A grammar of the Irish language - PDF book by P. W. Joyce

A grammar of the Irish language

A grammar of the Irish language


From Introduction:

Though this textbook is small, it comprises, I believe, everything necessary — so far as grammar is concerned — for a student of modem Irish. I have not treated at all of the ancient forms of the language; and I have excluded everything in the shape of dissertation: the grammar of the modern Irish language, and no more, is here set forth in words as few and simple as possible. I have not suggested any changes either in spelling or in grammatical forms, or attempted innovation of any kind: this is a grammar of the language as it actually exists in the works of our best writers.

All the illustrative examples are quotations from standard Irish writings; but though I retain the references, I have not given them in the grammar, as they would encumber the book, and impede, rather than facilitate the learner. I may mention here, however, that the works from which the examples are chiefly taken are, those of Keating, the publications of the Ossianic Society, "

 The Three Sorrowful Stories of Erin" (viz., " The Fate of the Children of Usna," " The Fate of the Children of Lir," and " The Fate of the Children of Turenn"), and occasionally the " Annals of the Four Masters." The language of the various works published by the Archaeological and Celtic Societies is generally too antiquated to be quoted in a grammar of modern Irish. I have all through given word-for-word translations of the examples; free translations would have been more pleasant to read but would have added considerably to the learner's difficulty.

 In the last Part — " Idioms" — I have given a popular rather than scientific explanation of the principal idioms of the language. Nothing like this is to be found in any other Irish Grammar; and I believe that the learner who masters it will be saved much labour and perplexity. 

There are several other Irish Grammars, but none low enough in price to be within reach of the many. Whoever wishes to study the Irish language in its ancient as well as in its modern forms, must procure O'Donovan's Grammar; without this great work, no one can attain a thorough knowledge of the language.

 I may also mention " The College Irish Grammar," by  J. Canon Bourke, in which there is a great amount of miscellaneous information on the language, proverbs, and popular literature of Ireland. The labours of the Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language have lately given a great impetus to Celtic studies. 

The Society has produced two admirable little elementary books (the First and Second Irish Books) and are about to bring out a third all drawn up by the members themselves on the plan of the elementary works of Smith, Arnold, Ahn, &c. But the want of a very cheap and simple textbook on Irish Grammar has been much felt, and this Grammar has been written to supply the want. I have written it with the cognisance of the Council of the Society, of which I am myself a member.

 It was at first intended that the name of the Society should appear on the title page along with my own name, and a resolution to that effect was passed by the Council. But I found some difficulty as to the exact words, and I have accordingly contented myself with mentioning the matter here. 

I acknowledge with thanks that I have received valuable assistance from several gentlemen of the Society, who read every word of my proofs, suggesting various corrections, alterations, and improvements. One member, in particular, Mr John Fleming of Rathgormuck, in the county "Waterford, read all my manuscript in the first instance, and all the proof-sheets afterwards.

 Mr Fleming's assistance was invaluable to me, for he pos- Besses an intimate knowledge of modern Irish Grammar, language, and literature, and what is still better, much sound sense and clear critical judgment.

the book details :
  • Author:  P. W. Joyce
  • Publication date: P. W. Joyce
  • Company: Dublin: M. H. Gill

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