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The Pragmatics of Irish English and Irish

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Abstract

The Irish and English languages are spoken by groups of people who belong tothe same cultural environment, i.e. both are Irish in the overall cultural sense.This study investigates whether the pragmatics of the Irish language and of IrishEnglish are identical and, if not, to what extent they are different and wherethese differences lie. There are pragmatic categories in Irish which do not haveformal equivalents in English, for instance, the vocative case, the distinctionbetween singular and plural for personal pronouns (though vernacular varietiesof Irish English do have this distinction). In addition there are discoursemarkers in Irish and Irish English which provide material for discussion, e.g.augmentatives and downtoners. Historically, the direction of influence hasbeen from Irish to English but at the present the reverse is the case with manypragmatic particles from English being used in Irish. The data for the discussionstem from collections of Irish and Irish English which offer historical andpresent-day attestations of both languages.

References

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