I'm inclined to agree with you, Paul. Using "do" in constructions as an 
alternate way of forming tenses isn't the same as a verb combination. It's 
a straightforward auxiliary as occurs in English, French etc etc...

As to whether the widespread use of 'ren mee goll' counts as language 
death, this isn't impossible. On the other hand, it may be that teachers 
find it easier to introduce the past tense using the auxiliaries. My 
immediate thought is that it is closer to English (and thus simpler), 
certainly in the negative.


On Aug 31 2011, Salmon, Paul wrote:

>I think we are looking at two themes here -
> 1. - 'do'-periphrasis v inflected form in relation to "liveliness" of 
> language. 2. - The lexicology of phrasal verb combinations with 
> prepositions or nouns such as "cur er" or "cur enn er"
>Manxies - any thoughts? (See other comments on OLD-IRISH-L  archive).
>Paul S
> -----Original Message----- From: Old-Irish-L 
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Patricia Ronan Sent: 
> 31 August 2011 15:10 To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: 
> [OLD-IRISH-L] AUG question - descriptors
> Hi, taking support verb constructions *only* as a way to make language 
> learning easier is too simplistic. It may work in some cases. George 
> Broderick has argued 'do'-periphrasis in Manx to be a sign of language 
> death, often used by semi-speakers to avoid memorizing paradigms. 'Do' 
> periphrasis is particular prone to being used instead of verbal 
> inflection, more than other support verbs, because the meaning of the 
> verb is most general. But many native speakers of languages are also 
> creative (the Old Irish scribes definitely knew what they were doing with 
> their language) and use support verb constructions to make their language 
> more accurate and give it extra nuances. Some Indo-Europeanists, general 
> linguists, too, have argued that they are a way to make language more 
> specific. In many cases they do not oust the simple verb after all, but 
> offer additional possibilities of expressing things.
>-------- Original-Nachricht --------
>> Datum: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 12:12:52 +0100
>> Von: "Gearóid Ó Néill" <[log in to unmask]>
>> An: [log in to unmask]
>> Betreff: Re: [OLD-IRISH-L] AUG question - descriptors
>> I suspect it makes it easier to learn. You don't have a new unfamiliar 
>> word to learn and all that it implies - pronunciation, orthography ( if 
>> you are new to the language or the spelling-sound relationship is 
>> irregular - not to mention dialectic variations), usage, semantics, 
>> etymology. Superficially it is more appealing if you have one word one 
>> meaning but I think that would overload the neurons. I just thought of 
>> an experiment we could try. Allocate 30 names to 10 addresses (in 
>> differing amounts) 20 addr and 30 addr and see which is easiest to 
>> recall.
>> Gearóid
>> On 31 August 2011 03:53, Helen McKay <[log in to unmask]> 
>> wrote:
>> > Richard wrote:
>> > >As an example, here is the end of the description of  the
>> > >hag: "lethantrosdán lomdeilecha lúbméracha laobgloithnecha
>> > >lebarsálgorma liathgormingnecha ladharbrénfliucha lanntrusgacha."
>> >
>> > Thanks Richard for that extraordinary piece of verbosity! As noone 
>> > has risen to their feet for August, may I ask a question? What is it 
>> > about Irish (and to an extent English too in comparison to other 
>> > languages) that it has so many descriptors (adjectives, adverbs)? and 
>> > what does it say about the Irish psyche that they delight in using 
>> > them?
>> >
>> > And, I'm not sure if this is a related question or not, but why does
>> > modern Irish (and English again) delight in reducing verbs down to a
>> > handful of common verbs in idiomatic or phrasal form?  I'm beginning to
>> > think that if Irish could get away with expressing every verb using
>> 'cur'
>> > within some expression, then that's what it would do! This tendency 
>> > in both Irish and English certainly makes them a lot harder for adult 
>> > learners to come to grips with. I remember one day (when I was much 
>> > younger) we were counting the different verbal meanings of 'come' 
>> > expressions and we stopped in exhaustion when we were over 600. But, I 
>> > suspect Irish 'cur' could outdo that any day :--)
>> >
>> > Helen
>> >
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> RAAUE: S'preevaadjagh yn çhaghteraght post-l shoh chammah's coadanyn 
> erbee currit marish as ta shoh coadit ec y leigh. Cha nhegin diu coipal 
> ny cur eh da peiagh erbee elley ny ymmydey yn chooid t'ayn er aght erbee 
> dyn kied leayr veih'n choyrtagh. Mannagh nee shiu yn enmyssagh kiarit 
> jeh'n phost-l shoh, doll-shiu magh eh, my sailliu, as cur-shiu fys da'n 
> choyrtagh cha leah as oddys shiu.
> Cha nel kied currit da failleydagh ny jantagh erbee conaant y yannoo rish 
> peiagh ny possan erbee lesh post-l er son Rheynn ny Boayrd Slattyssagh 
> erbee jeh Reiltys Ellan Vannin dyn co-niartaghey scruit leayr veih 
> Reireyder y Rheynn ny Boayrd Slattyssagh t'eh bentyn rish.