"A welcome and friendly guide for those who would like to know more about the language and literature of early medieval Ireland."—Joseph Nagy, author of Conversing with Angels and Ancients: Literary Myths of Medieval Ireland
David Stifter’s Sengoídelc (SHAN-goy-thelg) provides a comprehensive introduction to Old Irish grammar and metrics. As an introductory text to the Irish language spoken around the eighth century C.E., this essential volume, covering all aspects of the grammar in a clear and intuitive format, is ideally suited for use as a course book or as a guide for the independent learner. This handbook also will be an essential reference work for students of Indo-European philology and historical linguistics.
Stifter leads the novice through the idiosyncrasies of the language, such as initial mutations and the double inflection of verbs. Filled with translation exercises based on selections from Old Irish texts, the book provides a practical introduction to the language and its rich history. Sengoídelc opens the door to the fascinating world of Old Irish literature, famous not only for the Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cúailnge) and its lyrical nature poetry but also as a major source for the political and legal history of Ireland.
Stifter’s step-by-step approach and engaging style make his book an ideal tool for both the self taught individual and the classroom environment. It will be of interest to beginning students of Old and Middle Irish, to scholars of Irish history, Celtic culture, and comparative linguistics, and to readers of Irish literature.
David Stifter is a lecturer at the Institut für Sprachwissenschaft at the University of Vienna and chair of Brennos, the Austrian Society for Celtic Studies. He has been teaching Old Irish courses for almost ten years.
8.5 x 11, 408 pages