Research will help revive 'dead' Manx language





A researcher at the University of Liverpool has produced the first modern, comprehensive handbook on Manx Gaelic a language thought to have died out in the mid 19th Century.

As records detailing the grammatical construction of the language are rare, expert Jennifer Kewley Draskau, at the University’s Centre for Manx Studies, used texts dating back to the 15th Century as well as unstructured, informal conversations between fluent native speakers on the Isle on Man. She also studied the 18th Century Manx Bible and modern poetry to produce the handbook, called Practical Manx, a guide to the grammar and morphology of the language.

Manx Gaelic – an off-shoot of Old Irish – virtually died out as community speech when English became the language of trade in the 19th Century. Manx is experiencing a revival and more than 600 people now claim to speak the language. The new study is the first attempt to record and describe the language, and the first time in more than a century that a grammar of Manx has been produced.



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