The future of the Celtic languages

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-29, 20:43

linguoboy wrote:I don't see how it could be "less artificial" when the current standard is based on actually existing spoken varieties which can be learned completely whereas the Leinster standard would have to be based on extinct varieties for which only fragmentary documentation exists.


I don't think it would have to be based on Traditional Leinster Irish - as you said, there isn't enough information about it to base a language on it - but we could default to CO where there's not enough surviving dialectal Leinster Irish. It wouldn't be traditional leinster Irish, but it's the nearest we can get.

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:The problem with the standard in this case is the relation to the remaining traditional L1 speakers. In other countries this would only be the difference between spoken and written language, but here the L2 majority has to speak as it is written, since they have no other choice (or have they?)


I would like to see the kind of revived Leinster Irish-Standard Irish hybrid we mentioned before become the spoken vernacular of Leinster, but in any case Leinster speakers of Irish do have a spoken form different from their written form - a more Anglicised form. If we take Gaelscoil graduates as a model for fluent speakers of Irish from Leinster, I would say that they would write CO Irish in formal (and even informal) settings, but their spoken Irish would be more Anglicised. Anglicisms are considered incorrect and few people would defend them in written Irish (including speakers from Leinster), but when spoken they abound.

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:, and this puts the L1s with their deviant speech at a disadvantage as country hicks or extremists, both when they speak and when they write.


I really don't thin anyone thinks that. I mean, within the Irish language enthusiast community here, Gaeltacht Irish is considered the prestige with CO frequently being derided. I haven't ever seen anyone mocked or looked down upon for using Gaeltacht Irish, either written or spoken, in any context. I have, however, seen this happen to people who use the standard (and even moreso to those who used the kind of Anglicised spoken Irish found in Leinster).

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:With my suggestion, everyone would be at an equal disadvantage when to write, so you would have the usual situation "snakk dialekt, skriv nynorsk" as the Norwegians say.


Personally, I just think that all forms (Munster, Ulster, Connacht and CO) should be considered equally acceptible in writting.

kevin wrote:I may be missing important points, but the main difference in the situation that I can see now is that the artificial written standard has a shorter tradition in Ireland and perhaps the change is happening faster (though I have no idea if the latter is really true today or if there is just a perceived danger of it happening in the future).


I think the main difference is that Standard Irish is not replacing the dialects, English is. I think Gaeltacht speakers' anger towards the standard is misdirected - speakers in the Gaeltachtaí are not abandoning their native dialects for CO, they are abandoning it for English. As far as I'm concerned, CO provides people like me with a neutral form of Irish that allows us to embrace the language without conceding any of our regional identity.

Levike wrote:Does Irish have some kind of prestige?


Top-down it does. The government supports its usage (at least nominally), it has widespread and vocal support from the general populace. In Dublin, it is increasingly being associated with an intellectual elite (something which I think is a serious problem for its revival in Dublin).

Levike wrote:Or is it just like "another school subject" for kids?


Most kids feel that way about it (I know I did), but most people change their stance towards it when they leave school (though the effect of being forced to learn it when they didn't want to has a terrible impact on their view of their own prospects of learning it). The Gaelscoileanna (Irish-Medium Schools) are having a positive impact there - a lot more kids are able to speak the language fluently now, which is perhaps changing school-kids' attitudes towards it.

Levike wrote:How did you feel about it at school?


I hated it and refused to learn it. I started feeling differently about it almost the second it stopped being forced on me though.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby kevin » 2014-06-29, 22:23

Ciarán12 wrote:I think the main difference is that Standard Irish is not replacing the dialects, English is. I think Gaeltacht speakers' anger towards the standard is misdirected - speakers in the Gaeltachtaí are not abandoning their native dialects for CO, they are abandoning it for English.

That's certainly true. But I still think that you can deal with the question if/how much the standard poses a threat to the dialects independently from the fact that English poses a much bigger threat.

I hated it and refused to learn it.

It's quite sad that this is the one fact about Irish that really everyone seems to agree with... I've yet to meet someone who says that they didn't hate Irish classes at school.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-29, 23:20

kevin wrote:That's certainly true. But I still think that you can deal with the question if/how much the standard poses a threat to the dialects independently from the fact that English poses a much bigger threat.


True, I'm just not sure to what extent it is actually threatening the dialects and in what ways. I am in favour of opposition to the standard where it encroaches on the dialects in their native locales.

kevin wrote:
I hated it and refused to learn it.

