Vyvyan, I have no disagreement or argument with you whatsoever but I do think you have a very strange brand of linguistics, make incorrect comments on old and primitive Irish and cannot really understand your continual refusal to accept well established facts. However that's your perogative. I'm quite surprised at some of your comments in your above post and I ask you to please keep things on the level and play fair without making unfounded and unwarranted statements about my being 'defensive' or combative or 'entering a contest', because you know well I am doing nothing of the sort and you do me an injustice here. Conversely, I take a lot of time and effort to write to you and address all your points and provide you with information and a discussion partner.
My comment about "locking horns" on the ogam thread (I'm glad you've seen that I replied in full to you, analytically, in detail) was in jest and merely to say what we have both said on a previous debate, that you and I have very different approaches to linguistics: you seem to have a very firmly held belief that centuries of Irish, British, German, Scandinavian academic scholarship into Celtic languages is incorrect; whereas I take the academic view and am an active part of that academic learning and research.. If you took it to mean something other than that, then I apologize for a choice of words you didn’t understand (yet you agreed with it when we both agreed to leave a previous debate for same reason!)
i want to share my insights and ask my questions and it seems sad that the response i get is so defensive instead of just analytical.
Vyvyan, nothing I've said in any response to you is "defensive" and I couldn't possibly have been any more "analytical" in writing my replies to you. Each time, as above posts and those of other threads show, I make a lot of effort to
- Systematically go through every point you have made.
- Clarify where you have confused something that I know to be otherwise and update you with the correct information;
- I refute wrongful statements wherever (and often) necessary, explaining why and providing you with factual answers.
- I write respectful replies and though I would be the first to say I am far from expert, I am open and willing to share whatever I have learned after years of intense study.
None of that is being defensive, it's called presenting a scholarly, verifiable, academic and professional response. If you are not able to differentiate that from heated or insulting correspondence, then I can simply cease to reply in future because I have no wish to waste my time and effort.
I don't think you've any reason to be "seriously worried about beith’s and megli’s failure to acknowledge the difference between fact and belief
" - because we do not have this problem at all, whereas you very clearly do. We keep presenting you with fact and you keep saying it is only belief! I think you could better invest the energy of such 'serious worry' in getting to grips with some basics of Old Irish and ogam, in order to be able to discuss with well founded knowledge rather than wildly inaccurate statements. If you can't accept verified academic fact and readily observed evidence in thousands of academic publications, manuscripts and literally carved into the very stone we’re discussing, then sorry - but that's your issue, not ours. Regarding ogam & Irish
, (please see my response to you on the thread on ogam this as we are now cross-posting into this one it seems)
also, the ogam inscriptions are believed to overlap chronologically with the old irish texts.
it is a fact that there are linguistic differences between the ogam and old irish
Dear Vyvyan, that's precisely what I have told you in my posts on the ogam thread. It's good to see you agree with something scholarly.
would having four hundred or so telephone book entries in any language enable you to identify which dialect of a language was in use if you didn't already know?
so we can;t say there was only one dialect, and we can't know how various dialects in any geographical range might have been
I can only reiterate what I have already clarified for you previously on the thread about ogam- dialect is not an issue in ogam. You need to understand this because you are barking up the wrong tree (or rock) entirely! What you see in ogam inscriptions, is the evidence of major language changes
over time (not dialects) and this progression is evident in ogam stones of different eras, then in MSS and to the current day. When you look at ogam inscriptions, you are looking at formulaic “x son of y” statements. There is no scope for dialectic differences because all that is contained in the inscriptions are names and ancestral lineage relationships. It would be absolutely marvellous if ogam stones contained tons of verbs, nouns, prepositions, pronominal forms, adjectives, tenses and whole sentences of text, because then you could tell a lot more, but it was never their purpose to write essays in rock and so we are left with what we have, but there is enough therein to show what happened to the language in different periods and is eminently traceable right into modern day Irish. If you had tapes of people from this period, sure, you would probably have aural differences in spoken language in different regions and maybe some different words used in dialect, but not in written formulaic ogam..
we know nothing of the linguistic situation in ireland in the first half of the first millennium that isn't derived from ms and ogam traces,
Vyvyan, how do you propose that linguistic situations from any historic period are understood? .....from the evidence available on ogam stones and manuscripts. That's precisely how you know anything of the linguistic period and how you do language tracing and studies of comparative linguistics and can attest reconstructed forms
(largely due to the absence of 1500 year old people).
to insist that the direct evolution of old irish from the ogam dialect is to close your mind on other possibilities, and that’s not the best way for scholarship to proceed (imho)
Again - it is not an Ogam dialect. (Please delete "dialect" from your vocab when discussing this!). Primitive and Archaic Irish are shown on ogam stones from the periods immediately prior to Old irish when the technology of latin writing and MSS preparation came into being (probably no earlier than 6th C AD in Ireland). One can trace the changes in each period brought about by apocape, syncope, in primitive and archaic Irish periods and then the use and fading use and replacement of various grammatical forms and devices (nouns, case endings, pronouns, mutation, verbal systems etc)... just as you can look at a man and trace his development from a teenager, small boy to a baby. Old Irish is the direct "descendant" of early Old Irish, Archaic Irish and Primitive Irish. It is known, proven, visible, factual, demonstrable and non questionable. QED.
it is on my agenda to learn old irish (as she is tort, to paraphrase) but my approach is to examine it first before i commit myself to its basic assumptions, which i'm finding in drastic need of radical revision
Vyvyan, in order to examine it and be able to make any basic assumptions, you will have to learn old irish. If you do not understand the basics of the language, you cannot even begin to make any assumption about it, let alone suggest radical revisions! I'm afraid, if you want to do this, you're going to have the join the rest of us in slaving away academically for years over it. If you want to understand and critique, then you have to put the work in and learn it. There are no short-cuts (otherwise I’d have saved myself a lot of money, effort and endless hours spent on this!).
Both Megli and I have previously offered several references to books (here and on other threads) that will help you do this, if you decide to seriously approach learning. I would be happy to add some references on ogam linguistics if you would like to have some.
Now Vyvyan, let me just say this in closing to clear up any misunderstanding on your part. I'm not being defensive just because I may disagree with something you write but if you put incorrect stuff up for comment, you can be sure that I and others may wish to comment and challenge it. That is not being disrespectful to your views but simply our entitlement to reply and discuss, clarify, refute and correspond on it if something is placed for open discussion. If you do not wish to have that, then don’t ask us to discuss with you! I very happy to correspond with you, but not if I receive trite and undeserved remarks about me in reply, such as in your last post above. You might take a moment to recall that over the years here that I am usually the first one to give the courtesy of response to your posts and join you in debate. This is something I do in respect for discussion and sharing knowledge, not in combat! So let us continue, if we do, with this understanding.
I hope the above clarifies things a bit further.