Session 25: Ystafell 1
Dialect and standard in Irish and Gaelic

Chair: Katie Ní Loingsigh

'Saibhreas' versus standard: resolving potential ideological tensions in Corca Dhuibhne

Cassie Smith-Christmas
Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh (Galway)

This project draws from ethnographic data collected as part of the project ‘The Intersection of Language and Community in Corca Dhuibhne’, exploring how facilitators at the Oidhreacht Corca Dhuibhne language centre navigate potential ideological tensions between standard Irish and dialectal forms within their pedagogy and practice. Within this exploration, the paper discusses how local conceptions of ‘saibhreas teanga’ (‘language richness’) relate to the use of particular dialectal forms and the role of these conceptions in how intergenerational language transmission is discursively framed, as well as in designing and implementing specific support mechanisms for intergenerational language transmission. The paper will focus in particular on participant observation of a training day for the cúntóir teanga scheme (language assistants programme at primary school level) in the Munster Gaeltachts, held in February 2019, as well as two week-long courses for adults in July and August 2019. I argue that ultimately, the success of the Oidhreacht Corca Dhuibhne in terms of these schemes lies in part in equal acknowledgement of the standard for pedagogical purposes on the one hand and the valorisation of dialectal forms due to their role in connecting the language to a particular place (i.e., Corca Dhuibhne). The concludes by framing the latter in terms of wider discussion of the relation of language to place, and in doing so, will specifically draw on previous ethnographic work carried out in the Isles of Lewis and Harris in Scotland as a comparative element.

Dubhghlas de hÍde, ‘Gwaelic’ agus canúint Ros Comáin

Feena Tóibín
Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh (Cork)

Is i Ros Comáin a tógadh Dubhghlas de hÍde, agus ann a d'fhoghlaim sé a chuid Gaeilge. Dá bhrí sin tugann a chuid dialann léargas ar an dteanga, mar a bhí ina cheantar dúchais, i dtreo dheireadh an 19ú haois. Díreoidh an páipéar seo ar a chéad dialann, ina bhfuil na hiontrálacha breactha síos ina chóras féin, a léiríonn fuaimeanna na teangan dar leis, agus é á fhoghlaim ar a chluais ó chainteoirí na háite.

‘An t-ainnmear gun an tairbhe’: regional variation of nominal morphology in Scottish Gaelic

Charles Wilson
Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann / Prifysgol Caeredin

Scottish Gaelic dialectology has a rich tradition, but has largely resulted in descriptive works, focusing on single dialect areas (often peripheral or moribund), and with little attention to morphology. In this presentation, I will discuss my doctoral research, which investigates regional variation of nominal phrase morphology in extant traditional vernacular speech in the Hebrides. I will describe the methods I used in my doctoral research to capture data on the production of morphological processes, such as initial consonantal mutation (‘lenition’), and how these morphological processes may interact with grammatical categories, such as number and gender. I will introduce the statistical analysis methods of dialectometry, which allowed me to provide an aggregate score of morphological similarity between regional varieties and an aggregate conservativism score for each variety (cf. Iosad and Lamb forthcoming). I will discuss whether the data suggest that morphological variation emits a geographic signal, and whether a comparison with Iosad and Lamb’s (forthcoming) analyses of the morphological data in the Linguistic Survey of Scotland can help us understand changes in regional variation. Results indicate at this stage of my doctoral research that there are three dialect areas, and that morphology is leveling overall. I will discuss the consequences that the results from my data analysis and the comparisons between my data and Iosad and Lamb (forthcoming) may have for corpus planning (cf. Bell et al. 2014) and teaching and learning resources.