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Metadata for text 36
No. words in text26945
Title Nach Neònach Sin
Author MacCoinnich, Cailein T.
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1973
Date Of Language 1950-1999
Publisher Celtic Department, Glasgow University
Place Published Glasgow
Volume N/A
Location National, academic and local libraries
Geographical Origins Taransay
Register Literature, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 21.4cm x 13.9cm
Short Title Nach Neònach Sin
Reference Details EUL: PB1648.M18Macc
Number Of Pages 56
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context The author of this collection of stories is Rev. Cailein T. MacCoinnich, who was born on the island of Taransay, off the west coast of South Harris, in 1917. He went to university in St. Andrews and became a Church of Scotland minister. He published his first collection of short stories, Oirthir Tìm, in 1969, and a short novel, A’ Leth Eile, in 1971. Mar Sgeul a Dh’innseas Neach was published in 1971. MacCoinnich published much of his work in Gairm, and he wrote and translated poetry as well as writing prose, winning the Bardic Crown at the Mod in 1952.

Much of MacCoinnich’s prose work deals with the unusual and the otherworldly and this text is no different, being a collection of short stories about unusual happenings. The author states in the Roimh-fhacal (p. 5), that he has tried to avoid stories that are in common knowledge or that have been previously published, and instead has collected stories that he heard from the people involved in the happenings. In some cases he draws on events in which he himself was involved. He leaves it up to the reader to decide whether these events constitute ‘rudan mì-nàdurra … na chaochladh’ (p. 5). MacCoinnich laments the decline in the oral tradition, which he attributes to the fact that people no longer have any regard for it (‘nach eil suim aig daoine dha leithid’, p. 5) and he stresses his hopes that this collection may go some way to redress the balance.
Contents This volume, which is sub-titled A measg annasan is iongantais an t-saoghail uile, chan eil dad as iongantaiche na’n fhìrinn, begins with a short Roimh-fhacal (p. 5) by the author, followed by a Clar-innsidh (p. 6). There are eighteen stories in this collection as follows: “Neul Mhór a dh’Fhianuisean” (pp. 7-9), A’ Ràmh (pp. 9-11), Am Bàilidh Dubh (pp. 11-14), “Ge b’e bhios air dheireadh …” (pp. 14-16), Sràid nan Cailleachan-Dubha (pp. 16-19), An t-Each Uisge (pp. 20-22), Taibhs (pp. 22-25), An Di-bheatha (pp. 25-27), “Coinnich shuas e, Coinnich shìos e” (pp. 27-29), “Claigeann Greannach Cruaidh” (pp. 29-31), Cù Mór an t-Sruthain (pp. 32-33), Dual Gruaige (pp. 33-35), A’ Leabaidh (pp. 36-39), A Saoghail Eile (pp. 39-42), A’ Sluagh (pp. 42-45), As an t-Sealladh (pp. 45-47), Rud Nach Fhaic Sùil (pp. 47-49), and Sop ás Gach Seid (pp. 50-56).
Sources
Language This text is particularly strong on language pertaining to the unusual or supernatural, and language commonly used in storytelling, for example chuir e air a mhanadh (p. 7), Madainn àraidh (p. 7), Biodh sin mar a dh’fhaodas e (p. 7), fàisneachd (p. 9), Beag air bheag (p. 9), an dà-shealladh (p. 10), bhiodh i ri taibhsearachd (p. 10), a chuir eagal is luasgan orm (p. 10), Bha mo shin-seanmhair ’na bann-chreideach làidir (p. 10), a’ faicinn sheallaidhean (p. 10), mhionnaich is bhòidich e (p. 10), gun tubaist na ànnradh (p. 10), air leabaidh a bàis (p. 10), ’son an torraidh (p. 11), a’ chiste (p. 11), air am bonntachadh air eachdraidh na cleachdaidhean nan ginealach a dh’fhalbh (p. 14), cleasan (p. 14), an-àbhaisteach (p. 14), air Oidhche Shamhna (p. 14), aobhar an iongnaidh ’s an uabhais (p. 15) and aobhar a’ bhròin ’s a’ mhulaid (p. 15), aindeonach (p. 15), deòir na tàmailt ’s an droch-nàduir (p. 15), a guth air chrith leis a’ chorruich (p. 15), glug caoinidh ’na sgòrnan (p. 15), ròn-fiaclach (p. 20), an t-aon-adhairceach na ’m buabhal (p. 20), a’ làn-chreidsinn (p. 20), fìor dhorcha, ùdlaidh uamhalta (p. 20), am beul a chomh-thràth (p. 20), le bòcain (p. 20), sa’ leth-sholus (p. 21), neo-thalamhaidh (p. 36), neo-fhaicsinneach (p. 37), làthaireachd neòghlan (p. 37), ged a bha fuar-fhallus romham (p. 37), gu robh an oidhche car trom claoidhte (p. 37), rudeigin mì-chneasda (p. 37), uile-bhiasd (p. 39), “teine-biorach” (p. 48), carbadan-adhlaic (p. 49), sna lìnntean garbh tuasaideach (p. 49), nam b’ fhìor gach sgeul (p. 55), leis a’ chrith-oillt (p. 55), dad a bha faicsinneach do bhuadhan nàdurra (p. 56), and Gheàrr mise cruinn-leum a mach (p. 56).

