Grammatica, gramadach, and gramadeg: vernacular grammar and grammarians in medieval Ireland and Wales is concerned with the history of linguistic ideas and literary theory in the vernacular languages of medieval Ireland and Wales. While much good work, especially by Vivian Law, has been done on the Latin materials, this volume is the first to engage with the vernacular texts. It consists of ten essays that explore a range of interconnected topics relating to these themes. Yet while the contributors offer a close analysis of the development of linguistic thought in these literary traditions, they likewise seek to situate their discussions within the wider context of European grammatical learning during this period, considering both the widespread influence of texts from classical linguistic tradition and also the significance of sources from other contemporary learned disciplines for our understanding of the history of linguistics in the medieval world.
Contributions to journals
It is conventional to divide the manuscript tradition of the Blegywryd redaction of the Welsh laws into two groups depending on whether they contain the Laws of Court and where the triads are positioned. It has long been recognised that Gwilym Wasta (working ca. 1300) was the scribe of the three manuscripts which do not contain the Laws of Court and that in three of the manuscripts he replaced them with a colophon in which he seems to claim that he has omitted them because they were no longer in use. This paper argues that matters might be rather more complicated and that the omission of the Laws of Court may have been more by accident than design.
This paper takes as its starting point the well-known passage in Branwen about the compensation for Matholwch and its relationship to the Iorwerth redaction of medieval Welsh law. It argues, first, that the text of Branwen need not be emended by reference to the Iorwerth redaction. It then traces the textual development of the legal passage from a silver rod and gold plate in Iorwerth to an elaborate royal drink-stand in the other redactions. It follows Robin Chapman Stacey in suggesting that the Iorwerth redaction has maintained a simple version of this text to ensure the text is seen as unexceptional from a broader European perspective of kingship. Finally, it returns to a particular aspect of these descriptions, the Welsh and Latin terms used for fingers which present a confused and muddled picture.
Early Irish glossaries contain a number of entries in which Greek etymologies are offered. The format resembles that of continental Graeco-Latin glossaries and it is proposed that material similar to that which is attested in Laon ms 444 was a source for the vernacular glossaries. The implications of this are explored and various other sources are suggested. A possible model for the use of sanas in Sanas Cormaic may also be found in a definition of apocrypha in Scholica graecarum glossarum.
Russell, Paul, “Teaching between the lines: grammar and grammatica in the classroom in early medieval Wales”, in: Hayden, Deborah, and Paul Russell (eds), Grammatica, gramadach and gramadeg: vernacular grammar and grammarians in medieval Ireland and Wales, Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 125, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2016. 133–148.
Russell, Paul, “Poetry by numbers: the poetic triads in Gramadegau penceirddiaid”, in: Hayden, Deborah, and Paul Russell (eds), Grammatica, gramadach and gramadeg: vernacular grammar and grammarians in medieval Ireland and Wales, Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 125, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2016. 161–180.
Starting from the Old Irish input into the glossing of the Welsh Juvencus manuscript, it is argued that there are hints that some of the Old Welsh glossing on another manuscript, St Dunstan’s Classbook, may have been created in an Irish-influenced context.
Russell, Paul, “In aliis libris: adaptation, re-working and transmission in the commentaries to Amra Choluim Chille”, in: Boyle, Elizabeth, and Deborah Hayden (eds), Authorities and adaptations: the reworking and transmission of textual sources in medieval Ireland, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2014. 63–93.
Russell, Paul, “Horticultural genealogy and genealogical horticulture: the metaphors of Welsh plant and Old Irish cland”, in: Henley, Georgia [ed.], Paul Russell [ed.], and Joseph F. Eska [assist ed.], Rhetoric and reality in medieval Celtic literature: studies in honor of Daniel F. Melia, CSANA Yearbook 11-12, Hamilton, NY: Colgate University Press, 2014. 155–172.
Russell, Paul, “Externarum linguarum excellens: the rhetoric and reality of the languages of Gruffudd ap Cynan, ruler of Gwynedd († 1137)”, in: Jefferson, Judith A., Ad Putter [eds.], and Amanda Hopkins [ass.], Multilingualism in medieval Britain (c. 1066–1520): sources and analysis, Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe 15, Turnhout: Brepols, 2013. 73–88.
Paul Russell, “Welsh law in medieval Anglesey: British Library Harleian MS 1796 (Latin C)”, in: Sara Elin Roberts • Bryn Jones, Cyfraith Hywel (2013).
Russell, Paul, “Quasi: bridging the etymological gap in early Irish glossaries”, in: Smelik, Bernadette, Rijcklof Hofman, Camiel Hamans, and David Cram (eds.), A companion in linguistics: a Festschrift for Anders Ahlqvist on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, Nijmegen: Stichting Uitgeverij de Keltische Draak, 2005. 49–62.
includes: ‘Cormac mac Cuilennáin (d. 908)’
Russell, Paul, “Moth, toth, traeth: sex, gender and the early Irish grammarian”, in: Cram, David, Andrew Linn, and Elke Nowak (eds.), History of linguistics 1996: selected papers from the Seventh International Conference on the History of the Language Sciences, Oxford, 12–17 September 1996, vol. 1: Traditions in linguistics worldwide., Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1999. 203–213.