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Metadata for text 51
No. words in text50506
Title Sgialachdan Dhunnchaidh: seann sgialachdan air an gabhail le Dunnchaidh [sic] Mac Dhomhnaill Ac Dhunnchaidh, Uibhist a Deas, mar a chual e aig athair fhein iad
Author MacDonald, Duncan
Editor Craig, K. C.
Date Of Edition 1944
Date Of Language 1900-1949
Publisher Alasdair Matheson & Co.
Place Published Published: Glasgow
Volume N/A
Location National, academic, and local libraries
Geographical Origins South Uist
Register Literature, Prose
Alternative Author Name Dunnchadh Mac Dhomhnaill Ac Dhunnchaidh (Donnchadh Clachair)
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 21.3cm x 13.9cm
Short Title Sgialachdan Dhunnchaidh
Reference Details EUL, Scottish Studies Library: E2(G)Cra
Number Of Pages [6], 72
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Dunnchadh Mac Dhomhnaill Ac Dhunnchaidh, also known as Donnchadh Clachair, was a stonemason by trade, and a well known story-teller. He was born in Snaoiseabhal, South Uist, in 1882. (See Further Reading for source of further details.) He was the father of Dòmhnall Iain Dhonnchaidh (Donald John MacDonald, author of Chì Mi and Fo Sgàil A’ Swastika, Texts 21 and 34) who was born in Peninerine, South Uist, in 1919. Duncan MacDonald died in 1954.
Contents This volume contains five stories from the oral tradition about the sons of the kings of Lochlann and Ireland:

Eachdraidh Mhanuis (pp. 1-16): The tale of how Manus came to be crowned king of Lochlann, despite his aunt’s attempts to kill him.

Sgialachd Fear na h-Eabaid (pp. 17-29): Murchadh mac Brian helps carry the load of Fear na h-Eabaid and, as they dine, Murchadh hears the story of how the man had to rescue his wife a number of times, before he could marry her.

Sgialachd Mich [sic] Righ Lochlann (pp. 30-44): A tale of the son of the king of Lochlann who was reared for a year and a day by Bean Chaol a’ Chòt Uaine, who later curses him, leading him on a long journey where he meets, among others, the king of Éirinn and his sons.

Conall Gulbann, Mac Righ Eireann (pp. 45-58): The story of Conall Gulban, the youngest son of the king of Ireland. It explains how he was born, the trials he went through to claim and then to rescue his wife, and how he defended Ireland against the Turks.

Sgialachd an Tauraisgeil [sic] Mhoir (pp. 59-72): The story of Mac Rìgh Èireann and how he won a woman and a horse from another man. They later cursed each other and the story tells of the journey Mac Rìgh Èireann made to find out how an Tuaraisgeal Mór died, and the story of an Tuaraisgeal Mór himself.
Sources The stories are ‘air an sgrìobhadh le K. C. Craig’. There is no introduction to the book to explain the method by which the stories were collected, or the way in which they have been arranged for publication. However, the stories appear to have been presented in a form as close as possible to that in which they were told by Dunnchadh, incorporating his dialectal characteristics.
Language The stories in this volume are told in the language of traditional storytelling. The narrative is very richly ornamented in places, and alliteration is often used. For example, in Sgialachd Mhic Rìgh Lochlainn we find ‘Chuir e sgiath bhucaideach bhacaideach gharbh-mhìn air a thaobh chlì, air am faicteadh iomadach dealbh—dealbh leóghann leabarda, crìbh ìmeannach, nathair bheumannach, air an cur sìos ma seach ann an claidheamh dhuilleach geurlannach diasfhadach colgfhaobharach. Chuireadh e ceann bharr amhaich gu socair, gu lìomhaidh leóbhaidh liobhanta, gu sòite sàite so-bhuailte. Ghearradh e naoi naodhannan a nùll agus naoi naodhannan a nall, agus ghlacadh e ’s a n làimh chiand a rithist e’ (p. 34).

The text is full of words and expressions characteristic of folktales, such as an t-oighre (p. 1), ’nam bhannrigh air Lochlann (p. 1), thuisleadh a’ Bhannrigh air leanabh mic (p. 1), “An dà,” ors àsan (p. 1) and  (p. 2), gun a thuar air (p 2), ris an cante (p. 3), ’s bargan e (p. 5), fo ’n àm s’ an athoidhch (p. 8), thug e mionnan (p. 9), gadhar (p. 17), buille tuaigheadh (p. 17), gadadh na cual chonnaidh (p. 17), Ud, ma tà (p. 19), A ghaisgeich (p. 19), geasaibh (p. 19), o m’ mhuim' altramais (p. 19), naoi goisneinean (p. 20), fuamhairean (p. 26), a’ bhangaid bhaistidh (p. 30), muime chìcheadh (p. 30), agus mi air damaist fhaighean (p. 31), a hàrlaid dhiabhalta (p 36), fiosaichean agus fàidhichean (p. 38), brugh beag do thoigh (p. 45), faoilteachas (p. 45), le draodhachd a’ bhrugh (p. 45), tha mise gu don’ air (p. 45), air an fhalachan (p. 46), a’ chailleach dhraodhachd (p. 58), tathbheothaich (p. 58), gu ma sheachd miosa na sin (p. 60), mac rath thusa agus mac mìorath mise (p. 65), and Beannachd dhut fhéin agus mollachd do bhial t’ ionnsaiche (p. 66).

