Cascadilla Press header

Old Irish Verbs and Vocabulary
Antony Green
Bookmark and Share

Overview | Preface | Sample verb table | Sample vocabulary page | Reviews | Order form

Front cover image   145 pages
publication date: 1995

ISBN 978-1-57473-003-6 paperback, $24.95
ISBN 978-1-57473-103-3 library binding, $65.00



This work originally began as a vocabulary list I was keeping for my own use the first time I learned Old Irish using E. G. Quin's Old Irish Workbook, which lacks a vocabulary list of its own. The Royal Irish Academy's Dictionary of the Irish Language is an excellent resource, but as a beginner I found it both expensive and unwieldy.

Then I thought it would be a good idea to keep verb-by-verb paradigms to complement the tense-by-tense paradigms of Rudolf Thurneysen's Old Irish Grammar and John Strachan's Old-Irish Paradigms and Selections from the Old-Irish Glosses. Friends of mine said they wanted copies of this information too, and suggested I publish it for other students of Old Irish. Before I knew it I was writing a book.

The list of conjugated verbs in this book is not to be taken as a concordance of the attested verb forms of Old Irish. Many of the forms listed in the paradigms are not actually attested, but in each complete paradigm given, enough forms are attested that the others are easily deducible. In cases where a complete paradigm cannot be reconstructed I have listed only the attested or reconstructable forms. Normalized spellings of attested forms are given in roman type, while reconstructed forms are given in italics. The sample weak verbs are: marbaid (A I), labraithir (A I deponent), leicid (A II), and foilsigidir (A II deponent). In the sample weak verbs, the distinction between attested and reconstructed forms is not made.

The forms of the verbs are listed in the following order: Present Indicative (followed by the conjugation class according to Thurneysen's classification), Imperfect Indicative, Imperative (in the case of transitive compound verbs, the imperative with the neuter singular infixed pronoun is given in the left column), Present Subjunctive (followed by the name of the class: a or s), Past Subjunctive, Future (followed by the name of the class: f, reduplicated, e or s), Conditional, Preterite active (followed by the name of the class: s, t, reduplicated, a, i or suffixless) and Preterite passive. In the case of verbs whose perfect tense is not formed by simply prefixing ro. to the preterite, the perfect is listed after the preterite. In some verbs, the present and past subjunctive are identical or nearly identical to either the present and imperfect indicative (e.g. marbaid) or the future and conditional (e.g. do.eirig). In these cases, the subjunctive has not been listed separately from the tenses it (nearly) coincides with. Each verb is headed by the third person singular present form and the verbal noun form. Most paradigms take up a full two-page spread, while some fit onto one page.

I have tried to include in the vocabulary section of this book every word in Quin and Strachan; other common words are included as well. Throughout the book, question marks indicate an incomplete historical record or disagreement among scholars of Old Irish.

Finally, I would like to thank my Old Irish teachers, Ruth P. M. Lehmann and Jay Jasanoff, for introducing me to one of the most fascinating languages I have ever encountered.

A.G., Ithaca, October 1995

Note: accents are not shown on this web page to allow for standardized display.

Home   FAQ   Shopping cart   Order form

© 2016 Cascadilla Press, P.O. Box 440355, Somerville, MA 02144, USA
1-617-776-2370 * fax 1-617-776-2271 *