Elementary Course of Gaelic

Jan 27, 2013 by

Elementary Course of Gaelic by Duncan Reid was originally published in 1913 is a great starter book for anyone interested in learning this beautiful language.

Here are a few words about the letters used in Gaelic:

“LETTERS.
There are eighteen letters in the Gaelic Alphabet, namely: — Five Vowels, a, o, u, e, i. Thirteen Consonants, b, p. f. m; c, g-; 1, n, r, t, d, s; h. The vowels are divided into two classes: Broad, a, o, u ; Small, e, i. They have a long and a short sound. The long -sound vowels have a duration mark over them; the short- soimd vowels have no such mark, thus: — Short-sound Vowels, a, o, u. e. i. Long-sound Vowels, a, Ò, 6, ù, è, è, ì. Two and three vowels coming together, with the sound of the one passing into the other, are called Diphthongs and Triphthongs; as, uan, tmigh. Some have but one simple sound; as, gaol, ceum. H is called the aspirate letter, and when used after the consonants, b, p, f, m. c, g, d, t, s, it forms the aspirates, bh, ph, fh, mh, ch, gh, dh, th, sh. When used at the beginning of a word it is written thus, h-; as, a h-uan\ and has a strong breathing sound . The letters, sg, sm, sp, st, have no aspirated form. ”

and a few lines about Verbs:
“THE VERB.
In a previous section it was shown how the Past Tense and the Future Tense were formed from the Imperative or Root Verb. For a fuller discussion of the Voice, Mood, and Tense we shall take as a type the verb Buail, strike (thou). There are three tenses, Present, Past, and Future; three moods. Indicative, Imperative, and Subjunctive; and there are two voices, Active and Passive. We shall first give the “Independent Form” ot the verb Buail in the Active and Passive Voices, and then a full paradigm of the “Dependent Form.” First, then, the “Root Verb” is the second person singular of the Imperative, namely, Buail. The First Sing . „ , , , ,. * , , Person. Imper. ^^ ioi*med by adding eam* to the root. The Third „ „ „ eadh The First plu. „ „ „ eamaid The Second „ „ „ ibh The Third „ „ „ eadh To get the Subjunctive Mood, the Root is first aspir- ated. Then the First Person singular adds inn to the aspirated root, the First Person plural adds eamaid ; the remaining persons singxdar and plural add eadh. * Whether we add eam, am, adh or eadh, aibh or ihh, etc., depends on the quality of the last vowel of the Root Verb. If broad, our suffix must begin with a broad, if slender, with a slender. ”

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