It's quite sad that this is the one fact about Irish that really everyone seems to agree with... I've yet to meet someone who says that they didn't hate Irish classes at school.


I know a few, but they are the exception that proves the rule.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-30, 17:10

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:I thought it was the mix of forms that was artificial, and then the bias towards simplified forms.

I don't know that there's a "bias towards simplified forms" in the CO. There's a pronounced cline in Irish from Munster (most synthetic) to Ulster (most analytic). Since CO is a compromise, it has more "simplified forms" than the former and fewer than the latter.

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Let's put it this way, regarding artificiality, if the current standard is modified with one Leinster particular, then it would become less artificial in Leinster (but probably more artificial elsewhere).

In my view, it would be more artificial in Leinster, since you'd be asking people to use forms which haven't been employed in spontaneous speech in over a century.

Ciarán12 wrote:I haven't ever seen anyone mocked or looked down upon for using Gaeltacht Irish, either written or spoken, in any context.

I can.
An Irish-speaker from Dublin wrote:As I mentioned many times on that forum Webb linked to in his blog post, I am perfectly capable of making the sounds, I just don't want to, because it would make me sound like a hick from the Gaeltacht, and why the fuck should I have to do that?
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-30, 17:28

linguoboy wrote:
Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Let's put it this way, regarding artificiality, if the current standard is modified with one Leinster particular, then it would become less artificial in Leinster (but probably more artificial elsewhere).

In my view, it would be more artificial in Leinster, since you'd be asking people to use forms which haven't been employed in spontaneous speech in over a century.


When we have to learn the language as an L2 anyway, why would it matter to us if those forms are being used currently somewhere or not? The aim is to speak to eachother in Irish, not to Gaeltacht speakers.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:I haven't ever seen anyone mocked or looked down upon for using Gaeltacht Irish, either written or spoken, in any context.

I can.
An Irish-speaker from Dublin wrote:As I mentioned many times on that forum Webb linked to in his blog post, I am perfectly capable of making the sounds, I just don't want to, because it would make me sound like a hick from the Gaeltacht, and why the fuck should I have to do that?


Yeah, OK, I said that, and it was a reaction to having my own Irish looked down upon. If they are going to fling shit so will I. I don't actually think less of them, I just wanted to take the ones who think their Irish is superior and that the rest of us should desperately try to imitate them off their high-horses - people on Dublin no more want to sound like they are from the Gaeltacht than Gaeltacht speakers want to sound like us. I respect their right to (and their reasons for) not wanting to sound like us, I've never suggested that they should, but the respect doesn't seem to flow both ways.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-30, 17:48

Ciarán12 wrote:When we have to learn the language as an L2 anyway, why would it matter to us if those forms are being used currently somewhere or not? The aim is to speak to eachother in Irish, not to Gaeltacht speakers.

I thought the aim was to speak to (and understand) all Irish-speakers, whether they be from Leinster, the Gaeltacht, or even abroad.

Dialect differences are one of the chief complaints about learning contemporary Irish. I don't see increasing them artificially as a net gain for language preservation.

Ciarán12 wrote:Yeah, OK, I said that, and it was a reaction to having my own Irish looked down upon. If they are going to fling shit so will I. I don't actually think less of them, I just wanted to take the ones who think their Irish is superior and that the rest of us should desperately try to imitate them off their high-horses - people on Dublin no more want to sound like they are from the Gaeltacht than Gaeltacht speakers want to sound like us. I respect their right to (and their reasons for) not wanting to sound like us, I've never suggested that they should, but the respect doesn't seem to flow both ways.

You think those people were reading your comments here?

I explained in the thread why I don't find this argument convincing. Gaeltacht speakers are disadvantaged relative to urbanites in pretty much every possible way except language. It seems extraordinarily petty to me to deny them the one thing they've got going for them.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-06-30, 17:57

To make things clear to me - there is some consensus among you here that Standard Irish CO is an acceptable Irish for the future, and not something like Cymraeg Byw? :?:
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-30, 18:20

linguoboy wrote:I thought the aim was to speak to (and understand) all Irish-speakers, whether they be from Leinster, the Gaeltacht, or even abroad.


Realistically, how often do you think I'm going to speak to a native from the Gaeltacht? Anyway, I do make ever effort to learn the ideosyncracies of the dialects and I enjoy doing so, but surely if I can make the effort to understand them they can do the same.

linguoboy wrote:Dialect differences are one of the chief complaints about learning contemporary Irish. I don't see increasing them artificially as a net gain for language preservation.


