Irish English and recent immigrants to Ireland

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When Ireland became a country of net immigration in the 1990s, the varieties of English spoken on the island came to function as targets of language learning and were subjected to critical evaluation by people from a wide range of backgrounds. This paper explores newcomers’ views on and attitudes towards Irish English based on interviews with 73 immigrants from a variety of national and social backgrounds. The analysis suggests that there is broad agreement about the nature of Irish English, but attitudes towards it and desire to identify with it are heterogeneous being influenced by a range of factors including people’s alignment with Ireland, their views about variation and Irish reactions to its use. Keywords: Irish English; language attitudes; language ideologies; migration


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