Linguistic perceptions of Irish English in nineteenth-century emigrant lettersa micro-perspective analysis of John Kerr's letters.

  1. Amador-Moreno, Carolina P. 1
  2. Ruano-García, Francisco Javier 2
  1. 1 University of Bergen / Universidad de Extremadura
  2. 2 Universidad de Salamanca

    Universidad de Salamanca

    Salamanca, España


IJES: international journal of English studies

ISSN: 1578-7044 1989-6131

Argitalpen urtea: 2023

Zenbakien izenburua: Third-Wave in English Historical Sociolinguistics

Alea: 23

Zenbakia: 2

Orrialdeak: 41-63

Mota: Artikulua

DOI: 10.6018/IJES.558741 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openSarbide irekia editor

Beste argitalpen batzuk: IJES: international journal of English studies

Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible


In this paper we look at the real voices of Irish English speakers in the nineteenth century. By turning to the Corpus of Irish English Correspondence (McCafferty & Amador-Moreno, 2012), we analyse the perceptions that letter writers had of their own language use. We apply a micro-perspective analysis to the language of John Kerr, an Irish emigrant to America, in his letters to his uncle James Graham of Newpark (Co. Antrim, N. Ireland). We examine Kerr’s incisive comment on language use alongside metacommentary found in different Late Modern works, including dictionaries, essays on Irish English, as well as contemporary fictional representations of the variety of English spoken in Ireland during this period. Through this small batch of letters, we explore how the real voices of Irish English speakers echoed an enregistered Irish repertoire that may have raised awareness shaping their perceptions of their own dialect.

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