There is an entire massive section of Ireland where there is no current local form of Irish, it is not acceptable to me to be told that I need to imitate the speech of a different part of the country in order to speak the national language. I simply don't care if it's not the way they say things, it is the way we say things, they should just accept that in the same way we accept the way they speak.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Yeah, OK, I said that, and it was a reaction to having my own Irish looked down upon. If they are going to fling shit so will I. I don't actually think less of them, I just wanted to take the ones who think their Irish is superior and that the rest of us should desperately try to imitate them off their high-horses - people on Dublin no more want to sound like they are from the Gaeltacht than Gaeltacht speakers want to sound like us. I respect their right to (and their reasons for) not wanting to sound like us, I've never suggested that they should, but the respect doesn't seem to flow both ways.

You think those people were reading your comments here?


I'll admit it wasn't my finest moment, but I was frustrated - all I have ever heard since I started learning Irish by myself is how awful CO is and why people should strive to imitate the almighty Gaeltacht natives. I personally don't care which variety someone outside of Ireland wishes to learn, as they are doing so for different reasons to me, they can choose whichever dialect they like the sound of or whatever. For me, it is a core (and missing) portion of my identity, and to admit that the only kind of correct Irish is Gaeltacht Irish is like saying people from Dublin aren't really Irish (or, at least, that there is no place for an Irish speaker from Dublin in the Hibernophone world). If there is no place for Irish ffrom Dublin we have to make one, because I'm not giving up either my Dublinness or my status as an Irish-speaker. And the way I speak Irish will reflect the fact that I'm from Dublin, just as my English does, and Gaeltacht speakers will accept that, or they'll get a shit-flinging match.

linguoboy wrote:I explained in the thread why I don't find this argument convincing. Gaeltacht speakers are disadvantaged relative to urbanites in pretty much every possible way except language. It seems extraordinarily petty to me to deny them the one thing they've got going for them.


You don't understand how much the language means to me then, as there is nothing petty about it. I refuse to allow them use the language as a weapon against us or hold it hostage - it belongs to us all equally, I won't accept them taking a privilaged position (anymore so they they automatically have by vertue of never having to learn it as a second language and always being able to express themselves fluently without any effort).
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-30, 18:22

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:To make things clear to me - there is some consensus among you here that Standard Irish CO is an acceptable Irish for the future, and not something like Cymraeg Byw? :?:


THe only acceptable future as far as I'm concered is one where all dialects are in use in their traditional areas, are of equal status, and where the anglophone Irish community have regained a form of Irish (unique to their area, just as the native varieties are unique to their areas)
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-30, 19:31

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:To make things clear to me - there is some consensus among you here that Standard Irish CO is an acceptable Irish for the future, and not something like Cymraeg Byw?

I think realistically everyone but the true diehards accepts that it's here to stay. A written standard of some sort was clearly necessary and CO[*] is far from the worst the government could've come up with. Most of the dialect-speakers I know only advocate tweaks to it, such as respelling particular words or broadening the parametres to admit common dialect usages (particularly in the conjugation of verbs).


[*] Since CO means "official standard", saying "Standard Irish CO" is wearing belt and braces.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-30, 19:45

Ciarán12 wrote:Realistically, how often do you think I'm going to speak to a native from the Gaeltacht?

They may be a tiny minority with regard to the total population, but they're disproportionally represented among active users of the language. So if you aspire to be one of these, your chances of running into one aren't that bad. (At least, that's been my experience.)

Ciarán12 wrote:Anyway, I do make ever effort to learn the ideosyncracies of the dialects and I enjoy doing so, but surely if I can make the effort to understand them they can do the same.

They already do. You think it's easy for a native-speaker of Irish to understand Late Non-Traditional Modern Irish?

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Dialect differences are one of the chief complaints about learning contemporary Irish. I don't see increasing them artificially as a net gain for language preservation.

There is an entire massive section of Ireland where there is no current local form of Irish, it is not acceptable to me to be told that I need to imitate the speech of a different part of the country in order to speak the national language. I simply don't care if it's not the way they say things, it is the way we say things, they should just accept that in the same way we accept the way they speak.

But you've gone beyond asking for them to accept the way you speak, you're now asking for them to accept another entirely new way of speaking. I know I'm repeating myself, but I really don't see the benefit of this.