The text also contains formulaic expressions favoured by the storyteller, for example, Latha dhe na lathaichean (p. 2), Agus dhealaich mise riu (p. 16), and Chuala mise siod a bh’ ann (p. 45), all of which recur frequently in this text. The same curse is given in two different stories, Sgialachd Mich [sic] Righ Lochlann and Sgialachd an Tauraisgeil [sic] Mhoir: ‘Ach tha mise gad chur sa fo gheasaibh ’s fo chrosaibh ’s fo naoi buaraichean mnatha sìthe siubhla seachrain an laochan beag geàrr donn as miot’ agus as mi-threòiriche na thu fhéin a thoirt do chìnn ’s do chluais ’s do chaitheamh beatha dhìot ma nì thu stad choiseachd no chìnn gos am faigh thu mach [...]’ (p. 60). The following is also given more than once: ‘chaidh an toirt as a chéile nan ceithir cheathramhnan eadar ceithir eich agus an losgadh ann an teine mór agus an luath a leigeil leis a’ ghaoith’ (p. 71). The phrasing of many expressions also displays the art of the storyteller, as can be seen, for example, in ‘Thàinig a cruth go eucruth’ (p. 2), and ‘Agus ma fhuair gach fear brath, fhuair Rìgh Eireann’ (p. 46).
Orthography Points of linguistic interest, including South Uist dialectalisms, are apparent throughout the text in the use of forms such as Ma tà (p. 1), sian (p. 2), dad (p. 8), imprig (p. 3), Cuid seo and cuid eile sin (p. 3), and an déis (p. 5), ors and orsa rather than ars and arsa (p. 1), go and gos rather than gu and gus (p. 1), as a dheaghaidh sin (p. 1), gheobhainn (p. 1), a nist (p. 1), gura h-e (p. 1), cluichd (p. 1), àsan (p. 1) and gura h-èad a bh’ ann (p. 9), aig an toigh (p. 11) and a stoigh (p. 1) although a staigh (p. 12) appears occasionally, fo-near (p. 3), air làirne mhàireach (p. 3), gu dearbhtha (p. 5), reimhe (p. 16) and reimhid (p. 33), nam miosg rather than nam measg (p. 9), air guala ri gualainn (p. 19), a chuile (p. 19), ucasan (p. 26), Mun robh rather than mus robh (p. 30), man cuairt rather than mun cuairt (p. 31), as aithnde dhaibh (p. 31), mura h-e and masa h-e (p. 44), ann becomes an before a sin e.g. an a sin (p. 45) and an lann a th’ an a sin (p. 72), breacast (p. 45), on a thàini’ tu mach (p. 45) and ràini’ sinn (p. 68), marcraiche (p. 59), a feirear ris (p. 46), ’g ràdhtha (p. 3) and ag ràdhtinn (p. 58), ce ’r bith (p. 61), an creic e (p. 64), or o làimh rather than air do làimh (p. 65), and dà ’r ’eug bhanaltram (p. 30). The text also has lea’s’ rather than leatsa (p. 19), dhu’sa (p. 19), or’sa (p. 60), and dhio’s’ e (p. 72), and fhaicean (p. 2), fhaighean (p. 3) and tighean (p. 3). The text also contains a number of genitives ending in -adh, e.g. biadh maidneadh (p. 3), cur sìos na clòmhadh (p. 5), a’ tathann pòigeadh (p. 41), do dhorus bial uamhadh (p. 41). Note also a chur bithidh (p. 19) and dha ’n téidh eile (p. 30).

When allowance is made for the dialectal and oral forms, the orthography is generally that of the mid-twentieth century. We find the following forms: siod (p. 1), dhiag (p. 1), a dhianamh (p. 1), saitheach (p. 19), leithsgeul (p. 18), liumsa (p. 1), cha bu toil liom (p. 31), gun fhiost (p. 9), and Car son (p. 18). Both grave and acute accents are used throughout the text, but there are no accents on capital letters.
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Matheson, William, ‘Duncan MacDonald’, Tocher 25, 1977.
Thomson, Derick S. (ed.), The Companion to Gaelic Scotland, 1994.
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