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Aspects of the interpersonal grammar of Gaelic

J. Lachlan Mackenzie
  • VU University Amsterdam
Published Online: 2009-07-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LING.2009.031


Any description of Scottish Gaelic must make continual reference to interpersonal factors, since the occupancy of the first position in the clause (PI) is codetermined by the illocutionary status of the discourse act being carried out through the formulation of that clause. Gaelic is a language in which syntactic functions play no part, but which gives great prominence to pragmatic functions. Although topic has no role in Gaelic grammar, focus and contrast both impinge upon its morphology and syntax, with the cleft construction extending from being an indicator of contrast to a marker of focus, where no contrast is intended.

Instituto de Linguística Teórica e Computacional (ILTEC), Rua Conde de Redondo, 74-5°, 1150-109 Lisboa, Portugal. E-mail:

Received: 2006-09-04

Revised: 2008-04-08

Published Online: 2009-07-15

Published in Print: 2009-07-01

Citation Information: Linguistics. Volume 47, Issue 4, Pages 885–911, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LING.2009.031, July 2009

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