Today I wanted to learn more about the various languages of the British Isles. My research covered the six modern Celtic languages stemming from the original old celtic language. There are two divisions: the Goidelic (Gaelic) and the Brythonic (British). The Brythonic languages include Welsh, Bretan, and Corninsh. This post will cover the history of the Goidelic languages.
Insular Celtic: These are the Celtic languages originating from the British Islands as opposed to those developing on the European Mainland. "The Insular Celtic Hypothesis" proposes that the Goidelic and Brythonic dialects evolved together from a common ancestor, totally separate from the long extinct continental celtic languages such as Celtiberean, Gaulish, Galatian, and Lepontic.
Primitive Irish: Also known as Archaic Irish, this is the oldest known form of Insular
Celtic and was used up to the sixth century. Only fragments of this language are known
from stones written in Ogham, an early medieval alphabet
Old Irish: This form was used from the sixth to the tenth centuries and is the earliest form of the Godeilic languages with extensive written texts. The transtition from Primitive to Old Irish included the loss of unstressed syllables and certain consonant changes.
Middle Irish: This was spoken in Scotland, Ireland, and the Island of Man from the tenth to the twelfth centuries. A huge amount of literature was written during this period. Around the 12th century Middle Irish began to transition into Modern Irish. Middle Irish branched out into Modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx (The language spoken on the Isle of Man.)