Hiberno-English

Hiberno-English

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Hiberno-English is the dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

 of English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 written and spoken in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 (Hibernia
Hibernia
Hibernia is the Classical Latin name for the island of Ireland. The name Hibernia was taken from Greek geographical accounts. During his exploration of northwest Europe , Pytheas of Massilia called the island Ierne . In his book Geographia Hibernia is the Classical Latin name for the island of...

).

English was first brought to Ireland during the Norman invasion
Norman Invasion of Ireland
The Norman invasion of Ireland was a two-stage process, which began on 1 May 1169 when a force of loosely associated Norman knights landed near Bannow, County Wexford...

 of the late 12th century. Initially it was mainly spoken in an area known as the Pale
The Pale
The Pale or the English Pale , was the part of Ireland that was directly under the control of the English government in the late Middle Ages. It had reduced by the late 15th century to an area along the east coast stretching from Dalkey, south of Dublin, to the garrison town of Dundalk...

 around Dublin, with Irish spoken throughout the rest of the country. By the Tudor period, the Irish culture and language had regained most of the territory initially lost to the colonists: even in the Pale, ‘all the common folk … for the most part are of Irish birth, Irish habit and of Irish language’. However, the resumption of English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 expansion following the Tudor conquest of Ireland saw a revival in use of their language, especially during the plantations
Plantations of Ireland
Plantations in 16th and 17th century Ireland were the confiscation of land by the English crown and the colonisation of this land with settlers from England and the Scottish Lowlands....

. By the mid-19th century, English was the majority language spoken in the country; It has retained this status to the present day, with even the minority whose first language is Irish usually being fluent in English as well.

Modern English as spoken in Ireland today retains some features showing the influence of the Irish language, such as vocabulary, grammatical structure and pronunciation.

Spelling


Unlike the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (see American English
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

) and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 (see Canadian English
Canadian English
Canadian English is the variety of English spoken in Canada. English is the first language, or "mother tongue", of approximately 24 million Canadians , and more than 28 million are fluent in the language...

), Ireland does not have its own spelling rules and "British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

" spelling is used throughout the island.

Loan words


Loan words from the Irish language provide for a large amount of words unique to Hiberno-English, particularly in an official state capacity (e.g. the head of government, the Taoiseach
Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

, and the parliament itself, the Oireachtas
Oireachtas
The Oireachtas , sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the "national parliament" or legislature of Ireland. The Oireachtas consists of:*The President of Ireland*The two Houses of the Oireachtas :**Dáil Éireann...

). Less formally, people also use loan words within day-to-day speech, although this has been on the decline in recent decades and among younger generations.

Some examples include:
Word Part of speech Meaning
Amadán Noun Fool
Garsún / gasúr Noun Boy
Lúdramán Noun Fool
Sláinte Interjection [To your] health!/Cheers!
Gob Noun Mouth


Derived words


Another group of vocabulary that is unique to Ireland is that of words derived from the Irish language. These words and phrases are often an Anglicised version of words in Irish, or a direct translation of these words into English. In the latter case, they often give a meaning to a word or phrase that is generally not found in wider English use.

Some examples include:
Word/Phrase Part of speech Original Irish Meaning/example
Arra/ yerra Interjection Ara / A Dhia "Yerra, sure if it rains, it rains."
Devil Noun Diabhal Curse: e.g. "Devil take him"
Devil Noun Diabhal Negation: e.g. None - "Devil a bit"
Gansey Noun Geansaí Jumper
Guards Noun Garda Síochána Police
Give out Verb Tabhair amach (lit.) Tell off
Soft day Phrase Lá bog (lit.) Overcast day (light drizzle/mist)
Whisht Interjection Fuist (quiet) or Éist (listen) Be quiet


Survivals from Old- and Middle-English


Another class of vocabulary found in Hiberno-English are words and phrases common in Old- and Middle-English, but which have since been lost or forgotten in the modern English language generally.

Some examples include:
Word Part of speech Meaning Origin/notes
Amn't Verb Am not
Childer Noun Child Survives from Old-English, genitive plural of 'child'
Sliced pan Noun (Sliced) loaf of bread Possibly derived from the French word for bread (pain)

Others


In addition to the three groups above, there are also additional words and phrases found in Hiberno-Irish whose origin is disputed or unknown. While this group may not be unique to Ireland, their usage is not widespread, and could be seen as characteristic of the language in Ireland.

