Early Modern Irish

Though Early Modern Irish shares a number of similarities with Modern Irish, they are fundamentally different forms of the language.  At the same time, the term Early Modern Irish does not refer to a standard language in the formal sense, but rather to a period in the language’s history (c. 1200-1650).

The site’s Grammar is based on Classical Modern Irish, the strict, highly formalized version of Irish used in classical or bardic poetry. While certain forms of bardic poetry, such as the dán díreach, adhere closely to the conventions of Classical Modern Irish, most other Early Modern Irish texts reside somewhere on a continuum between Classical Modern Irish and Modern Irish. That is, the Early Modern Irish corpus includes texts written in Classical Modern Irish as well as texts that depart in various ways from the classical standard.

Even where Early Modern Irish texts deviate from the strict rules and conventions used in bardic poetry, they can still be understood in terms of their departure from Classical Modern Irish. Thus, an understanding of Classical Modern Irish, which is described in the various sections of the site’s Grammar, will enable users to read and translate a wide variety of Early Modern Irish texts. Accordingly, the Example Texts on the Léamh site include bardic poems that strictly follow the conventions of Classical Modern Irish, poems that follow these conventions less closely, and prose texts that maintain some features of Classical Modern Irish, but in other respects closely approximate forms of Modern Irish.

**The construction of the Grammar is “in-progress.” New entries will continue to be added in due course as completed.**