Where are your nouns? A discussion of the dichotomy between the lexicon of L1 speakers and L2 speakers in Irish,

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Abstract

In this paper I give a brief insight into the different competencies of L1 Irish speakers and of L2 Irish speakers in terms of lexicon. The conversational difficulties that arise from a situation of linguistic borrowing and code-switching on one hand (in the case L1 speakers) to the ‘book Irish’ variety of L2 speakers on the other is highlighted. It is shown that although L1 speakers can deal much better with traditional registers of speech that they founder when they have to deal with contemporary vocabulary items. L2 users have a wealth of new terms but lack the lexical depth of L1 speakers in traditional vocabulary. It is shown that the values of the two groups differ as L1 speakers are a lot less worried about the “English invasion” than L2 users who have an inbuilt aversion to borrowing which arises from the learning process. Some detail is given on how these contemporary lexical items come to be coined in Irish and how this directly influences the exposure of the two groups to these types of vocabulary items.
LanguageEnglish
Pages73-86
JournalRes Celticae
Volume1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014

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vocabulary
invasion
learning process
Group
linguistics
lack
Values

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abstract = "In this paper I give a brief insight into the different competencies of L1 Irish speakers and of L2 Irish speakers in terms of lexicon. The conversational difficulties that arise from a situation of linguistic borrowing and code-switching on one hand (in the case L1 speakers) to the ‘book Irish’ variety of L2 speakers on the other is highlighted. It is shown that although L1 speakers can deal much better with traditional registers of speech that they founder when they have to deal with contemporary vocabulary items. L2 users have a wealth of new terms but lack the lexical depth of L1 speakers in traditional vocabulary. It is shown that the values of the two groups differ as L1 speakers are a lot less worried about the “English invasion” than L2 users who have an inbuilt aversion to borrowing which arises from the learning process. Some detail is given on how these contemporary lexical items come to be coined in Irish and how this directly influences the exposure of the two groups to these types of vocabulary items.",
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