Some examples include: Your man / Your one >
Word Part of speech Meaning Origin/notes
Acting the maggot Phrase Acting the fool, joking.
Banjaxed | Verb Broken, ruined, or rendered incapable of use. Originated with British soldiers who brought it from India to Ireland, being an Urdu word originally.
Bazzer | Noun Man's Haircut.
Bold Adjective Naughty/badly behaved.
Bleb Noun,Verb blister; to bubble up, come out in blisters.
Bucklepper Noun An overactive, overconfident person Used by Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney
Chiseler Noun Child
Cod acting Verb Joking
Culchie Noun Person from the countryside (may be wrongfully used in a derogatory manner, but is generally a label of pride.)
  • From the Irish word for woods coillte (Historically, Dublin people referred to the rest of Ireland as "people of the woods")
  • From the Irish phrase cúl an tí, meaning "back of the house" (It being common practice for country people to go in the back door of the house they were visiting)
  • From a truncation of the word agricultural
  • From the name of the Co. Mayo town of Kiltimagh
    Kiltimagh
    ' is a town in County Mayo, Ireland. It was referred to in the popular Irish song 'Horse it into ya Cynthia' by Conal Gallen.-Transport:The rail link is closed, but is pending re-opening as part of the Western Railway Corridor. Kiltimagh railway station opened on 1 October 1895 and finally closed...

     ( in Irish)
Delph Noun Dishware  From the name of the original source of supply, Delft
Delft
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland , the Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam and The Hague....

 in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. See Delftware
Delftware
Delftware, or Delft pottery, denotes blue and white pottery made in and around Delft in the Netherlands and the tin-glazed pottery made in the Netherlands from the 16th century....

.
Feck
Feck
Feck has several vernacular meanings and variations in Hiberno-English, Scots and Middle English.-Modern Irish English:*Verb meaning 'to steal'...

Verb/Interjection
  1. "throw", and "steal"
  2. "Feck it!", "Feck off"
Footpath Noun Pavement/Sidewalk Also commonly shortened to path.
Grinds Noun Private tuition
Jackeen
Jackeen
Jackeen is a mildly pejorative term for someone from Dublin, Ireland. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "A contemptuous designation for a self-assertive worthless fellow," citing the earliest documented use from the year 1840....

Noun A mildly pejorative
Pejorative
Pejoratives , including name slurs, are words or grammatical forms that connote negativity and express contempt or distaste. A term can be regarded as pejorative in some social groups but not in others, e.g., hacker is a term used for computer criminals as well as quick and clever computer experts...

 term for someone from Dublin. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "A contemptuous designation for a self-assertive worthless fellow".
The term is derived from a nickname for John
John (given name)
John is a masculine given name in the English language. The name is derived from the Latin Ioannes, Iohannes, which is in turn a form of the Greek , Iōánnēs. This Greek name is a form of the Hebrew name , , which means "God is generous"...

 (i.e. Jack) combined with the Irish diminutive suffix "-een"
Minerals Noun Soft drinks  From mineral Waters 
Press Noun Cupboard Similarly, hotpress in Ireland means airing-cupboard Press is an old word for cupboard in Scotland and northern England.
Runners Noun Trainers/sneakers
Shore Noun Stormdrain or Gutter
Wet the tea/The tea is wet Phrase Make the tea/the tea is made
Noun That man / that woman

Grammar and syntax


The syntax of the Irish language
Irish syntax
Irish syntax is rather different from that of most Indo-European languages, notably because of its VSO word order.-Normal word order:The normal word order in an Irish sentence is:#Preverbal particle#Verb#Subject#Direct object or predicate adjective...

 is quite different from that of English. Various aspects of Irish syntax have influenced Hiberno-English, though many of these idiosyncrasies are disappearing in urban areas and among the younger population.

The other major influence on Hiberno-English that sets it apart from modern English in general is the retention of words and phrases from Old- and Middle-English.

