By Katherine Stuart Forsyth
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Extra resources for The ogham inscriptions of Scotland: An edited corpus
If vowels are to be written with longer strokes then it is necessary to find some other way of differentiating the two aicmi. In practice, this was done by having vowel-strokes which were perpendicular, and mstrokes which were oblique across the stem. Since so many orthodox inscriptions have oblique m-strokes and very short vowels, it is clear that the introduction of slope was not a response to lengthening vowel strokes, it may, in fact, have opened the way for it. Further study of the earliest examples is required before it can be ascertained if perpendicular m-strokes are the wr-fbnn and oblique ones an innovation, or whether the m-aicme was conceived of as sloping from the outset and perpendicular ones were merely a scribal variant.
MacLennan, Kelvingrove An Gallery & Museum] * Linear carvings FOSHIGARRY * Bone disc inscribed with allegedly ogham-like markings [Hallgn 1994:218 Illus,5| GIGHA 2 * Lower portion of pillar bearing ogham-like markings [Photo. D. 5 xxviii ABBREVIATIONS AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL - See also bibliography ATig 'Annals of Tigernach\ ed. Whitley Stokes, Revue celtique 16 (1895) 374-419; 17 (1896) 9-33, 119-263, 337-420; 18 (1897) 9-59, 150-97, 267-303. D. 1131), ed. Sean Mac Airt & Gearoid Mac Niocaill, Dublin 1983.
Similarly with die third letter of the b-aicme, V /w/, which by the Old Irish period represented /f/, manuscript/. If this is transcribed instead by its Pictish cognate /w/, manuscript uu- (cf. Welsh gw-), the effect is equally transformative. Some Scottish oghams, however, were clearly carved in an Irish-speaking environment, where, presumably Q still meant /k/, and V meant HI. From this it can be seen diat assigning sound values to ogham graphemes is not straightforward. In transliterating the various characters, choosing one option over another can turn a Goidelic-looking text, into a Brittonic-looking one at a stroke.
The ogham inscriptions of Scotland: An edited corpus by Katherine Stuart Forsyth