Basic Irish: A Grammar and Workbook (Grammar Workbooks) Paperback – 21 Dec 2007
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About the Author
Nancy Stenson is Professor within the Linguistics dept of the University of Minnesota. She is currently researching borrowing and code-switching in Irish; she has taught English as a Second Language, French and Irish. She has written extensively on linguistic diversity, language contact and on Irish linguistics. Her single authored publications include: Studies in Irish Syntax . Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag
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I studied Irish some years ago fairly intensively, and I was always annoyed by the lack of a book JUST LIKE this one. I've had it only a few weeks, but have had a chance to examine it and work through some of the exercises. It is something that has been sorely needed for a long time. If you are familiar with Irish language resources, you may recognize the author's name--Nancy Stenson (she is a linguistics and Irish language professor at the University of Minnesota). She compiled a huge series of worksheets to accompany "Learning Irish" in the early 1990's (I was lucky enough to find and print them out some years ago from an internet server archive). She has now written two Irish grammar workbooks. I don't have the second yet--Intermediate Irish--but soon will.
Stenson's Basic Irish is wonderful. It covers all the basic grammar/structure concepts AND offers page after page of various types of practice problems--filling blanks, sentence manipulation, verb conjugation, sentence negation, translation both ways, correcting errors, and more... just tons of good stuff!
Here's a summary of the sections: Spelling and pronunciation, word order, lenition, mutations, nouns and articles, classes and cases, ... , prepositions, numbers, verbs I & II & III, irregular verbs I & II, copula, verbal nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and a few other topics.
As you can see, a lot of info--and it all has in-depth explanation and tons of practice problems. This is a lot like the types of grammar workbooks that are available for all of the major languages. With some of the latest Irish learning materials available, there is now a pretty rich pool of resources out there and this book, especially, fills a huge void that has been there for years.
The exercises are proving to be well thought out and quite useful for fixing the concepts in my mind. Overall a very smartly put together set. I wish she would come back and write a general course for beginners. I would love to have it for the classes I am teaching.
Couldn't be happier that I purchased it and I look forward to purchasing the next in the series.