Also of interest are the following: taigh geamair (p. 7), “Fhearaibh”, ars esan (p. 8), “fuaim tuinne ’s glag geòidh” (p. 8), gun fhàth gun fhaireachadh (p. 8), air an dearbh stall (p. 9), aig na giomaich (p. 9), ann an clachan sna h-eileanan (p. 9-10), nochd i steach (p. 10), air tighinn gu aois mhór (p. 10), farchluais (p. 10), suim na cùise (p. 10), nach robh feabhas dhi ann (p. 10), ’na boireannach toirteil (p. 11), sgonn do mhaide (p. 11), casachan (p. 11), ’na searbhanta and aig seirbhis (p. 14), chon a lobht’ àrd (p. 15), a’ dìdeireachd oirre (p. 15), bras-rudhadh na feirge (p. 15), do sheòmar-uachdarach an tighe (p. 16) and san t-seòmar uachdair (p. 36), gur e cuairt a ghabh mi (p. 37), fhuair i i fhéin, mar a chanadh iad, “sna croisean” ’s ann a’ rathad teaghlaich (p. 38), “ruith-na-h-oidhche” (p. 55), and ann a’ leabaidh na clòsaid (p. 56).

In addition, there are a number of terms relating to fishing throughout the text, such as gus an tìdicheadh na linn (p. 7), gheòla (p. 7), lion-chaola, na “sreanganan” (p. 7), lèabagan, cnòdain, sgaitean, ’s cuidhteagan (p. 7), far oitir Sheiliboist is Horgaboist (p. 7), le dubhan is dorgh (p. 7), os cionn na tràghad (p. 7), and liagh agus calpa ràimh (p. 9).

As a poet and a minister, MacCoinnich has sprinkled this text with lines of poetry and quotes from the Bible. For example, in A Saoghail Eile, we find ‘Beinn Roineabhal, sgùrr a dh’fhùcadh o’n ghrùnnd leis na fùrnaisean dìomhair a bha goilich fo sheic na talmhain, mar a thubhairt am bàrd, “aig tùs òg-mhadainn chiar-ghlas nan tràth.”’ (p. 39) and ‘’s ann an Leabhar Isaiah fhuair iad na briathran seo, “Agus phìll a’ ghrian air ais deich ceumanan air na ceumanan air an deachaidh i sìos.”’ (p. 41). Other religious terminology scattered throughout the text includes ri aoradh and taigh-aoraidh (p. 8), an tigh-leughaidh (p. 9), san Tiomnadh Nuadh (p. 9), air na Salmaidh (p 9), bidh mise leagta ris mar rùn glic an Fhreasdail (p. 10), le briathran is geallaidhean na Fìrinn (p. 10), and am briathran na Fìrinn (p. 20).

A number of passive forms are used throughout the text, such as gheibhisde e (p. 7), air a faighisde freagairt (p. 14), na rachaisde (p. 14), Theirisde cuideachd (p. 15), and ris an canaisde (p. 48).
Orthography The author’s Gaelic usage may be reflected in a number of words and phrases throughout the text, including Ach cia bith cia mar a bha e (p. 7), feuch dé mar a chaidh leis (p. 8), ’ga ghrianaireachd fhéin (p. 8), a radha (p. 8) and a ràdha (p. 20), a dheadh (p. 8), ’na cnapach nighinne (p. 8), Sa’ bhliadhna Naoi-diag Tri-sa-Cóig, na Tri-sa Sia (p. 8), ri cois an rothaid (p. 9), air thuairmeas (p. 9), sud (p. 9), chum (p. 9), an cur an tàthadh a chéile a-rithist (p. 9), a rèir cholais (p. 10), ’n t-seanabhean (p. 10), àsan (p. 10), ann an làrach nam bonn (p. 10), a’ feasd (p. 10), eadhoin (p. 11), Uair dha robh saoghal bha iomadh cluich, spòrs agus dibhearsoin aig an òigridh air nach eil sgial na robhas an diugh (p. 14), gur i phrìomh cheisd a bhiodh air na caileagan a là ud (p. 14), chan eil fhios dhòmhsa (p. 15), feadh ’s a bha na seòid a-muigh (p. 15), “Coma leatsa dhiubh, ghràdhag …” (p. 15), bruidhean air (p. 37), ás Tarasaidh (p. 48), far a dhòigheach (p. 48), Chuir iad, mar a chanamaid “na buinn an tacsa”, ’s ás a sud cha chairicheadh iad (p. 49), and có aig a bheil fios (p. 56).

The orthography is generally that of the mid-to-late twentieth century. Both grave and acute accents are used throughout the text. Of interest is the author’s use of the forms tigh (e.g. p. 14), dh’an (e.g. p. 14), aobhar (p. 15), bial (p. 8),  (p. 14), treis (e.g. p. 36), dhoibh (p. 8), dhuit (p. 16), sgial (e.g. p. 14) and sgeul (e.g. p. 55), na rather than no (e.g. p. 7), na robh rather than nan robh (p. 8), sa bith rather than sam bith (e.g. p. 9), a final d rather than t e.g. in a rithisd (p. 16), his use of past tense forms such as co ás an d’éirich (p. 20), san eilean san d’àraicheadh mise (p. 20), and cha d’fhàn (p. 21), and his dropping of the n in the definite article before words beginning with certain consonants, e.g. a’ leabaidh (p. 56).
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading MacCoinnich, Cailein T., Oirthir Tìm (Glasgow, 1969: Gairm).
MacCoinnich, Cailein T., A’ Leth Eile (Glasgow, 1971: University of Glasgow, Department of Celtic).
MacCoinnich, Cailein T., Mar Sgeul a Dh’innseas Neach (Glasgow, 1971: University of Glasgow, Department of Celtic).
Meek, Donald, ‘Ath-Sgrudadh (5) Cailein T. MacCoinnich’, Gairm, (123) 1983, 237-47.
Thomson, Derick S. (ed.), The Companion to Gaelic Scotland (Glasgow, 1994: Gairm).
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