Language Standardisation in Modern Irish: Complaints sustaining discourse?

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Language standardisation is the process by which a particular form of language
becomes the conventional norm – particularly in the domains of officialdom
(e.g. in government). It involves conscious intervention, often by the state or
a language specific authority, to plan which type of language will function in
society. This usually involves the development of language uniformity, often at
the expense of dialectal diversity. In most cases, it also involves the development
of modern terminology, and the production of dictionaries and grammars to
stabilise the standard language as a definite frame of reference for correctness
and accuracy. This paper discusses that process in the context of the Irish
Disparities, complaints and disagreements regarding the correctness and
legitimacy of standardised language conventions are investigated. In particular,
attention is drawn to the period (1958-2016) during which the Irish government
published three versions of their official guidance document for writing in Irish:
firstly in 1958, followed by later iterations in 2012 and 2016. The paper shows
that Irish language scholars played an important role in sustaining discourse
regarding language standardisation; despite the vacuum of over fifty years
between these editions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalIntersections (Postgraduate Journal - Arts , Humanities , Social Sciences)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Jul 2020


  • Language Standardisation
  • Standard Language
  • Language Ideology
  • Standard Language Ideology
  • Caighdeánú teanga
  • Caighdeánú na Gaeilge
  • An Ghaeilge
  • An Caighdeán Oifigiúil


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