Reduplication


Reduplication
Reduplication
Reduplication in linguistics is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word is repeated exactly or with a slight change....

is an alleged trait of Hiberno-English strongly associated with stage-Irish and Hollywood films.
  • the Irish ar bith corresponds to English "at all", so the stronger ar chor ar bith gives rise to the form "at all at all".
    • "I've no money at all at all."
  • ar eagla go … (lit. "on fear that …") means "in case …". The variant ar eagla na heagla, (lit. "on fear of fear") implies the circumstances are more unlikely. The corresponding Hiberno-English phrases are "to be sure" and "to be sure to be sure". In this context, these are not, as might be thought, disjuncts meaning "certainly"; they could better be translated "in case" and "just in case". Nowadays normally spoken with conscious levity.
    • "I brought some cash in case I saw a bargain, and my credit card to be sure to be sure."

Yes and no


Irish lacks words that directly translate as "yes" or "no"
Yes and no
Yes and no are two words for expressing affirmatives and negatives respectively in English . Early Middle English had a four-form system, but Modern English has reduced this to a two-form system consisting of 'yes' and 'no'. Some languages do not answer yes-no questions with single words meaning...

, and instead repeats the verb used in the question, negated if necessary, to answer. Hiberno-English uses "yes" and "no" less frequently than other English dialects as speakers can repeat the verb, positively or negatively, instead of (or in redundant addition to) using "yes" or "no".
  • "Are you coming home soon?" – "I am."
  • "Is your mobile charged?" – "It's not."


The Irish equivalent of the verb "to be" has two present tenses, one (the present tense proper or "aimsir láithreach") for cases which are generally true or are true at the time of speaking and the other (the habitual present or "aimsir ghnáthláithreach") for repeated actions. Thus, "you are [now, or generally]" is tá tú, but "you are [repeatedly]" is bíonn tú. Both forms are used with the verbal noun (equivalent to the English present participle) to create compound tenses.

Recent past construction


Irish indicates recency of an action by "after" is added to the present continuous (a verb ending in "-ing"), a construction known as the "hot news perfect" or "after perfect". The idiom for "I had done X when I did Y" is "I was after doing X when I did Y", modelled on the Irish usage of the compound prepositions i ndiaidh, tar éis, and in éis: bhí mé tar éis/i ndiaidh/in éis X a dhéanamh, nuair a rinne mé Y.
  • "Why did you hit him?" – "He was after giving me cheek."

A similar construction is seen where exclamation is used in describing a recent event:
  • "I'm after hitting him with the car!" Táim tar éis é a bhualadh leis an gcarr!
  • "She's after losing five stone in five weeks!"


When describing less astonishing or significant events, a structure resembling the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 perfect can be seen:
  • "I have the car fixed." Tá an carr deisithe agam.
  • "I have my breakfast eaten." Tá mo bhricfeasta ite agam.


This correlates with an analysis of "H1 Irish" proposed by Adger & Mitrovic, in a deliberate parallel to the status of German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 as a V2 language
V2 word order
In syntax, verb-second word order is the rule in some languages that the second constituent of declarative main clauses is always a verb, while this is not necessarily the case in other types of clauses.- V2 effect :...

.

Reflection for emphasis


In rural areas, the reflexive version of pronouns is often used for emphasis or to refer indirectly to a particular person, etc., according to context. Herself, for example, might refer to the speaker's boss or to the woman of the house. Use of herself or himself in this way often indicates that the speaker attributes some degree of arrogance or selfishness to the person in question. Note also the indirectness of this construction relative to, for example, She's coming now
  • "'Tis herself that's coming now." Is í féin atá ag teacht anois.
  • "Was it all of ye or just yourself?" Ar sibhse go léir ná tusa féin a bhí i gceist?


This is not limited only to the verb to be: it is also used with to have when used as an auxiliary; and, with other verbs, the verb to do is used. This is most commonly used for intensification.
  • "This is strong stuff, so it is."
  • "We won the game, so we did."

Prepositional pronouns


There are some language forms that stem from the fact that there is no verb to have in Irish. Instead, possession is indicated in Irish by using the preposition at, (in Irish, ag.). To be more precise, Irish uses a prepositional pronoun that combines ag "at" and "me" to create agam.
In English, the verb "to have" is used, along with a "with me" or "on me" that derives from Tá … agam. This gives rise to the frequent
  • "Do you have the book?" – "I have it with me."
  • "Have you change for the bus on you?"
  • "He will not shut up if he has drink taken."

