A New Irish? Problems of communication in modern Irish media and new speakers.

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Abstract

While the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas of Ireland are geographically isolated from each other and relatively small in area, it is expected that the number of second language Irish speakers throughout the country should ensure the future of the language. Nevertheless, while the official standard grammar has been established for many decades, there is still a tendency in the spoken language to give precedence to regional dialectal variants in schools and the broadcast media which often raises barriers between native speakers themselves and between learners and native speakers.
All pupils in school in the Republic and many in Northern Ireland learn Irish and there has been a great increase in the number of pupils attending immersion Irish language Gaelscoileanna. But concern has been expressed about the phonetic and structural accuracy achieved in schools, all of which contributes to communication breakdown.
This paper discusses how a greater awareness of the link between phoneme and grapheme in Irish and the proposals for the Lárchanúint (Central Dialect) in the 1980s and current discussions on Caighdeán Leathan agus Caighdeán Cúng (Broad and Narrow Standard) would mitigate these concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalRes Celticae
Volume1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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