The Irish in Argentina

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Although the legacy of Irish English around the world has been dealt with in various studies since the 1980s, the Latin-American scene has hardly figured in this context. During the nineteenth century 40–45,000 Irish people emigrated to Argentina. Most emigrants settled in the Argentine Pampas, becoming the largest Irish community in the Spanish-speaking world. Despite the fact that they eventually acquired Spanish, a high percentage of their descendants still speak a form of English which displays Irish English features. This paper analyses the survival of some of these features in their speech. The study reflects upon the transportation and preservation of dialectal features through generations of Irish English speakers whose contact with Ireland was, in many cases, non-existent. Keywords: Irish English transported; emigration; Argentina; intergenerational transmision of dialect


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