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    Irish English - areal considerations

One research avenue which has proved particularly fruitful in recent years is that concerned with linguistic areas. Present-day overviews of historical linguistics, such as Campbell (1998), devote space to the theoretical underpinnings of linguistic areas and to the application of insights from modern linguistics to them, revisiting and revising traditional views of such areas which stem from earlier work such as Jakobson 1962 [1931].

In the anglophone context such re-orientation can also be noticed. Older works, such as Wagner (1959), have come to be re-assessed, for instance in studies by the author and by Markku Filppula. The role of contact between Celtic and English, above all during the early Germanic settlement of Britain, has been reappraised. In the work of Filppula, along with his colleagues Juhani Klemola and Heli Pitkänen, the history of language contact in the British Isles has been brought to the fore (Filppula, Klemola and Paulasto (eds), 2008). This is also true of studies by Theo Vennemann of which there are many, beginning in the early 1990s and addressing a variety of unsettled questions in the history of language development not just in the British Isles but among Indo-European languages as a whole.

Areal features of English in Ireland (Hickey 2012)


Adams, George Brendan 1958. ‘The emergence of Ulster as a distinct dialect area’, Ulster Folklife 4: 61-73.

Brinton, Laurel (ed.) Historical Linguistics 1999. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Campbell, Lyle (1998) Historical linguistics. Edinburgh: University Press.

Filppula, Markku 2004. ‘Dialect convergence areas or “Dialektbünde” in the British Isles’, in Lenz, Radtke and Zwickl (eds), pp. 177-88.

Filppula, Markku, Juhani Klemola and Heli Pitkänen (eds) 2002. The Celtic Roots of English. Joensuu: University Press.

Filppula, Markku, Juhani Klemola and Heli Paulasto (eds) 2008. English and Celtic in Contact. London: Routledge.

Hickey, Raymond 1999. ‘Ireland as a linguistic area’, in Mallory (ed.), pp. 36-53.

Hickey, Raymond (ed.) 2012. Areal Features of the Anglophone World. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton.

Hickey, Raymond (ed.) 2017. The Cambridge Handbook of Areal Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jakobson, Roman 1962 [1931]. ‘Über die phonologischen Sprachbünde’ [On phonological linguistic areas], in Selected Writings. I: Phonological Studies. (The Hague: Mouton), pp. 137-43.

Lenz, Alexandra, Edgar Radtke and Simone Zwickel (eds) 2004. Variation im Raum – Variation in Space. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Mallory, James P. (ed.) 1999. Language in Ulster. Special issue of Ulster Folklife (45).

Tristram, Hildegard L.C. (ed.) 2000. The Celtic Englishes II. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.

Vennemann gen. Nierfeld, Theo 2000. ‘English as a “Celtic” language’, in Tristram (ed.), pp. 399-406.

Vennemann gen. Nierfeld, Theo 2001 ‘Atlantis Semitica. Structural contact features in Celtic and English’, in Brinton (ed.), pp. 351-69.

Vennemann gen. Nierfeld, Theo 2002. ‘Semitic > Celtic > English: The transitivity of language contact’, in Filppula, Klemola and Pitkänen (eds), pp. 295-330.

Wagner, Heinrich (1959) Das Verbum in den Sprachen der britischen Inseln Tübingen: Niemeyer.