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Wars of WordsThe Politics of Language in Ireland 1537-2004$
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Tony Crowley

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273430.001.0001

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The languages of the island of Ireland, 1922–2004

The languages of the island of Ireland, 1922–2004

Chapter:
(p.164) CHAPTER SEVEN The languages of the island of Ireland, 1922–2004
Source:
Wars of Words
Author(s):

Tony Crowley (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273430.003.0007

This chapter examines the history of the languages of Ireland after Partition. In Ireland, the policies of the Gaelic League and other revivalists were implemented by the Government in education and the civil service, the language was enshrined in the constitution, and the net result was a decline in the use of Gaelic throughout the 20th century and the almost complete dominance of English in civil, public, and everyday life. In Northern Ireland, Gaelic was effectively banned because of its association with Irish nationalism and more or less completely disappeared. However, over the past twenty years or so a revival of Gaelic has taken place — both North and South of the border — and the linguistic situation is now changing. The chapter traces the emergence of recent legislation in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland designed to protect not only the rights of Gaelic speakers, but also those of the users of other languages, including in the case of Northern Ireland, Ulster-Scots — a linguistic form which has gained prominence only very recently — and minority languages.

Keywords:   partition, decline of Gaelic, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, language, nationalism, language legislation, Ulster-Scots, minority languages

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