Ciarán12 wrote:I'll admit it wasn't my finest moment, but I was frustrated - all I have ever heard since I started learning Irish by myself is how awful CO is and why people should strive to imitate the almighty Gaeltacht natives. I personally don't care which variety someone outside of Ireland wishes to learn, as they are doing so for different reasons to me, they can choose whichever dialect they like the sound of or whatever. For me, it is a core (and missing) portion of my identity, and to admit that the only kind of correct Irish is Gaeltacht Irish is like saying people from Dublin aren't really Irish (or, at least, that there is no place for an Irish speaker from Dublin in the Hibernophone world). If there is no place for Irish ffrom Dublin we have to make one, because I'm not giving up either my Dublinness or my status as an Irish-speaker. And the way I speak Irish will reflect the fact that I'm from Dublin, just as my English does, and Gaeltacht speakers will accept that, or they'll get a shit-flinging match.

We've already been through all this in the other thread already, so here I'll just ask: Are all Dubliners this insecure about their identity as Dubliners?

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I explained in the thread why I don't find this argument convincing. Gaeltacht speakers are disadvantaged relative to urbanites in pretty much every possible way except language. It seems extraordinarily petty to me to deny them the one thing they've got going for them.

You don't understand how much the language means to me then, as there is nothing petty about it. I refuse to allow them use the language as a weapon against us or hold it hostage - it belongs to us all equally, I won't accept them taking a privilaged position (anymore so they they automatically have by vertue of never having to learn it as a second language and always being able to express themselves fluently without any effort).

I wouldn't say "without any effort". Saying what you mean is a challenge for most people, even in their native language. Sure, they didn't have to learn Irish as an L2, but they did have to learn English as one. Doesn't that make youse even?

How do you feel that Gaeltacht speakers are "holding you hostage"? To my ears this a rather extraordinary statement and I don't understand where it's coming from.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-30, 21:14

linguoboy wrote:They may be a tiny minority with regard to the total population, but they're disproportionally represented among active users of the language. So if you aspire to be one of these, your chances of running into one aren't that bad. (At least, that's been my experience.)


Fair enough, and as I said, I am making an effort to learn the dialectalisms as well, but the main role I see Irish playing in my life is speaking to other L2 Irish speakers from Dublin. I have no particular interest in going to the Gaeltacht.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Anyway, I do make ever effort to learn the ideosyncracies of the dialects and I enjoy doing so, but surely if I can make the effort to understand them they can do the same.

They already do. You think it's easy for a native-speaker of Irish to understand Late Non-Traditional Modern Irish?


Well, they seem to complain about it a lot more than I've heard Galltacht speakers complain about Gaeltacht Irish.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Dialect differences are one of the chief complaints about learning contemporary Irish. I don't see increasing them artificially as a net gain for language preservation.

There is an entire massive section of Ireland where there is no current local form of Irish, it is not acceptable to me to be told that I need to imitate the speech of a different part of the country in order to speak the national language. I simply don't care if it's not the way they say things, it is the way we say things, they should just accept that in the same way we accept the way they speak.

But you've gone beyond asking for them to accept the way you speak, you're now asking for them to accept another entirely new way of speaking.


For someone so concerned with the lack of authenticity of the Irish spoken in the Galltacht, I'm surprised to see you say that reviving what can be revived of the dialects traditional to the now anglicised areas of Ireland is a bad thing.

linguoboy wrote: I know I'm repeating myself, but I really don't see the benefit of this.


What's the benefit of any language revival? Why are the Cornish bothering to revive their language, why not just learn Breton, it's near enough, right?

linguoboy wrote:We've already been through all this in the other thread already, so here I'll just ask: Are all Dubliners this insecure about their identity as Dubliners?


I'm not sure if you're even expecting a response to that.

linguoboy wrote:I wouldn't say "without any effort". Saying what you mean is a challenge for most people, even in their native language.


You're spliting hairs.

linguoboy wrote: Sure, they didn't have to learn Irish as an L2, but they did have to learn English as one. Doesn't that make youse even?


Do you really think there's a comparable level of difficulty there? I mean, nowadays, all native Irish speakers are exposed to so much English from such a young age that it may as well be their native language. THe same can't be said of the exposure the Galltacht community gets to Irish.

linguoboy wrote:How do you feel that Gaeltacht speakers are "holding you hostage"? To my ears this a rather extraordinary statement and I don't understand where it's coming from.


