The Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic is a Celtic language native to Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish, and thus descends ultimately from Primitive Irish....
An alphabet is a standard set of letters—basic written symbols or graphemes—each of which represents a phoneme in a spoken language, either as it exists now or as it was in the past. There are other systems, such as logographies, in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic...
contains 18 letter
A letter is a grapheme in an alphabetic system of writing, such as the Greek alphabet and its descendants. Letters compose phonemes and each phoneme represents a phone in the spoken form of the language....
s, five of which are vowel
In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! or oh! , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, such as English sh! , where there is a constriction or closure at some...
s. The letters are (vowels in bold):
- a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u
The five vowels also appear with grave accent
The grave accent is a diacritical mark used in written Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Dutch, French, Greek , Italian, Mohawk, Norwegian, Occitan, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic, Vietnamese, Welsh, Romansh, and other languages.-Greek:The grave accent was first used in the polytonic orthography of Ancient...
s, the absence or presence of which can change the meaning of a word drastically as in bàta
(a boat) versus bata
- à, è, ì, ò, ù
The acute accent
The acute accent is a diacritic used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts.-Apex:An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels.-Greek:...
is also used on some vowels:
- á, é, ó
Since the 1980s the acute accent has not been used in Scottish high school examination papers, and many publishers have adopted the Scottish Qualifications Authority
The Scottish Qualifications Authority is a non-departmental public body responsible for accreditation and awarding. It is partly funded by the Education and Lifelong Learning Directorate of the Scottish Government, employing 750 staff, based in Glasgow and Dalkeith...
's orthographic conventions for their books. The acute accent is still used in most Scottish universities (and several Scottish academics remain vociferously opposed to the SEB's conventions) and by a minority of Scottish publishers, as well as in Canada.
It is also increasingly common to see other Latin letters in loanwords, including v
The alphabet is known as the aibidil
in Scottish Gaelic, and formerly the Beith Luis Nuin
from the first three letters of the Ogham
Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet used primarily to write the Old Irish language, and occasionally the Brythonic language. Ogham is sometimes called the "Celtic Tree Alphabet", based on a High Medieval Bríatharogam tradition ascribing names of trees to the individual letters.There are roughly...
alphabet: b, l, n
Traditional names of the letters
The letters were traditionally named after trees and other plants. Some of the names differ from their modern equivalents (e.g. dair
| ailm elm
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...
| beith white birch
White Birch may refer to:* Betula papyrifera* Betula pendula* Shirakabaha, Japanese literary group* The White Birch , Norwegian recording artists...
| coll hazel
The hazels are a genus of deciduous trees and large shrubs native to the temperate northern hemisphere. The genus is usually placed in the birch family Betulaceae, though some botanists split the hazels into a separate family Corylaceae.They have simple, rounded leaves with double-serrate margins...
| dair oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...
| eadha aspen
Populus section Populus, of the Populus genus, includes the aspen trees and the white poplar Populus alba. The five typical aspens are all native to cold regions with cool summers, in the north of the Northern Hemisphere, extending south at high altitudes in the mountains. The White Poplar, by...
| feàrn alder
Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants belonging to the birch family . The genus comprises about 30 species of monoecious trees and shrubs, few reaching large size, distributed throughout the North Temperate Zone and in the Americas along the Andes southwards to...
| gort ivy
Ivy, plural ivies is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plants in the family Araliaceae, native to western, central and southern Europe, Macaronesia, northwestern Africa and across central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan.-Description:On level ground they...
| uath hawthorn
|| iogh yew
Taxus baccata is a conifer native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia. It is the tree originally known as yew, though with other related trees becoming known, it may be now known as the English yew, or European yew.-Description:It is a small-...
| luis rowan
The rowans or mountain-ashes are shrubs or small trees in genus Sorbus of family Rosaceae. They are native throughout the cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in the mountains of western China and the Himalaya, where numerous apomictic microspecies...
| muin vine
A vine in the narrowest sense is the grapevine , but more generally it can refer to any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent, that is to say climbing, stems or runners...
| nuin ash
| onn furze / oir spindle
|| peith downy birch
Betula pubescens is a species of birch, native and abundant throughout northern Europe, Iceland, northern Asia and also Greenland....
| ruis elder
|| suil willow
Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere...
| teine furze
|| ura heather
Calluna vulgaris is the sole species in the genus Calluna in the family Ericaceae. It is a low-growing perennial shrub growing to tall, or rarely to and taller, and is found widely in Europe and Asia Minor on acidic soils in open sunny situations and in moderate shade...