LWM 434: Manx

Product no.: ISBN 9783895867651
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John D. Phillips
Yamaguchi University

Manx is the recently-extinct language of the Isle of Man, located in the northern part of the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland. It is a member of the Celtic group of the Indo-European family of languages, and as such is related to the other modern Celtic languages: Welsh, Breton, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish. It is closest to Scottish Gaelic and Irish, but is not mutually intelligible with either.

Until the nineteenth century, the great majority of the island's inhabitants were monolingual Manx-speaking, but after the island came under British rule in 1765, Manx receded from public and later private life and was replaced by English. The last native speaker died in 1974.

Manx is an isolating language with very little morphology. The basic word order is VSO, though the clause-initial auxiliary marks only tense, with the main verbal meaning carried by an indeclinable verbal noun. Like the other Celtic languages, Manx has a system of initial consonant mutation: words beginning with mutable consonants have two forms, plain and lenited.

This grammar is based on a corpus of tape recordings of the speech of ten of the last native speakers of Manx, with other sources used to confirm and supplement as necessary.

ISBN 9783895867651. Languages of the World/Materials 434. 140pp. 2004.

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