Somebody who can speak a language "has" a language, in which Hiberno-English has borrowed the grammatical form used in Irish.
  • She does not have Irish. Níl Gaeilge aici. literally "There is no Irish at her".


When describing something, rural Hiberno-English speakers may use the term "in it" where "there" would usually be used. This is due to the Irish word ann fulfilling both meanings.
  • "Is it yourself that is in it?" An tú féin atá ann?
  • "Is there any milk in it?" An bhfuil bainne ann?


Another idiom is this thing or that thing described as "this man here" or "that man there", which also features in Newfoundland English
Newfoundland English
Newfoundland English is a name for several accents and dialects thereof the English found in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Most of these differ substantially from the English commonly spoken elsewhere in Canada...

 in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.
  • "This man here." An fear seo. (cf. the related anseo = here)
  • "That man there." An fear sin. (cf. the related ansin = there)


Conditionals have a greater presence in Hiberno-English due to the tendency to replace the simple present tense with the conditional (would) and the simple past tense with the conditional perfect (would have).
  • "John asked me would I buy a loaf of bread." (John asked me to buy a loaf of bread.)
  • "How do you know him? We would have been in school together." (We went to school together.)


Bring and take: Irish use of these words differs from that of British English because it follows the Gaelic grammar for beir and tóg. English usage is determined by direction; person determines Irish usage. So, in English, one takes "from here to there", and brings it "to here from there". In Irish, a person takes only when accepting a transfer of possession of the object from someone else and a person brings at all other times, irrespective of direction (to or from).
  • Don't forget to bring your umbrella with you when you leave.
  • (To a child) Hold my hand: I don't want someone to take you.

To be


Some Irish speakers of English, especially in rural areas, especially Mayo
County Mayo
County Mayo is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the village of Mayo, which is now generally known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 130,552...

/Sligo in the West of Ireland, use the verb "to be" in English similarly to how they would in Irish, using a "does be/do be" (or "bees", although less frequently) construction to indicate this latter continuous present:
  • "He does be working every day." Bíonn sé ag obair gach lá.
  • "They do be talking on their mobiles a lot." Bíonn siad ag caint go leor ar a fóin póca.
  • "He does be doing a lot of work at school." Bíonn sé ag déanamh go leor oibre ar scoil.
  • "It's him I do be thinking of." Is air a bhíonn mé ag smaoineamh.

From Old- and Middle-English


In old-fashioned usage, "it is" can be freely abbreviated ’tis, even as a standalone sentence. This also allows the double contraction ’tisn’t, for "it is not".

Irish has separate forms for the second person singular () and the second person plural (sibh).
Mirroring Irish, and almost every other Indo European language
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

, the plural you is also distinguished from the singular in Hiberno-English, normally by use of the otherwise archaic English word ye [ji]; the word yous (sometimes written as youse) also occurs, but primarily only in Dublin and across Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

. In addition, in some areas in Leinster
Leinster
Leinster is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the east of Ireland. It comprises the ancient Kingdoms of Mide, Osraige and Leinster. Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the historic fifths of Leinster and Mide gradually merged, mainly due to the impact of the Pale, which straddled...

, north Connacht
Connacht
Connacht , formerly anglicised as Connaught, is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the west of Ireland. In Ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for...

 and parts of Ulster, the hybrid word ye-s, pronounced "yis", may be used. The pronunciation differs with that of the northwestern being [jiːz] and the Leinster pronunciation being [jɪz].
  • "Did ye all go to see it?" Ar imigh sibh go léir chun é a fheicint?
  • "None of youse have a clue!" Níl ciall/leid ar bith agaibh!
  • "Are ye not finished yet?" Nach bhfuil sibh críochnaithe fós?
  • "Yis are after destroying it!" Tá sibh tar éis é a scriosadh!


The word ye, yis or yous, otherwise archaic, is still used in place of "you" for the second-person plural. Ye'r, Yisser or Yousser are the possessive forms, e.g. "Where are yous going?"

The verb mitch is very common in Ireland, indicating being truant from school. This word appears in Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, but is seldom heard these days in British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

, although pockets of usage persist in some areas (notably South Wales
South Wales
South Wales is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the south-west of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.1 million people and includes the capital city of...

, Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

, and Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

). In parts of Connacht and Ulster the mitch is often replaced by the verb scheme, while Dublin it is replaced by "on the hop/bounce".

