Tuesday, October 15, 2013

41. Irish uncial alphabet

 Irish Uncial alphabet (An Cló Gaelach)

The Irish uncial alphabet originated in medieval manuscripts as a variant of the Latin alphabet. The first Gaelic typeface was designed in 1571 for a catechism commissioned by Elizabeth I, Aibidil Gaoidheilge & Caiticiosma by Seán Ó Cearnaigh, and this style of typeface was used for printing Irish until mid-20th century.
An Cló Gaelach (Gaelic type) is another name for the Irish uncial alphabet, which is now used mainly as a decorative script on road signs, street names, shop signs and elsewhere in Ireland. It is also used as a decorative script in Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man, and Gaelic typefaces tend to include the letters and diacritics need to write the other Celtic languages.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: alphabet
  • Number of letters: 18
  • Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.
  • Lenited consonants are indicated with a dot over them.

Irish uncial alphabet (An Cló Gaelach)

Irish uncial alphabet (An Cló Gaelach)
Irish uncial alphabet (An Cló Gaelach) - extra letters

Sample text in the Irish uncial alphabet

Sample text in the Irish uncial alphabet


Saolaítear na daoine uile saor agus coṁionann ina ndínit agus ina gcearta. Tá bua an réasúin agus an ċoinsiasa acu agus dlíd iad féin d'iompar de ṁeon bráiṫreaċais i leiṫ a ċéile.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


Information about the Gaelic script
Scríbhinní - information about the Irish uncial script in Irish
Ceithre Céad Bliain de Chló Éireannach / Four centuries of printing in the Irish character: http://services.spd.dcu.ie/library/LIBire/Special%20Collections/spcoll4centG.htm
Free Irish uncial fonts


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