I said they were holding the language hostage by saying that they were the ones who get to establish the only correct way of speaking, and that if Anglophone Irish people want to learn and speak the language that we somehow need the Gaeltacht seal of approval before it can be considered legitimate. As if the way we speak is any of their business in the first place...
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-30, 22:04

Ciarán12 wrote:Fair enough, and as I said, I am making an effort to learn the dialectalisms as well, but the main role I see Irish playing in my life is speaking to other L2 Irish speakers from Dublin. I have no particular interest in going to the Gaeltacht.

You don't have any interest in listening to Gaeltacht speakers on television or radio? To listening to traditional songs or reading the works of native speakers?

Ciarán12 wrote:Well, they seem to complain about it a lot more than I've heard Galltacht speakers complain about Gaeltacht Irish.

Again, we seem to have wildly different experiences. I've often heard L2 speakers complain about how they can't understand Gaeltacht Irish and prefer to listen to other L2 speakers like Bishop or Magan.

Ciarán12 wrote:For someone so concerned with the lack of authenticity of the Irish spoken in the Galltacht, I'm surprised to see you say that reviving what can be revived of the dialects traditional to the now anglicised areas of Ireland is a bad thing.

This is exactly why I'm sceptical of such revival efforts. As I say, the Irish spoken in the Galltacht is heavily influenced by English as it is. How much more influence would there be in a newly invented dialect "reconstructed" by L2 speakers?

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote: I know I'm repeating myself, but I really don't see the benefit of this.

What's the benefit of any language revival? Why are the Cornish bothering to revive their language, why not just learn Breton, it's near enough, right?

You really think Leinster Irish was as different from the other varieties as Cornish was from Breton?

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:We've already been through all this in the other thread already, so here I'll just ask: Are all Dubliners this insecure about their identity as Dubliners?

I'm not sure if you're even expecting a response to that.

It was basically a rhetorical question. But I am genuinely curious whether Dubliners as a whole are as obsessed with projecting their Dublin identity in an Irish context as you are. This is the kind of mentality I associate with a second city, like Cork (or Chicago).

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote: Sure, they didn't have to learn Irish as an L2, but they did have to learn English as one. Doesn't that make youse even?

Do you really think there's a comparable level of difficulty there? I mean, nowadays, all native Irish speakers are exposed to so much English from such a young age that it may as well be their native language. The same can't be said of the exposure the Galltacht community gets to Irish.

Aren't there people in the Galltacht who were raised in Irish-speaking households from birth or an early age?

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:How do you feel that Gaeltacht speakers are "holding you hostage"? To my ears this a rather extraordinary statement and I don't understand where it's coming from.

I said they were holding the language hostage

You did. Tá brón orm.

Ciarán12 wrote:by saying that they were the ones who get to establish the only correct way of speaking, and that if Anglophone Irish people want to learn and speak the language that we somehow need the Gaeltacht seal of approval before it can be considered legitimate. As if the way we speak is any of their business in the first place...

But how are they "holding it hostage"? They're going to shoot Irish in the head if you don't speak it their way?

The people of the Gaeltacht aren't in any position to enforce their will on the majority in Ireland. They are badly outnumbered and on average much poorer. Moreover, the government are cutting funds allocated to Údarás na Gaeltachta and to promotion of the Irish language generally.

I'm fascinated that you seem to feel L1 speakers of Irish have so much power over you. It's like your misandry argument from the Feminism thread all over again, but with even less justification.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-30, 22:30

linguoboy wrote:You don't have any interest in listening to Gaeltacht speakers on television or radio? To listening to traditional songs or reading the works of native speakers?


Sure I do, and that's why I endevour to improve my passive undertanding of all the dialects, as I've said several times now.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Well, they seem to complain about it a lot more than I've heard Galltacht speakers complain about Gaeltacht Irish.

Again, we seem to have wildly different experiences. I've often heard L2 speakers complain about how they can't understand Gaeltacht Irish and prefer to listen to other L2 speakers like Bishop or Magan.


Then it seems we have. I can undertand people saying that it is easier for them to understand L2 speakers, but I find the language of the Gaeltacht speakers quite interesting and feel that getting to the point where I can understand them is an improvement to my Irish.

linguoboy wrote:This is exactly why I'm sceptical of such revival efforts. As I say, the Irish spoken in the Galltacht is heavily influenced by English as it is. How much more influence would there be in a newly invented dialect "reconstructed" by L2 speakers?


Now you've lost me - how would reviving elements of traditional Leinster Irish make it more anglicised?

linguoboy wrote:You really think Leinster Irish was as different from the other varieties as Cornish was from Breton?


