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- PublicationReview: Language and Chronology: Text Dating by Machine Learning (Toner and Han)(School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2020)In 2015, two grants were awarded for projects using computational and statistical methods to date medieval Irish texts: one is provided by the European Research Council, which funds the project Chronologicon Hibernicum in Maynooth; the other is awarded by the Leverhulme Trust to fund Gregory Toner’s project ‘Dating of medieval texts through regressive analysis of the lexicon’ in QUB. The present book is the outcome of the latter project, in which the two co– authors explore computational methods previously unknown to the field of medieval Irish studies and demonstrate the huge potential such methods embody for the discipline. When one compares the title of the project to that of the book, it is apparent that Toner and Han have pushed the methodological boundary much further by transcending from regression analysis in the initial project idea to advanced machine learning techniques in the outcome.
- PublicationOld Irish aue 'descendant' and its descendants(de Gruyter, 2019-09-18)This paper intends to study the history of the Old Irish word aue 'descendant, grandchild' in both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The former approach tries to demonstrate what forms this word evolved into from the early Old Irish period up to the end of the Middle Irish period, and to establish the phonological changes it underwent in accordance with our present understanding of the history of the Irish language. The latter approach is based on a linguistically annotated corpus of the Annals of Ulster, and shows the distribution of variant forms of aue in relation to the period they are attested in. The discrepancy between the two observations is discussed and various hypotheses are raised to explain it.
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- PublicationReview: Corus Besgnai: An Old Irish Law Tract on the Church and Society(University of Chicago Press, 2019-07)This volume contains a critical edition of the Old Irish law tract Córus Bésgnai (The Arrangement of Discipline), one of the constituent tracts of the late seventh-century compilation Senchas Már (The Great Tradition). It has taken the editor a very long time to bring this work to completion, but the result is a highly accurate and informative edition representing the highest standard of scholarship in early Irish language and law.
- PublicationPádraig Feiritéar (1856–1924): Scoláire Gaeilge sa Bhaile is i gCéin(New York University, 2019)Is léir ar an taighde scolártha ar an imirce ó Éirinn go Nua Eabhrac atá curtha ar fáil ó na 1980aí ar aghaidh go raibh líon substaintiúil Éireannach lonnaithe sa chathair seo faoin dara leath den naoú céad déag.1 Tá eolas an-spéisiúil curtha ar fáil go háirithe ag an Ollamh Kenneth Nilsen, nach maireann, mar gheall ar chainteoirí a bhí liteartha sa Ghaeilge a luigh amach go gníomhach ar a dteanga dhúchais a chur chun cinn i gcathair Nua Eabhrac tar éis dóibh socrú síos inti. Tá fianaise áirithe ó thaifid luatha na hEaglaise Caitlicí i Nua Eabhrac ar úsáid na Gaeilge.
- PublicationPatrick Ferriter (1856-1924): an Irish Scholar at Home and Abroad(New York University, 2019)Scholarly research from the 1980s onwards on emigration from Ireland to New York informs us that by the second half of the nineteenth century, the city was home to a significant number of Irish migrants. Research by the late Professor Kenneth Nilsen, in particular, makes for fascinating reading about the efforts of a number of literate Irish speakers who, on settling in New York, set about actively promoting their native language in the city. Early records of the Catholic Church in New York also yield some evidence of the use of the Irish language. The city’s first Catholic pastor, for example, an Offaly-born Capuchin friar by the name of Father Charles/Maurice Whelan (1741–1806) began ministering in St. Peter’s Church in 1785, and was described as being “more fluent in Gaelic and French than in English.” Following the establishment in Dublin of the Irish literary society known as the Ossianic Society on St. Patrick’s Day 1853, moreover, a New York branch was founded in 1858 and devoted itself, among other things, to Irish-language instruction.