Faculté des lettres

Linguistic Relativity and Dialectical Idiomatization : Language Ideologies and Second Language Acquisition in the Irish Language Revival of Northern Ireland

Zenker, Olaf

In: Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 2014, vol. 24, no. 1, p. 63-83

A considerable number of Irish Catholics in West Belfast, originally native English speakers, have started learning the Irish language throughout the Northern Irish conflict in order to feel more Irish. Many of these have developed a strong conviction that the Irish language contains a different worldview from the one embodied in English. However, rather than constituting a plausible... Plus

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    Summary
    A considerable number of Irish Catholics in West Belfast, originally native English speakers, have started learning the Irish language throughout the Northern Irish conflict in order to feel more Irish. Many of these have developed a strong conviction that the Irish language contains a different worldview from the one embodied in English. However, rather than constituting a plausible representation of relevant differences embodied in the languages themselves, this article puts forward the hypothesis that such a neo-Whorfian endorsement of linguistic relativity might rather be the product of dialectical idiomatization, following from the interplay of prevailing language ideologies and effects of second language acquisition.