To use one of your favourite arguments; it's a difference of degree, not kind.

linguoboy wrote:It was basically a rhetorical question. But I am genuinely curious whether Dubliners as a whole are as obsessed with projecting their Dublin identity in an Irish context as you are.


Well, I can't answer that for you. Maybe you can ask all of us if we'll lie down on your couch and you can quiz us about our feelings.

linguoboy wrote:This is the kind of mentality I associate with a second city, like Cork (or Chicago).


That seems like an odd conclusion to come to. What do you mean?

linguoboy wrote:Aren't there people in the Galltacht who were raised in Irish-speaking households from birth or an early age?


Yes, but I'm not sure what you are getting at.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:by saying that they were the ones who get to establish the only correct way of speaking, and that if Anglophone Irish people want to learn and speak the language that we somehow need the Gaeltacht seal of approval before it can be considered legitimate. As if the way we speak is any of their business in the first place...

But how are they "holding it hostage"? They're going to shoot Irish in the head if you don't speak it their way?


No, but they're not going to let us have it without branding it as "inferior", "corrupted" or simply "wrong" unless we speak it their way.

linguoboy wrote:The people of the Gaeltacht aren't in any position to enforce their will on the majority in Ireland. They are badly outnumbered and on average much poorer.


For one thing, I wasn't necessarily saying they could do anything about us speaking it our way, but I'm still entitled to defend my position even if the debate is all theoretical. For another, the native speakers are, as you've said, disproportionately represented amongst the Irish Language movment in Ireland, so they have the power to direct language policy. They could direct it away from any acceptance of Galltacht Irish or the research and implementation thereof in the Galltacht, just because of their narrow-minded prejudice against us.

linguoboy wrote: Moreover, the government are cutting funds allocated to Údarás na Gaeltachta and to promotion of the Irish language generally.


Yeah, but how has that got anything to do with what we were talking about? I don't support that anymore than they do.

linguoboy wrote:I'm fascinated that you seem to feel L1 speakers of Irish have so much power over you.


I've had to listen to them make little of my attempts to learn CO and my reasons for it from the word go, and as I've said already, they have more sway in the revival movement than their numbers reletive to the rest of the population would suggest, so they do have some power.

Even if they have no power over me, how does that invalidate the debate? Are they suddenly right because they're not a threat?

linguoboy wrote:It's like your misandry argument from the Feminism thread all over again, but with even less justification.


You seem to be of the opinion that if minority A ar being persecuted by majority B that any acts of malice, bullying or general disrespect by individuals of minority A against individuals from majority B are fine, because society as a whole works the other way.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-07-01, 17:48

linguoboy wrote:Moreover, the government are cutting funds allocated to Údarás na Gaeltachta and to promotion of the Irish language generally.

Is this bad for the Irish language? Opinions on the internet seems to think so, but on the other hand one could claim that the grass roots' own independent low budget efforts might be more efficient for the survival of the language.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-07-01, 17:55

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Moreover, the government are cutting funds allocated to Údarás na Gaeltachta and to promotion of the Irish language generally.

Is this bad for the Irish language? Opinions on the internet seems to think so, but on the other hand one could claim that the grass roots' own independent low budget efforts might be more efficient for the survival of the language.


I agree that bottem-up activism is more important, but I don't see how cutting funds will help that (it will just hinder any government assistance).
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-01, 18:07

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:This is exactly why I'm sceptical of such revival efforts. As I say, the Irish spoken in the Galltacht is heavily influenced by English as it is. How much more influence would there be in a newly invented dialect "reconstructed" by L2 speakers?

Now you've lost me - how would reviving elements of traditional Leinster Irish make it more anglicised?

Because the reconstruction would be solely for the benefit of L2 speakers, and thus presumably by them as well. I could be wrong, but I can't see native speakers from Gaeltacht having interest in such a project.

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:You really think Leinster Irish was as different from the other varieties as Cornish was from Breton?

To use one of your favourite arguments; it's a difference of degree, not kind.

Túisé!

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:This is the kind of mentality I associate with a second city, like Cork (or Chicago).

That seems like an odd conclusion to come to. What do you mean?

Isn't the stereotype of Corkonians that they're always reminding you they're from Cork and there's no place better in the world than there?

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:But how are they "holding it hostage"? They're going to shoot Irish in the head if you don't speak it their way?

No, but they're not going to let us have it without branding it as "inferior", "corrupted" or simply "wrong" unless we speak it their way.

