The following papers were given at the School’s annual Tionól, 24-25 November, 2000.
The Míniugad recension of Lebor Gabála Érenn: a reappraisal of the manuscript tradition
This paper will focus on the Mfniugad version of Lebor Gabála found in RIA MS D i 3 (539) and the Book of Lecan. The relationship of these manuscripts to each other has been the subject of a number of scholarly contributions. The most recent publication on this matter is an article entitled ‘Lebor Gabála in the Book of Lecan’ by Tomás Ó Concheanainn in T. Barnard, D. Ó Cr=infn and K. Simms (eds), A miracle of learning: Essays in honour of William O’Sullivan (1998) 68-90. Ó Concheanainn furnishes evidence which suggests that the second redaction of Lebor Gabála (with Mfniugad)) in the Book of Lecan was copied directly from RIA MSS 537-9. A substantial section of text at the end of the Mfniugad version in RIA MS 539 is not found in the Book of Lecan, however. Evidence which may explain this discrepancy will be, discussed in this paper. Further implications of this evidence will also be discussed.
Multiple variants of the LASID questionnaire from a single area: a case study from mid-Donegal
Professor Heinrich Wagner’s four-volume Linguistic Atlas and Survey of Irish Dialects constitutes a monumental contribution to the history of the Gaelic languages of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. The fieldwork for LASID was, in the main, conducted in the 1950s and based on the transcription from usually a single speaker for each point in the atlas. During the 1980s I undertook fieldwork in central Donegal (near to LASID pts 83 and 82) for a PhD thesis entitled The Gaelic of Tangaveane and Commeen, Co. Donegal. During a spell of particularly wet weather, I decided to try out a version of Wagner’s long questionnaire (of c. 1200 items) on one informant and subsequently went on to ask four others the same questions. These c. 6000 responses from five individual speakers, from what is quite a similar dialect, have been processed and this paper will focus on some of the findings from this exercise in terms of: agreement and discrepancy between the speakers (in relation to verbal morphology, case inflection etc.) plus differences between elicited answers and normal speech. The paper would also make a strong case for more fieldwork to be done along similar, but not necessarily identical, lines.
The early Irish wisdom-texts: origins and ethos
Statutory Public Lecture
This lecture will concentrate on the origin and authorship of the Old Irish wisdom-texts, which date from the 7th century to the 9th century AD. The reasons for the composition of these texts will be examined, as will their relationship to the law-texts. A case will be made that the wisdom-text Tecosca Cormaic is a literary composition originating in a royal court.
It is intended to discuss a poem by Tadhg Mac Dáire which takes the from of a threat of satire against Donnchadh Ó Briain, the Fourth Earl of Thomond. The poem has not yet been edited or published and a preliminary edition of a selection of verses will be provided as a basis for discussing the following points: (a) The metaphorical representation of satire as a weapon in this poem and in literature and legal material from the Old and Middle Irish periods. (b) References in the poem to literary satires from Old and Middle Irish sources. (c) The context in which the threat of satire may have been composed.
From ‘three worths of a foetus’ to ‘three receptions of a child’: children in the legal tradition of Medieval Wales
This paper will examine the legal tractates of the lawyers of medieval Wales to see what they hold in relation to children. Do we receive a paradigmatic portrayal of childhood, or are children mentioned only when they upset a given order? Areas of contention for the lawyers will be highlighted, which range from the value of a foetus if injured to how and under what circumstances a child is affiliated to the maternal or paternal kin. The legal manuscripts are considered lawbooks for lawyers and not codified law. We may seek to examine, therefore, whether the three different textual traditions which exist within the extant material is reflected in the subject matter relating to children.
The tale Airec Menman Irard meic Coisse is of paramount importance for Irish literary tradition and history. Readers’ familiarity with the tale usually derives from their interest in the long list it contains of the tales which a medieval fili was expected to know. It has been suggested by more than one scholar, and most influentially by Proinsias Mac Cana, that Irard mac Coisse was probably the actual author of this tale. In this talk it will be shown that this hunch was well-founded; a precise date will be given for the tale’s composition; and some new information on Irard himself will be offered.
A reconsideration of some of the salient points of what has been written over the past twenty years on the more important aspects of royal succession – relevance of kinship, rfgdamna, tánaise etc. – together with a brief look at some texts from the Laws that have something to say – or are seen to have something to say – about royal succession.
Is é priomhadhmad chanúineolaíocht na Gaeilge ná eagsúlacht ceantair. Le hathrú ó bhonn an tsochaí tá eagsúlacht idir glúine daoine go mór i dtreis in obair an chanúineolaí chomhaimseartha. Is i gcaint cainteoirí a rugadh sna blianta idir 1960-70 a fheictar a cheaduair an bhearna idir Gaeilge chlainne, ‘thraidisiúnta’, logánta agus ‘Gaeilge na glúine óige’. Is liosta le n-áireamh a bhfuil ag athrú i gcóras uile theanga na glúine seo, m.sh. aonfhoghrú, aifriceadú, coguasú; meadu ar -u sa 3 iolra den fhorainm réamhfhoclach; laghdú ar na réamhfhocail a dhíochlaontar; foirmeacha táite breise; athraithe sna réimnithe. Tá roinnt athraithe coitianta agus roinnt aonraiceach. Tapúlacht agus indibhidiúlacht chomh maith le pátrúnú nua sochtheangeolaíoch a saintréithe, agus méadaíonn orthu seo sa chéad ghlúin eile. Tá macasamhail na n-athraithe seo ag tarlú ar fud na cruinne.
