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Original scientific paper

A Contrastive View of Irish Language Dynamics

Conchúr Ó Giollagáin


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Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the linguistic anthropology which underpins the
language dynamics of two Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) areas, Ros Muc in Conamara, Co.
Galway and Ráth Cairn in Co. Meath. This research highlights what could be considered
a socio-linguistic paradox: the community (Ráth Cairn) which engages more vigorously
in language maintenance endeavors, and exhibits a greater awareness of language
policy and of linguistic ideology among members of the community, fares less
favorably in socio-linguistic terms to the contrasting community (Ros Muc) which has to
endure a more challenging socio-economic climate than that of Ráth Cairn. The relative
socio-economic success of the Ráth Cairn community appears to be masking a greater
malaise of socio-cultural fragility and language endangerment. In contrast, the language
obsolescence issues faced by the Ros Muc community, though superficially not as
severe, are enmeshed in what would be considered more pressing issues of socio-economic
marginalization.

Keywords

Gaeltacht; Ros Muc, Ráth Cairn; language maintenance; language endangerment

Hrčak ID:

27944

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/27944

Publication date:

24.6.2004.

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