Again, how does this matter? You lot outnumber them, you dominate the political, social, and economic life of the Republic as well as the media (both commercial and social). If you ignore them, what can they do about it? That's not a hostage situation.

Ciarán12 wrote:For another, the native speakers are, as you've said, disproportionately represented amongst the Irish Language movment in Ireland, so they have the power to direct language policy.

Being disproportionately represented doesn't mean you have a majority, and having a majority doesn't mean you're in a position to direct policy. The majority of American citizens, for instance, are in favour of stricter gun control policy, but in fact it's gotten substantially looser in recent years. So the claim that Gaeltacht speakers are in a position to dictate language policy to the rest of Ireland demands substantial evidence.

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote: Moreover, the government are cutting funds allocated to Údarás na Gaeltachta and to promotion of the Irish language generally.

Yeah, but how has that got anything to do with what we were talking about? I don't support that anymore than they do.

It's evidence of their lack of power and influence within the Irish state.

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I'm fascinated that you seem to feel L1 speakers of Irish have so much power over you.

I've had to listen to them make little of my attempts to learn CO and my reasons for it from the word go

Really? But weren't you just claiming that you basically never talk to them, only to other L2 speakers?

Ciarán12 wrote:Even if they have no power over me, how does that invalidate the debate? Are they suddenly right because they're not a threat?
linguoboy wrote:It's like your misandry argument from the Feminism thread all over again, but with even less justification.

You seem to be of the opinion that if minority A ar being persecuted by majority B that any acts of malice, bullying or general disrespect by individuals of minority A against individuals from majority B are fine, because society as a whole works the other way.

I wouldn't go that far, but you can't pretend that the immense power differential is of no importance to these debates.

As you well know, I happen to think they're right because I agree that the gold standard for speaking a language is and always has been that which is spoken by educated fluent native speakers. Yes, the linguistic ecology of Ireland is anomalous in that these are a small (and largely powerless) minority, but I don't think that invalidates the underlying principle. But this is something I think intelligent people can (and do) disagree about.

But the power disparity is why it rubs me the wrong way to hear you complain about being the victim here. What is your big beef? That a few individuals who can compel nothing form you have said things you don't like? That's enough to make you denigrate and insult thousands of people? I simply don't comprehend where all this defensiveness and hostility comes from.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-07-01, 19:07

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:This is exactly why I'm sceptical of such revival efforts. As I say, the Irish spoken in the Galltacht is heavily influenced by English as it is. How much more influence would there be in a newly invented dialect "reconstructed" by L2 speakers?

Now you've lost me - how would reviving elements of traditional Leinster Irish make it more anglicised?

Because the reconstruction would be solely for the benefit of L2 speakers, and thus presumably by them as well. I could be wrong, but I can't see native speakers from Gaeltacht having interest in such a project.


Well, the formal reconstruction would need to be done by trained linguists extracting what can be reasonably obtained from what evidence there is. The implementation of it in the language as it is used by L2 speakers would be subject to the same anglicisation that any Irish spoken by native English speakers would be (including Gaeltacht Irish). This is not meant to be a solution to how to prevent anglicisation in Galltacht Irish.

linguoboy wrote:Isn't the stereotype of Corkonians that they're always reminding you they're from Cork and there's no place better in the world than there?


I don't think they are any more guilty of this than Dubliners. See this Facebook page for example, I know lots of people who joined this. Ironically, but still, the sentiment definitely exists.

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:But how are they "holding it hostage"? They're going to shoot Irish in the head if you don't speak it their way?

No, but they're not going to let us have it without branding it as "inferior", "corrupted" or simply "wrong" unless we speak it their way.

Again, how does this matter? You lot outnumber them, you dominate the political, social, and economic life of the Republic as well as the media (both commercial and social). If you ignore them, what can they do about it? That's not a hostage situation.

Ciarán12 wrote:For another, the native speakers are, as you've said, disproportionately represented amongst the Irish Language movment in Ireland, so they have the power to direct language policy.

Being disproportionately represented doesn't mean you have a majority, and having a majority doesn't mean you're in a position to direct policy. The majority of American citizens, for instance, are in favour of stricter gun control policy, but in fact it's gotten substantially looser in recent years. So the claim that Gaeltacht speakers are in a position to dictate language policy to the rest of Ireland demands substantial evidence.

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I'm fascinated that you seem to feel L1 speakers of Irish have so much power over you.