Bailfodh a lán faisnTise le breis agus cTad bliain faoi na canúintf in Oileáin -rann, idir ábhar scrfofa agus ábhar taifeadta. DTanfar plT sa pháipTar seo ar na foinsf is m= a sholáthrafonn eolas ar fhoghrafocht, ar ghramadach, agus ar st=r focal na gcanúintf sna hoileáin sin thar thrTimhse cTad bliain, idir bhuanna agus laigf. PlTifear freisin na bealaf is fearr le heolas tábhachtach teangeolafoch a bhaint astu, ba chuma scoláirf oilte ag dTanamh na hoibre n= scoláirf =ga a bheadh á n-oiliúint f=s sna hollscoileanna — go fiú scoláirf =ga nach mbeadh eolas acu ar an teangeolafocht, b’fhTidir, ach a bheadh faoi stiúir seanscoláirf cáilithe.
Scrfobh an tAthair Hugh Mac Fadden (c.1801-1868) cnuasach seanm=irf i litriú foghrafochta. Caitheann an tTacs solas ar chanúint Ghaeilge an údair a rugadh agus a t=gadh i mbaile fearainn Dhún Taithligh, agus a chaith seal i bpar=iste Ghaoth Dobhair sula ndeachaigh sT go Gort an Choirce mar shagart par=iste idir 1849 agus 1868. Ar an drochuair nfl an buntTacs fTin ar fáil faoi láthair agus nfl tagairt ar bith di i dTreoirleabhar de Brún ná sna catal=ga eile. Tá athscrfbhinn di i measc pháipTir Éamoinn Uf Thuathail i Roinn BhTaloideas +ireann. Tá tagairtf don tTacs ag Bearnárd + Dubhthaigh atá ag teacht le hathscrfbhinn Uf Thuathail cT nach ionann an c=ras tagartha a d’úsáid siad. Ba mhaith liom cuid d’athscrfbhinn Uf Thuathail a chur i láthair an Tion=il chomh maith le heolas ar Hugh McFadden agus a mhuintir.
Forchanúnachas, idircheantair agus forbairt stairiúil -ich agus -idh deiridh i nGàidhlig an iardheiscirt
Is T rTaladh -idh agus -igh / -ich deiridh neamhaiceanta ceann de na difrfochta is suntasaf idir an Ghaeilge agus an Ghaidhlig (O’Rahilly 1932: 53-57). Cumaisctear go hiondúil na deirfocha sin i gcanúintf na Gaeilge agus sa Mhanainnis (mar /igÝ/, /ə/, /i/). Ach dTantar idirdhealú idir an dá dheireadh ar fud na hAlban (-idh /i/; -igh / -ich /ixÝ/) taobh amuigh de chanúintf áirithe de chuid an Iardheiscirt. Tá cuid de chanúintf an Iardheiscirt eisceachtúil – go fiú droim ar ais – áit a rTalaftear -idh go minic mar /ixÝ/, agus -igh / -ich mar /i/. Cuireann Survey of the Gaelic Dialects of Scotland ar ár gcumas mionanailfs a dhTanamh ar na forbairtf seo. ‘Urchar thar sprioc’ a thug an Rathaileach ar /ixÝ/ /ixÝ/ agus -igh / -ich > /i/) nfos casta ná mar a sfleadh go dtf seo agus nf m=r cúinsf morfeolafocha a thabhairt san áireamh ar mhaithe le lTargas is grinne a fháil orthu is ar fhocheantair Tagsúla na dtrTithe atá faoi chaibidil.
Echtra Nerai displays some features of a `prototypical’ echtra: The hero’s visit to the otherworld; temporal disparity with the world of humans; the hero’s eulogy of the síd on his return. Yet the splendour and joy usually associated with the otherworld are absent from this story, a rather grim atmosphere pervades. This is fitting because the otherworld is in opposition to the protagonists, and the destruction of their fort is intended. In the end, however, the humans prevail over the síd people, gaining a number of gifts from them. It is these gifts, particularly the `crown of Briun’, which are a major motivation of this tale as they signify sovereignty, a fact which is also highlighted by the structure of the story.
In recent years the Latin versions of the medieval Welsh laws have tended to take a back seat. They are often assumed to occupy a vaguely central position between the other redactions and to represent a single group. The standard edition by Emanuel (Cardiff, 1967) remains an excellent starting point but some of his basic findings now can be challenged (especially on the basis of some re-datings of manuscripts by Daniel Huws). The effect of such work is that in some cases the direction of development can be reversed and in others the relationships have to be entirely rethought. This paper considers a number of instances which illustrate the changing nature of the study of these texts.