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Native and Natural: Aspects of the Concepts of 'Right' and 'Freedom' in Irish

Native and Natural: Aspects of the Concepts of 'Right' and 'Freedom' in Irish

Peter T. McQuillan

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Native and Natural: Aspects of the Concepts of 'Right' and 'Freedom' in Irish examines the development of a number of concepts such as dúchas, dúthaigh, dual and saoirse. The aim of the book is to establish the affiliations between these concepts and the sometimes catastrophic changes that beset the culture in which they played a defining role. Approaches current in the field of linguistic anthropology are used in an effort to integrate the examination of linguistic structure into the study of history and culture.

A word like dúchas ('birthright', 'inheritance' and 'native land' are among its meanings) configures a communal ideology that is inflected over time by force of circumstance. The fundamental forms of the Irish-speaking community's belief in ideas of what is 'right' and 'natural' manifest themselves both lexically and grammatically in the language. Thus the verb in Irish has a category called the 'habitual' which is a grammatical reflex of the same semantic processes represented by the word dual; 'natural', 'fitting'. In a somewhat different, although related, register, the evolution of the Irish conception of freedom (saoirse) is charted against Polish and English words denoting the same general concept in order to illuminate a process in Irish historical experience.

Peter McQuillan is Assistant Professor of Irish Language, Keough Institute For Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Modality and the Subjunctive Mood in Irish (2002).

Additional Information

Author Peter T. McQuillan
Publisher Cork University Press
Publication date 22 Jun 2004
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781859183649

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