I've had to listen to them make little of my attempts to learn CO and my reasons for it from the word go

Really? But weren't you just claiming that you basically never talk to them, only to other L2 speakers?

Ciarán12 wrote:Even if they have no power over me, how does that invalidate the debate? Are they suddenly right because they're not a threat?
linguoboy wrote:It's like your misandry argument from the Feminism thread all over again, but with even less justification.

You seem to be of the opinion that if minority A ar being persecuted by majority B that any acts of malice, bullying or general disrespect by individuals of minority A against individuals from majority B are fine, because society as a whole works the other way.

I wouldn't go that far, but you can't pretend that the immense power differential is of no importance to these debates.

As you well know, I happen to think they're right because I agree that the gold standard for speaking a language is and always has been that which is spoken by educated fluent native speakers. Yes, the linguistic ecology of Ireland is anomalous in that these are a small (and largely powerless) minority, but I don't think that invalidates the underlying principle. But this is something I think intelligent people can (and do) disagree about.

But the power disparity is why it rubs me the wrong way to hear you complain about being the victim here. What is your big beef? That a few individuals who can compel nothing form you have said things you don't like? That's enough to make you denigrate and insult thousands of people? I simply don't comprehend where all this defensiveness and hostility comes from.



My problem is not just with the native speakers, but with their more numerous and more vocal supporters in this regard. I may not have had occasion to speak with Gaeltacht speakers about this at length often, but I have heard this argument everywhere I've gone. I was more or less agressively bullied off one site by Mr. Webb, you have been milder about your distain but equally convinced that I'm wrong, and I have been told this by many non-natives I have encountred too (frequently foreign learners). It has caused me to abandon learning the language for periods of time, I have had to grapple with it in order to keep my morale up, and it continues to be a problem. If I have met this kind of resistance, how many others have as well? If I was, say, your average linguistically-clueless Dubliner and I started to learn the language, with all the difficulty that entails, and then I had to deal with this on top of that, I wouldn't have come back to it at all. Learning any language can be a daunting task, and if you have no experience with them it can seem insurmountable (particularly if you went through several years of school where it was "taught" to you and you failed to learn anything useful, you may decide it is simply impossible for you to learn it). If on top of that you are bombarded with this morale-sapping, petty, close-minded crap from natives and other learners, you may well just thow in the towel.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby An Lon Dubh » 2014-07-01, 22:30

Well, Dublin Irish when it existed was reasonably close to Conamara Irish, especially the Irish of Tuar Mhic Éadaigh (which is an example of a general Connacht dialect, Conamara Irish is a bit divergent from the general dialect that was once spoken over all of Connacht).

Grammatically Dublin and Greater Leinster spoke a Connacht dialect and had a roughly Connacht style pronunciation. Although Dublin would have had some Ulster-like (Remember Donegal Irish was historically the most atypical form of Ulster Irish) contractions on words. It was essentially the Leinster-Connacht dialect.

The Standard on the other hand is essentially a regularised form of Clare Irish. That is, it is Clare Irish, but with the nominal system adjusted a bit to be more similar to the Classical Irish nominal inflection patterns.

So modern Connacht Irish would be more similar to your ancestral dialect than the Standard.

(Personally, the only disagreements I have with the standard are the "do mo bhualadh" type construction for the present continuous and the existence of the vocative plural for all first declension nouns.)

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-07-01, 23:36

An Lon Dubh wrote:Well, Dublin Irish when it existed was reasonably close to Conamara Irish, especially the Irish of Tuar Mhic Éadaigh (which is an example of a general Connacht dialect, Conamara Irish is a bit divergent from the general dialect that was once spoken over all of Connacht).

Grammatically Dublin and Greater Leinster spoke a Connacht dialect and had a roughly Connacht style pronunciation. Although Dublin would have had some Ulster-like (Remember Donegal Irish was historically the most atypical form of Ulster Irish) contractions on words. It was essentially the Leinster-Connacht dialect.

The Standard on the other hand is essentially a regularised form of Clare Irish. That is, it is Clare Irish, but with the nominal system adjusted a bit to be more similar to the Classical Irish nominal inflection patterns.

So modern Connacht Irish would be more similar to your ancestral dialect than the Standard.


I'd be interested to read about it, can you recommend any literature on Leinster Irish? I haven't been able to find much.

An Lon Dubh wrote:(Personally, the only disagreements I have with the standard are the "do mo bhualadh" type construction for the present continuous and the existence of the vocative plural for all first declension nouns.)


Why those points in particular?

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