A Variationist Sociolinguistic Study of (th) and (dh) in Urban Western Irish English
Varieties of Irish English, as the oldest colonial varieties of English outside of Britain, have been in the centre of extensive (dialectal) sociolinguistic research since the second half of the 20th century. Comprehensive linguistic accounts have been produced for both some of its northern and some of its southern varieties (Henry 1957; Barry 1982; Bliss 1977, 1984; Hickey 2007; Corrigan 2010; Kallen 1994, 2013). Research has focussed on various linguistic levels, such as phonology (Wells 1982, Hickey 2004), syntax and grammar (Corrigan 2000, 2011; Filppula 1999, 2012), lexicon (Dolan 2006, Share 2008) and pragmatics (Barron 2011, Clancy and Vaughan 2012). While accounts with a purely dialectological focus dominated the study of the variety for most of the first half of the 20th century, sociolinguistic studies of the first and second wave started enquiring into local patterns of speech, both urban and rural, and their possible correlations with locally relevant social categories in the late 1960’s. The most prominent of these studies deal with varieties of urban Northern Irish English as spoken in Belfast (Milroy and Milroy 1978, Harris 1985) and (London)Derry (McCafferty 2001) as well as urban Southern Irish English as spoken in Dublin (Bertz 1975, 1987, Hickey 2004, Lonergan 2013). Other urban and rural varieties have only received little attention and, as a result, are lacking comprehensive investigations into their range of sociolinguistic variation. Corpus-based and/or variationist sociolinguistic studies of urban varieties of SIrE in Cork City, Limerick City and Galway City are scarce....
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