The Celtic Languages
Martin John Ball, James Fife
Routledge, 1993 - Foreign Language Study - 682 pages
This is the first modern, scholarly, detailed account of the Celtic languages found in one volume. The need for such a book has grown in recent years owing to the marked increase in interest in this important language-family on the part of linguists worldwide.
The Celtic languages have various unique features, both structural and sociolinguistic, both inside and outside the Indo-European linguistic situation, that make them especially worthy of study. The languages examined are Gaulish, Irish, Scots Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Breton, and Cornish.
The Celtic Languagesdiscusses both the structural as well as the sociolinguistic aspect of the study of these languages. On the structural side, features such as initial consonant mutation, verb-subject-object sentences, the inflection of prepositions, and pre-sentential particles mark this group of languages, separating it from other Indo-European language groups. On the sociolinguistic side, the book discusses the unique fact that it is the only language group to consist solely of `minority languages'. All other groups contain at least one major language recognized as an official language of a nation state or of an autonomous region.
This book discusses the Celtic languages historically, structurally and sociolinguistically, making it an excellent resource for all students and teachers of cultural studies and the Celtic language, as well as students of general linguistics. The historical sections include the origin and history of the Celtic languages, their spread and their retreat, present-day distribution, and a sketch of the extant and recently extinct languages. The structural sections include phonology, mutation, morphology, syntax, dialectology, and lexis. The sociolinguistic sections include domains of usage, maintenance, and prospects for survival. _
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