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Language Colonization and English Hybridization: The Use of Irish English Lexis in Twentieth Century Irish Drama

Fabio Luppi    Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Italia    

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abstract

Irish English, albeit a variant of the language of the colonizer, can be considered an important identitarian element in twentieth century Irish literature. By taking into account Irish English terms in a selection of Anglo-Irish plays (with particular focus on the titles), this paper examines the lexical choices that contribute to rendering cultural, geographical and political meanings – some of which are derogatory, patronizing and pejorative. The conclusion, with reference to Brian Friel’s Translations, reflects on the implications of the dominance of English in Ireland following its replacement of Irish Gaelic. The various loanwords and calques from Irish Gaelic found in these plays thus acquire a cultural and political significance that is specific to the Irish context.

Published
Dec. 22, 2020
Accepted
Sept. 20, 2020
Submitted
Aug. 12, 2020
Language
EN
Copyright: © 2020 Fabio Luppi. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.