This thesis is a linguistic examination of the spoken Irish of two distinct groups of young Irish speakers, one group from the Donegal Gaeltacht and New Speakers from the greater-Belfast area who have acquired their Irish, for the most part, through the Irish-Medium Education System. The thesis will examine the contexts in which both these groups have acquired and use Irish, giving an historical background to the study, encompassing the decline of the Gaeltacht and the use of Irish in the traditional education system in the Republic of Ireland and its growth in the Gaelscoil sector in both states, alongside its societal marginalization in Northern Ireland. There will also be an examination of the causes and structural consequences of language change and the growth of New Speakers in minority language contexts and the discourse surrounding issues of authenticity and native speakers as linguistic models for New Speakers. The linguistic analysis of the speech data collected from the two groups will examine similarities and differences between the informant groups, highlight and examine salient patterns and analyse what linguistic processes influence these.
|Date of Award||Dec 2016|
- Queen's University Belfast