Talk:Irish language

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The description of Irish in South Armagh should be removed from the introduction[edit]

The following paragraph is the third paragraph in the introduction section:

"Significantly the language hung on in at least one area on the east coast of Ireland — far away from the usual west coast Gaeltacht areas — this was in the area of 'Oirghialla' — the remnant of a vast Gaelic territory that once encompassed Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Meath and Louth — but now just the few parishes of Mullaghbane (An Mullach Bán), Dromintee (Droim an Tí) and Killeavy (Cill Shléibhe) in South Armagh, and the contiguous area of Omeath (Ó Méith) in County Louth. The language was spoken in this area up to the 1920s and the last native speakers died in the 1950s. A vibrant revival has seen the language take off in the area with pre-school playgroups and primary schools and the language is probably more widely spoken now in the area than at any time in the last 50 years."

While this paragraph is worth including in Wikipedia, it is too specific and too out of context to be included in the current version of the article "Irish Language", and definitely should not be included in its introduction section. I strongly suggest moving this paragraph to the article "Irish Language in Northern Ireland". Roy 82.166.185.230 (talk) 08:05, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Native to?[edit]

In the infobox, the "native to" section is a mess. At the moment, it says Irish is native to Argentina, to Belgium, to Canada, to the US etc. Apparently somebody has misunderstood what "native to" means, it does not mean every place in the world where some native speaker(s) might live. Irish is native to the island of Ireland. If we want to say that Irish is native to Canada, the US or Australia, we would have to add those countries to virtually every infobox as there are at least 100-200 languages (very conservative estimate) with more native speakers in Canada, the US and Australia. Sure, Irish speakers once emigrated to all of these countries in considerable numbers, but these days there are no Irish speaking communities in either of them. Argentina and Belgium are even weirder.Jeppiz (talk) 12:02, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Simple question: How many tenses in Irish?[edit]

Does anybody know how many tenses there are in Irish? What are they? Is the Modh Coinniollach a 'tense' or a 'mood' - what's the difference between both? I'm searching in vain for straightforward answers to these questions. Thank you/Grma. 89.101.41.216 (talk) 00:56, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

In traditional grammar, only the inflected verb forms are considered to be individual moods or tenses. On this basis, there are four moods: Indicative / Taisceach; Conditional / Coinníollach; Imperative / Ordaitheach; and Subjunctive / Foshuiteach.
The Conditional and Imperative moods do not have different tenses. The subjunctive has a past subjunctive and a present subjunctive tense.
The Indicative has the following tenses: Present (aimsir láithreach); habitual present (gnáthláithreach - same as present for al verbs except tá where the habitual present is bíonn); past (caite); habitual past (gnáthchaite); and future (fáistineach). So unless I've forgotten something, there are nine tense/mood forms - although the morphology of the past subjunctive is the same as that of the (indicative) habitual past.
However, all that said, I have a feeling modern linguists might say that things like "tá mé ag dul", "bhí mé ag dul",, "tá an cluiche caillte acu" etc, are tenses - in which case, there will turn out to be a lot more. ComhairleContaeThirnanOg (talk) 01:15, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
You may try this link out for an answer, although, as CCThirnanOg has pointed out, it really depends on the linguist! Mac Tíre Cowag 01:17, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Also, Wikipedia has articles on tense and mood - they should clear up the difference between the two. Broadly, tense indicates time, whereas mood is more complicated to sum up - but essentially, the indicative mood indicates facts, the conditional conveys conditions, the imperative orders, and the subjunctive - the most complicated, particularly considering that it's rather vestigial in Irish, and especially outside Ulster, but, again broadly, a wish or purpose. ComhairleContaeThirnanOg (talk) 01:26, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry to muddy the water, but there's an extra distinction to introduce: aspect. I'm not a syntactician, but I am a linguist, and I believe most modern syntacticians (contrary to ComhairleContaeThirnanOg's suspicion) would keep these separate and claim that Irish marks three tenses (past present and future), two aspects (habitual and non-habitual), and four moods. garik (talk) 15:25, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Garik. As is so often the case simple questions don't necessarily have simple answers... ComhairleContaeThirnanOg (talk) 23:38, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
True, although I'm inclined to feel that keeping these distinctions clear helps simplify things in the long run. Or, to put it another way, a three-dimensional set is nicer in some ways than a long list of verb forms. That said, should a proper syntactician happen to contradict me, you should probably believe them. garik (talk) 13:51, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Assuming that you're right, though, and that the Irish habitual past is marked for both tense and aspect, what is it? If I list the conjugation "bhínn, bhítí", etc, and wished to adopt modern syntactic terminology, would I describe it as the habitual past tense-aspect, the habitual past form, or something else? ComhairleContaeThirnanOg (talk) 00:27, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── More a question for a syntactician again (especially one knowledgeable about Irish). I can't see that you'd go wrong with calling it the habitual past (or past habitual) form though. garik (talk) 03:17, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Leinster and Dublin[edit]

