Is Dublin English ‘Alive Alive Oh’?

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Hickey (2005) has argued that there are three social varieties of Dublin English (‘Local’, ‘Mainstream’ and ‘New Dublin’) and that younger females are key players in the shift towards the ‘New Dublin’ type. With a view to further investigating some aspects of Hickey’s proposals, this article reports on a pilot project that focused on native Dubliners whose working class origins would place them at the ‘Local’ end of Hickey’s continuum. It investigated responses to perception and production tests on morphosyntactic and phonological variables amongst two generations of males and females. Interestingly, speaker judgments on stereotypical southern Irish-English features, in particular, did not uncover the significant gender and generational differences which Hickey (2005) finds evidence for amongst his young female subjects. Keywords: Dublin English; pronominalisation; agreement; complementation; rhoticity; dentality; acceptability judgement


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