Another usage familiar from Shakespeare is the inclusion of the second person pronoun after the imperative form of a verb, as in "Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed" (Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

, Act III, Scene IV). This is still common in Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

: "Get youse your homework done or you're no goin' out!" In Munster
Munster
Munster is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the south of Ireland. In Ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes...

, you will still hear children being told, "Up to bed, let ye" [lɛˈtʃi]

For influence from Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 see Ulster Scots
Ulster Scots language
Ulster Scots or Ulster-Scots generally refers to the dialects of Scots spoken in parts of Ulster in Ireland. Some definitions of Ulster Scots may also include Standard English spoken with an Ulster Scots accent...

 and Ulster English.

Other grammatical influences


Now is often used at the end of sentences or phrases as a semantically empty word, completing an utterance without contributing any apparent meaning. Examples include "Bye now" (= "Goodbye"), "There you go now" (when giving someone something), "Ah now!" (expressing dismay), "Hold on now" (= "wait a minute"), "Now then" as a mild attention-getter, etc. This usage is universal among English dialects, but occurs more frequently in Hiberno-English. It is also used in the manner of the Italian 'prego' or German 'bitte', for example a barman might say "Now, Sir." when delivering drinks.

So is often used for emphasis ("I can speak Irish, so I can"), or it may be tacked on to the end of a sentence to indicate agreement, where "then" would often be used in Standard English ("Bye so", "Let's go so", "That's fine so", "We'll do that so"). The word is also used to contradict a negative statement ("You're not pushing hard enough" – "I am so!"). (This contradiction of a negative is also seen in American English, though not as often as "I am too", or "Yes, I am".) The practice of indicating emphasis with so and including reduplicating the sentence's subject pronoun and auxiliary verb (is, are, have, has, can, etc.) such as in the initial example, is particularly prevalent in more northern dialects such as those of Sligo, Mayo, Cavan, Monaghan and other neighbouring counties.

Sure is often used as a tag word, emphasising the obviousness of the statement, roughly translating as but/and/well. Can be used as "to be sure", the famous Irish stereotype phrase. (But note that the other stereotype of "Sure and …" is not actually used in Ireland.) Or "Sure, I can just go on Wednesday", "I will not, to be sure." "Sure Jaysus [Jesus]" is often used as a very mild expletive to express dismay. The word is also used at the end of sentences (primarily in Munster
Munster
Munster is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the south of Ireland. In Ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes...

), for instance "I was only here five minutes ago, sure!" and can express emphasis or indignation.
To is often omitted from sentences where it would exist in British English. For example, "I'm not allowed go out tonight", instead of "I'm not allowed to go out tonight".
Will is often used where British English would use "shall" ("Will I make us a cup of tea?"). The distinction between "shall" (for first-person simple future, and second- and third-person emphatic future) and "will" (second- and third-person simple future, first-person emphatic future), maintained by many in England, does not exist in Hiberno-English, with "will" generally used in all cases.

Pronunciation


Hiberno-English retains many phonemic differentiations that have merged in other English accents.
  • With some local exceptions, /r/ occurs postvocally, making most Hiberno-English dialects rhotic
    Rhotic and non-rhotic accents
    English pronunciation can be divided into two main accent groups: a rhotic speaker pronounces a rhotic consonant in words like hard; a non-rhotic speaker does not...

    . The exceptions to this are most notable in Dublin and some smaller eastern towns like Drogheda
    Drogheda
    Drogheda is an industrial and port town in County Louth on the east coast of Ireland, 56 km north of Dublin. It is the last bridging point on the River Boyne before it enters the Irish Sea....

    . In Dublin English, a retroflex [ɻ] is used (much as in American English
    American English
    American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

    ). This has no precedent in varieties of southern Irish English and is a genuine innovation of the past two decades. Mainstream varieties still use a non-retroflex [ɹ] (as in word-initial position). A uvular
    Guttural R
    In linguistics, guttural R refers to pronunciation of a rhotic consonant as a guttural consonant. These consonants are usually uvular, but can also be realized as a velar, pharyngeal, or glottal rhotic...

