https://www.duolingo.com/PaulCulloty

The Irish alphabet

PaulCulloty
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One thing that has remained constant throughout the various changes in Irish orthography in recent decades is that the alphabet still uses 18 letters, with j, k, q, v, w, x, y, z generally only appearing in loan-words from English. The most radical change, however, occurred in the mid-Sixties, with the transition from Gaelic to Roman typefaces, on the grounds of making printed Irish more legible. Books in the old type can often be found in second-hand shops, and the most striking differences concern the "s", which resembles "r", and the placement of a dot above consonants, where "h" would now appear.

3 years ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TanagerMoonmist

The old typeface was so pretty (except for the "s"!).

Personally, I think the dot was a much more elegant and less confusing solution than the "h". Pity they didn't keep it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bob1745

I love the dot! My cousin who was born recently was christened Medb (dot over the "b") which is the really old irish for meabh which is Maeve! i love it!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosalina362467

so cool.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosalina362467

MY name is Maeve but I did not now about Medb.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ConorHoughton
ConorHoughton
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It was pretty, even the "s", but it would be hard for a different script to survive typewriters and the dot for the seimhiu forces you to use a different script since not of lenited consonants can have an ascending stroke, hence the "d" and "b" bowing backwards and forwards and the "t" like a tau.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Oh, but it was available on (certain) typewriters — see a picture of part of one such keyboard here, and the keyboard layouts of three other such typewriters can be found here. (A full picture of an Underwood keyboard layout can be seen here.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ConorHoughton
ConorHoughton
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cool, even the tironian et of glorious memory!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwasson
mwasson
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They moved 'y'--just different enough to be annoying. But very cool.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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If you’re referring to the Underwood, then they’d actually moved Q through Y and A through L — a typical “QWERTY” keyboard would have Q A Z in the first column and W S X in the second column, but it has ´ ˙ Z in the first column and Q A X in the second column.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwasson
mwasson
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Oh, I see now; wasn't as obvious as the "T" and "U" being adjacent. In practice, would that just mean that the bottom row would feel like it's shifted one column to the left? I guess that's all relative based on your typing style,but assuming a home-keys, middle-row oriented style.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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In practice, based on the usual “ASDF JKL;” home keys, the bottom row, the numeric row, and the right hand side of the QWERT row would feel as though they’d been shifted.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Windrammer
Windrammer
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How An Cló Gaelach looks like.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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I tried out putting a dot above the consonant in Duolingo's Irish course just to see what would happen. It didn't accept it. :P

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bob1745

How did you put the dot there?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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I use Debian GNU/Linux and have a compose key set up. If you use Linux the command setxkbmap us -option compose:paus should set your keyboard layout to US QWERTY and break to the compose key (it's possible to use other keys, a friend uses caps lock). You can add a dot to most letters via compose . letter: ȧ ḃ ċ ḋ ė ḟ ġ ḣ ṁ ṅ ȯ ṗ ṙ ṡ ṫ ẇ ẋ ẏ ż. If you use it with i you get a tittleless i: ı.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bob1745

Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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In OS X it can be done by selecting either the “U.S. Extended” input source or the “Irish Extended” input source, and entering either Option-W letter (for a precomposed dotted letter, such as those shown in HappyEvilSlosh’s list) or letter Option-Shift-W (for an independent non-spacing dot character that can be put on top of any character — letters, numbers, punctuation, etc.). A precomposed letter typically looks better than a letter followed by an independent non-spacing character.

EDIT: The U.S. Extended input source was renamed to ABC Extended in OS X 10.11.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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See this discussion for how to use the {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt; color=#169B62}cló {@style=font-family: 'Bunchlo Arsa GC', 'BunchloArsaGC', serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt; color: #FF883E}Gaelaċ in the forums here.

3 years ago
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