The increasing and widespread interest in Celtic languages has resulted in this modern and scholarly treatment of this important language family. Adopting theoretical and sociolinguistic approaches, this book examines Gaulish, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Breton and Cornish, both individually and in terms of their relationship to each other. It is ideal for both students and teachers of linguistics, especially those with an interest in typology, language universals and the unique sociolinguistic position which the four extant languages occupy. It is also useful for those concerned with the sociological aspect of linguistic minorities and linguistic difference and particularity. The book is arranged in four parts for ease of reference, reflecting the most important features of the language family and aiding cross-linguistic comparison. * The first section details the origin and history of the languages, including their spread and retreat, present-day distribution and a survey of the extant and recently extinct languages. * In the second and third parts, each language is individually described in terms of its structural details, including phonology, morphology, syntax, dialectology, lexis and the features which distinguish the Celtic languages, such as initial consonant mutation, verb-subject-object sentences, the inflection of prepositions and pre-sentential particles. * The final part covers sociolinguistic aspects, for example the use of Breton, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh in government, the Church, the media, education and business, and the prospects for the survival of these languages in everyday use. In addition, The Celtic Languages offers a full discussion of the most recent research into newly discovered Continental Celtic inscriptions.