Given the historical importance of Leinster Irish, I have added a section to describe it. The most interesting deduction from the evidence is that the main "Leinster" dialect was in reality the eastern end of a dialect stretching across Ireland from Connacht, allowing for local variations. The language also has a history in the towns and cities, Dublin being particularly interesting. That section could do with expansion. Colin Ryan (talk) 11:36, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Native speakers[edit]

I'm not an expert, just a normal person interested in the matter, but the number of 130,000 native speakers sounds utterly implausible. I know at least one source that says "at best 10,000", while others say 20,000 or 30,000. It's a known fact that there are only two little regions of Ireland today where Irish is spoken as a vernacular (West of County Galway and North-West of County Donegal). In these regions, there are about 10,000 native speakers. So where do the remaining 120,000 live? I admit that there will be some all over the country, but probably just another 10,000 or so. I mean I'm not saying that arbitrarily, it's really what you read in any linguistic book about Irish. I'm just astonished to read "130,000". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.83.214.120 (talk) 14:07, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree this figure seems too high, and on reading the cited source, it actually says native speakers in Ireland have been recently estimated at around 2%, perhaps 60000 in all. I have edited accordingly. Tameamseo (talk) 12:15, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Have found an article on the last census that show 77,185 as "daily" speakers outside the education system. I could find the page in google books that was preiously ref. Murry1975 (talk) 12:28, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Tameamseo, if you like to revert me by all means, but revert to what was origanily cited not your made up figure. Murry1975 (talk) 18:57, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry we had an edit conflict there. I reverted to the previous smaller figure because "daily speakers" is not the same as "native speakers". Not all native speakers use the language every day, while not all daily speakers are native speakers. As for my "made up figure", it is cited - attack the source if you have a problem with it, not me. Please WP:AGF. Tameamseo (talk) 19:01, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
What attack? Please show. The original figure was 133,000. Murry1975 (talk) 19:14, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
We seem to have got off on a bad footing here. Can we please get a little more...collegial? :) I don't mean a personal attack. I was referring to you suggesting that the 60,000 was my "made up figure" - presumably implying that I was therefore lying with my 2 July edit summary saying the source cited actually says native speakers in Ireland "have been recently estimated at around 2%, perhaps 60000 in all" This made me feel like you were assuming bad faith on my part.
Can you show where the source gives a figure of 133,000? If there is doubt over this source or what it says, we can go back to the ones cited in the actual article, which give 20,000 to 80,000 Tameamseo (talk) 19:35, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Just to add that the section I am getting the 60,000 figure from is "Ireland, Republic of: Language Situation", found in volume 6 of the second edition of the encyclopaedia. As I said, it quite clearly states that native speakers in Ireland "have been recently estimated at around 2%, perhaps 60000 in all". I have checked it again and see no mention of a figure of 133,000. Tameamseo (talk) 19:55, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Cheers Tameaseo, trying to find where the 133 came from at the mo. Will find it, maybe tomorrow. Murry1975 (talk) 20:23, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

If one looks at the Ethnologue page for Irish, it cites a "native speaker" figure of 72,000 [1], which, in addition to the census figure for knowledge as a second language (already cited on the main page), reflects the current state of the language. Incidentally, just to correct the comment about Irish only being spoken in Galway and Donegal, there are also Gaeltachts in Mayo, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Meath. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Culloty82 (talkcontribs) 17:51, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
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