocative e(u)chuH.
Now Latin masculine 2nd declension: singular nominative equus, genitive equi, dative/ablative equo, accusative equum, vocative eque; plural nominative equi, genitive equorum, dative/ablative equis, accusative equos, vocative equi.

Just eyeballing them some things jump out. Lenition (L) corresponds with a final vowel in the Latin. If the vowel of the ending in Latin is an 'i' or 'e' sound, the root final consonant in OI is palatalized (represented in OI orthography with an i before it). Latin endings in 'um' become nasalized in OI (N). In the accusative plural, where the ending doesn't totally drop out, the 's' in Latin becomes aspiration in OI (H).

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoídelc

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-11-25, 19:27

I unfortunately have no experience with any other dead languages, so nothing to draw on there. But I found the entry for ech in Stifter's book and yeah, you can see a lot of consistency with it's Primitive Irish forms.

Image

Where every /h/ occurs in final position in PI there isn't and form of mutation after the OI word (except in the Accusative Plural, any ideas why BTW?).
When it ends in a vowel in PI it lenites in OI and when the vowel is slender in PI the final consonant in OI is palatalised (which is the same thing that you were showing happening with Latin endings and how they developed in OI). Any form in PI with /β/ in the ending seems to lose the rest of the ending after that in OI. But I'm not sure what's going on with the Vocative Plural áL echuH coming from PI eχʷɪ - how did a final slender vowel [ɪ] become [u], and why does that cause h- mutation?

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoídelc

Postby eien » 2012-11-25, 19:54

Ciarán12 wrote:Where every /h/ occurs in final position in PI there isn't and form of mutation after the OI word (except in the Accusative Plural, any ideas why BTW?).


Total hairbrained guess: the long vowel consonant ending is more resistant to change, and almost all of the declensions have nominative singular with no mutations. With the verbs Stifter points out several examples of regularizing reanalyses that took place before the OI period, would expect things like that to happen in nouns too.

Ciarán12 wrote:But I'm not sure what's going on with the Vocative Plural áL echuH coming from PI eχʷɪ - how did a final slender vowel [ɪ] become [u], and why does that cause h- mutation?


The left chevron next to a form indicates that something funny happened there beyond normal sound changes. If you look at other declensional paradigms, universally the vocative plural got taken over by the accusative plural in the period between OI and PI. Can't remember if he comments on that anywhere.

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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoídelc

Postby Lauren » 2013-01-28, 4:10

What about Old Irish do people think is hard? It doesn't seem hard to me at all. It seems like people are scared of the noun declensions, but that doesn't seem a problem for me...
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Re: Old Irish/ Sengoídelc

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-28, 4:41

Lowena wrote:What about Old Irish do people think is hard? It doesn't seem hard to me at all. It seems like people are scared of the noun declensions, but that doesn't seem a problem for me...

It's not the nouns, it's the verbs.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


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