Chapter published in:Keeping in Touch: Emigrant letters across the English-speaking world
Edited by Raymond Hickey
[Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics 10] 2019
Grammatical variation in nineteenth-century Irish Australian letters
A large section of the early settler population in Australia came from Ireland and many of these individuals wrote back home reporting on conditions in the colony and/or advising relatives and friends on emigration. This private correspondence shows a large number features known from present-day vernacular varieties of Irish English but also some features which have disappeared in the meantime. Given the authenticity of the letters examined here an investigation is particularly useful when tracing the development of specific features in the past two centuries. Virtually all such features were not adopted into the emerging supraregional form of Australian English, the precursor of the present-day homogenous variety. One of the main assumptions here is that the specifically Irish features were stigmatised as indexical of low-status emigrants and hence avoided by following generations Irish-descent Australians.
Keywords: Irish English, nineteenth-century Australian English, grammatical variation, stigma of vernacular features, new dialect formation
Published online: 28 November 2019
Auer, Anita, Daniel Schreier, Richard J. Watts
Bermejo-Giner, Maria G. and Michael Montgomery
Bonness, Dania J.
Britain, David and Andrea Sudbury
Burridge, Kate and Simon Musgrave
Cochrane, G. R.
Collins, Peter and David Blair
eds 1989 Australian English. The Language of a New Society Brisbane University of Queensland Press
Collins, Peter and Pam Peters
Corbyn, Charles Adam
Cox, Felicity and Sallyanne Palethorpe
Kerswill, Paul and Peter Trudgill
Kirk, John M. and Jeffrey L. Kallen
McCafferty, Kevin and Carolina P. Amador-Moreno
Milroy, James and John Harris
Mitchell, A. G.
Mitchell, A. G. and A. Delbridge
Montgomery, Michael B.
O’Brien, John and Pauric Travers
Ramson, William S.
Schneider, Edgar W.
Stenbrenden, Gjertrud Flermoen
1992 “Der mary this is fine cuntry is there is in the wourld”: Irish-English and Irish in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Australia. In: Thomas E. Dutton, Malcolm Ross and Darrell Tryon (eds) The Language Game: Papers in Memory of Donald C. Laycock. Canberra: Australian National University, pp.459–477.
Van Hattum, Marije