     [ʁ] is found in north-east Leinster. /r/ is pronounced as a postalveolar tap [ɾ] in conservative accents. Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh
    Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh
    Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh is an Irish Gaelic games commentator for the Irish national radio and television, RTÉ. In a career that has spanned six decades he has come to be regarded as the "voice of Gaelic games." His prolific career has earned him a place in Guinness World Records.-Early...

     and Jackie Healy-Rae
    Jackie Healy-Rae
    Jackie Healy-Rae is a former Irish politician who served as an Independent Teachta Dála for the Kerry South constituency from 1997 to 2011.-Early and private life:...

     are both good examples of this. is not pronounced as a plosive where it does not occur word-initially in some Irish accents; instead, it is often pronounced as a slit fricative [θ̠]..
  • The distinction between w
    W
    W is the 23rd letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.In other Germanic languages, including German, its pronunciation is similar or identical to that of English V...

    /w/ and wh /hw/, as in wine vs. whine, is preserved.
  • There is some variation with the consonants that are dental fricatives in other varieties (/θ/ and /ð/); after a vowel, they may be dental fricatives or dental stops ([t̪ʰ] and [d̪] respectively) depending on speaker. Some dialects of Irish have a "slender" (palatalised) d as /ðʲ/ and this may transfer over to English pronunciation. In still others, both dental fricatives are present since slender dental stops are lenited
    Lenition
    In linguistics, lenition is a kind of sound change that alters consonants, making them "weaker" in some way. The word lenition itself means "softening" or "weakening" . Lenition can happen both synchronically and diachronically...

     to [θʲ] and [ðʲ].
  • The distinction between /ɒː/ and /oː/ in horse and hoarse is preserved, though not usually in Dublin or Belfast.
  • A distinction between [ɛɹ]-[ɪɹ]-[ʌɹ] in herd-bird-curd may be found. is never velarised, except in (relatively recent) South Dublin English, often derisively termed D4
    Dublin 4
    Dublin 4 is a postal district of Dublin, Ireland including the suburbs of Sandymount, Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, Ringsend and Irishtown on the South side of Dublin....

     English, after the area where the accent predominates.
  • The vowels in words such as boat and cane are usually monophthong
    Monophthong
    A monophthong is a pure vowel sound, one whose articulation at both beginning and end is relatively fixed, and which does not glide up or down towards a new position of articulation....

    s outside of Dublin: [boːt], and [keːn].
  • The /aɪ/ in "night" may be pronounced in a wide variety of ways, e.g. [əɪ], [ɔɪ], [ʌɪ] and [ɑɪ], the latter two being the most common in middle class speech, the former two, in popular speech.
  • The /ɔɪ/ in "boy" may be pronounced [ɑːɪ] (i.e. the vowel of thought plus a y) in conservative accents (Henry 1957 for Co. Roscommon, Nally 1973 for Co. Westmeath).
  • In some varieties, speakers make no distinction between the [ʌ] in putt and the [ʊ] in put, pronouncing both as the latter. Bertz (1975) found this merger in working-class Dublin speech, and a fluctuation between merger and distinction in General Dublin English (quoted in Wells 1982). Nevertheless, even for those Irish people who, say, have a different vowel sound in put and cut, pairs such as putt and put, look and luck may be pronounced identically.
  • In some highly conservative varieties, words spelled with ea and pronounced with [iː] in RP are pronounced with [eː], for example meat, beat.
  • In words like took where "oo" usually represents /ʊ/, speakers may use /uː/. This is most common in working-class Dublin accents and the speech of North-East Leinster.
  • Any and many is pronounced to rhyme with nanny, Danny by very many speakers, i.e. with each of these words pronounced with /a/ or /ɛ/. often becomes /ɛ/ in words such as gave and came (becoming "gev" and "kem")
  • Consonant clusters ending in /j/ often change.

} becomes /dʒ/, e.g. dew/due, duke and duty sound like "jew", "jook" and "jooty".
} becomes /tʃ/, e.g. tube is "choob", tune is "choon"
    • The following show neither dropping nor coalescence:

}
}
}
Irish English also always uses the alveolar or "light" L sound, as opposed to other English dialects which use a velar or "dark" L in word-final position. The naming of the letter H as "haitch" is standard, while the letter R is called "or", the letter A is often pronounced "ah", and the letter Z is often referred to as "e-zed" in working-class Dublin accents or parodies of same.
Some words like the English word for movie "film" become "fillum" in Irish speech.

