An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language

An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language

Alexander Macbain

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Editore: Forgotten Books
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Dimensioni: 44,4 MB
  • EAN: 9780243677115
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If you are a reader who loves learning about language and the meaning and origin of words, then An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language will delight your senses.This book was the first etymological dictionary of Gaelic, and in the Preface, Alexander Macbain writes that his dictionary is the purest distillation of Scottish Gaelic, purged of all the Irish words which found their way into the lexicon.

The dictionary, which contains 6,900 words, is a thorough summary of Scottish Gaelic. Over two-thirds of the words derive from native Gaelic or Celtic, with around 20 percent of the words borrowed from other languages. The dictionary breaks down this information so that it is easy to understand, for example, "sinteag" means "to skip, or pace" which is derived from Gaelic "sun"; the word was added to English as "shindig". For an example of a non-Gaelic origin, try "brisg" the Gaelic word meaning "lively", which is derived from the Scandinavian and in English would be "brisk".

Macbain outlines Gaelic etymology by putting the language in the context of its group. The Celtic group was once comprised of Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Irish, Manx and Gaelic, and these six languages are divided into Britannic and Gaelic subgroups. The primary reason for the division is the velar guttural, symbolized by "g". The book traces the difference in the meaning and pronunciation of words which begins with this language division.

Alexander Macbain was a teacher, historian, philologist and scholar of Celtic mythology. His writing style communicates a large volume of information in an easily digestible way. Macbain was a prolific writer, and An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language is his most enduring book and language lovers will return to this volume often.
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