Language Maintenance and Language Death: The Case of the Irish Language

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Abstract


According to the Constitution of Ireland (2018), the Irish language is the Republic’s national and first official language. In 2007 it was declared one of the official languages of the European Union, gaining a new status in comparison with the past when it was regarded as a Treaty language only. Since this adoption many changes have happened and many projects have been initiated in the field of maintenance and death prevention of the Irish language. The article analyses data gained from the qualitative research, the final part of which was carried out in the Republic of Ireland from February to March 2015 at the National University of Ireland in the city of Galway. The research sheds light on the future of the Irish language and reflects the opinions of informants on the topic of language death and language maintenance. Our aim was to obtain a most diverse sample of respondents with different attitudes towards the Irish language revitalization and its potential to be used as an effective tool within various spheres of life, ensuring the language´s vitality and protection from possible death. We highlight some of the most salient preventive measures, which seem to work in the area of language maintenance, including a huge role of particular organizations aimed at the Irish language revitalization. Last but not least, we pay attention to concerns about the language, which must be identified in order to find out which areas should be primarily addressed so as to protect the language for future generations.

About the authors

Jana Pecnikova

Matej Bel University

Email: jana.pecnikova@umb.sk
Národná 12, Banska Bystrica, 974 01, Slovakia
Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Matej Bel University, Faculty of Arts in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia

Anna Slatinska

Matej Bel University

Email: anna.slatinska@umb.sk
Národná 12, Banska Bystrica, 974 01, Slovakia
Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Matej Bel University, Faculty of Arts in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia

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