Leinster and Greater Dublin


Dublin has a number of dialects which differ significantly based on class and age group. These are roughly divided into three categories: "local Dublin", or the broad-working class dialect (sometimes referred to as the "working-class", or "inner city" accent); "mainstream Dublin", the typical accent spoken by middle-class or suburban speakers; and "new Dublin", an accent among younger people (born after 1970). Features include:
as in lot has a variety of realizations. In Local, this vowel is often quite front and unrounded, ranging to [a]. In Mainstream, the sound varies between [ɑ] and [ɒ]. New Dublin speakers often realize this phoneme even higher, as [ɔ]. as in thought: In Local and Mainstream accents, this vowel is usually a lengthened variant of the corresponding LOT set (i.e. [aː] in Local and [ɒː] in Mainstream.) In New Dublin accents, this sound can be as high as [oː]. as in strut: in Local Dublin, this sound merges with the sound in foot, so that strut is pronounced [strʊt]. In Mainstream, a slight distinction is made between the two, with the vowel for strut varying greatly from [ʌ] to [ɤ]. In New Dublin this vowel can shift forward, toward [ɪ]. as in goat: in Dublin English, unlike other Hiberno-Englishes, this vowel is almost always dipthongized. Local Dublin features a low inglide, rendering this sound as [ʌo], where as Mainstream features a tighter diphthong: [oʊ]. New Dublin has a slightly fronter realization, ranging to [əʊ]. as in goose. Local Dublin features a unique, palatized realization of this vowel, [ʲu], so that food sounds quite similar to feud. In Mainstream and New Dublin, this sound ranges to a more central vowel, [ʉ]. as in price: Traditionally this vowel ranges in pronunciation from [əi] in Local Dublin speech to [ai] in Mainstream Dublin. Among speakers born after 1970, the pronunciation [ɑɪ] often occurs before voiced consonants and word-finally. as in mouth is usually fronted, to [æu] in Mainstream and New Dublin and more typically [ɛu] in Local. as in choice: This sound ranges greatly, from [aɪ] in Local Dublin to a high-back realization [oɪ] in New Dublin. Mainstream Dublin more typically tends toward [ɒɪ].

Rhoticity

Rhoticity and rhotic consonants vary greatly in Dublin English. In Local Dublin, "r" can often be pronounced with an alveolar tap ([ɾ]), whereas Mainstream and New Dublin almost always feature the more "standard" alveolar approximant, [ɹ].

Post-vocalically, Dublin English maintains three different standards. Local Dublin is often non-rhotic (giving lie to the repeated claim that Hiberno-English is universally rhotic), although some variants may be variably or very lightly rhotic. In non-rhotic varieties, the /ər/ in "lettER" is either lowered to [ɐ(ɹ)] or in some speakers may be backed and raised to [ɤ(ɹ)]. In Mainstream Dublin, this sound is gently rhotic ([əɹ], while New Dublin features a retroflex approximant [əɻ]. Other rhotic vowels are as follows:
as in start: This vowel has a uniquely high realization in Local Dublin, ranging to [ɛː]. In Mainstream Dublin, this sound is more typically [aːɹ], whereas New Dublin can feature a more back vowel, [ɑːɻ]
  • The "horse-hoarse" distinction in other Irish dialects is heavily preserved in Local Dublin, but only slightly maintained in Mainstream and New varieties. In Local, "force" words are pronounced with a strong diphthong, [ʌo], while "north" words feature a low monophthong, [aː]. Mainstream Dublin contrasts these two vowels slightly, as [ɒːɹ] and [oːɹ], while in New Dublin, these two phonemes are merged to [oːɻ]. as in nurse. In local Dublin, this phoneme is split, either pronounced as [ɛː] or [ʊː]. In this accent, words written as "-ur" are always pronounced as [ʊː], while words written as either "-er" or "-ir" are pronounced as [ɛː], unless "-er" or "-ir" follows a labial consonant (e.g. bird or first), when this sound has the [ʊː] realization. In Mainstream and New Dublin this distinction is seldom preserved, with both phonemes typically merging to [ɚ].


