LINGUIST List 14.1272

Tue May 6 2003

Books: Language Desc, Scotch Gaelic: Lamb

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  1. LINCOM.EUROPA, Scottish Gaelic: Lamb

Message 1: Scottish Gaelic: Lamb

Date: Mon, 05 May 2003 14:59:02 +0000
Subject: Scottish Gaelic: Lamb

Title: Scottish Gaelic
Series Title: Languages of the World/Materials 401
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Availability: Available
Author: William Lamb, University of Edinburgh 

Hardback: ISBN: 3895864080, Pages: 110, Price: USD 42.40 / EUR 38.30 /
	 GBP 23.40
Comment: (2nd edition)

Scottish Gaelic (ScG), along with Irish and Manx, is a member of the
Goidelic branch of the Celtic family of Indo-European languages. At
its peak of influence around 1000AD, it was undoubtedly the national
language of Scotland, but ever since, its fate has been one of gradual
decline. Today, the Gaidhealtachd or Gaelic-speaking region is
confined to the islands off the west coast of the country, aside from
small pockets dotted throughout the northern and western
Highlands. Although now spoken by only slightly more than 1% (65,978)
of the country's population, it has had a rich influence on Scotland's
history, toponymy, art, literature and national folklore.

Scottish Gaelic has received much prior linguistic attention for its
complex phonology (one dialect distinguishing at least 5 different
lateral approximates), its system of consonant mutations, and its rich
dialectal variation. However, relatively little has been published on
its syntax. It is a dependent-marking, nominative-accusative VSO
language . The verbal system tends to be agglutinating while the
nominal system is somewhat fusional. Pronominal forms are especially
notable in this regard, with a large proliferation of
'prepositional-pronouns' evincing different forms according to person,
number, and gender. There are two genders (M&F), three numbers
(Sing., Pl., and dual) and four cases extant in the language. Stem
modification and suppletion are common morphological
processes. Distinctions of mood, aspect, and voice tend to be made
periphrastically, employing a combination of verbal particles,
auxiliaries and 'verbal-nouns' that can function differently depending
upon their syntactic status.

Finally, the grammar ends with sections on discourse phenomena,
interjections and exclamations, the influence of English, and a full
oral folktale with interlinear translation.

This new grammar is the most up-to-date one available on the language.
It includes many topics that have never, or only rarely, been dealt
with in the available literature, for example information structure,
complex clause formation, and descriptions of various types of
discourse-related constructions. It has been informed by an ongoing
corpus-based study of register variation in the language, highlighting
some of the initial differences that have been found in this data set.
It is fully-referenced throughout for further information on Gaelic
grammar and sociolinguistics. Useful for the language learner, it
also includes a glossary of the Gaelic words in the text and a
statistically-derived list of the 100 most frequent words in the
language with definitions.

Lingfield(s): Language Description
Subject Language(s): Gaelic, Scots (Language Code: GLS)

Written In: English (Language Code: English)

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