Irish English in early modern drama

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A number of dramatic texts are scrutinised here for the linguistic analysis of Irish English in the early modern period. A broad range of different plays by authors from the late sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries are examined to determine if the non-standard spellings contained in these texts could have reflected genuine features of spoken Irish English at the time of writing. The analysis shows that some of the features which the textual record reveals have disappeared entirely while others have been confined to specific varieties in certain phonotactic environments while yet others persist in general Irish English today. The texts considered are furthermore useful when determining the earliest attestations for known features of Irish English.


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