Dublin Vowel Lengthening

In Local Dublin, long monophthongs are often dipthongized, and while some diphthongs are tripthongized. This process can be summarized with these examples:
  • School [skuːl] = [skʲuwəl]
  • Mean [miːn] = [mɪjən]
  • Five [faɪv] = [fəjəv]


Consonants
  • Final "t" is heavily lenited in Local Dublin English so that "sit" can be pronounced [sɪh], [sɪʔ] or even [sɪ].
  • Intervocalically, "t" can become an alveolar approximate in Local Dublin (e.g. "not only" = [na ɹ ʌonli], while in New and Mainstream varieties it can become an alveolar tap [ɾ], similar to American and Australian English.
  • θ and ð, as in "think" and "this", usually become alveolar stops [t] and [d] in Local Dublin English, while Mainstream and New Dublin maintains the more standard dentalized stops common in other varieties of Hiberno-English.
  • In Local Dublin, stops are often elided after sonorants, so that, for example sound is pronounced [sɛʊn].

Ulster


Northern Hiberno-English (also called Ulster English) is an umbrella term for the dialects of Hiberno-English spoken by most people in the province
Provinces of Ireland
Ireland has historically been divided into four provinces: Leinster, Ulster, Munster and Connacht. The Irish word for this territorial division, cúige, literally meaning "fifth part", indicates that there were once five; the fifth province, Meath, was incorporated into Leinster, with parts going to...

 of Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

. The dialect has been greatly influenced by Ulster Irish
Ulster Irish
Ulster Irish is the dialect of the Irish language spoken in the Province of Ulster. The largest Gaeltacht region today is in County Donegal, so that the term Donegal Irish is often used synonymously. Nevertheless, records of the language as it was spoken in other counties do exist, and help provide...

, but also by the Scots language
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

, which was brought over by Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 settlers during the plantations
Plantation of Ulster
The Plantation of Ulster was the organised colonisation of Ulster—a province of Ireland—by people from Great Britain. Private plantation by wealthy landowners began in 1606, while official plantation controlled by King James I of England and VI of Scotland began in 1609...

.

It has three main subdivisions: South Ulster English, Mid Ulster English
Mid Ulster English
Mid Ulster English is the dialect of Hiberno-English spoken by most people in the province of Ulster in Ireland. The dialect has been greatly influenced by Ulster Irish, but also by the Scots language, which was brought over by Scottish settlers during the plantations.Mid Ulster English is the main...

and Ulster Scots. South Ulster English is spoken in south Armagh
County Armagh
-History:Ancient Armagh was the territory of the Ulaid before the fourth century AD. It was ruled by the Red Branch, whose capital was Emain Macha near Armagh. The site, and subsequently the city, were named after the goddess Macha...

, south Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

, south Fermanagh
County Fermanagh
Fermanagh District Council is the only one of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland that contains all of the county it is named after. The district council also contains a small section of County Tyrone in the Dromore and Kilskeery road areas....

, south Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

 and north Cavan
County Cavan
County Cavan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Cavan. Cavan County Council is the local authority for the county...

. Ulster Scots is spoken in parts of north County Antrim
County Antrim
County Antrim is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,844 km², with a population of approximately 616,000...

 and northeast County Londonderry
County Londonderry
The place name Derry is an anglicisation of the old Irish Daire meaning oak-grove or oak-wood. As with the city, its name is subject to the Derry/Londonderry name dispute, with the form Derry preferred by nationalists and Londonderry preferred by unionists...

. Mid Ulster English is used in the area between these (including the main cities of Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 and Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

) and has the most speakers.

See also


  • Languages of Ireland
  • List of English words of Irish origin
  • Regional accents of English
  • English language in Europe
  • Terence Dolan
    Terence Dolan
    Terence Dolan is an Irish lexicographer and radio personality. He is currently Professor of Old and Middle English in the School of English and Drama, University College Dublin. He acts as the School's Research Co-ordinator, and is the director of the Hiberno-English Archive website. He has a...

  • Anglo-Manx
  • Highland English
    Highland English
    Highland English is the variety of Scottish English spoken by many in the Scottish Highlands. It is more strongly influenced by Gaelic than other forms of Scottish English. Island English is the variety spoken as a second language by native Gaelic speakers in the Outer Hebrides...

  • Welsh English
    Welsh English
    Welsh English, Anglo-Welsh, or Wenglish refers to the dialects of English spoken in Wales by Welsh people. The dialects are significantly influenced by Welsh grammar and often include words derived from Welsh...



External links