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By Aidan Doyle

During this booklet, Aidan Doyle strains the historical past of the Irish language from the time of the Norman invasion on the finish of the twelfth century to independence in 1922, combining political, cultural, and linguistic heritage. The publication is split into seven major chapters that concentrate on a particular interval within the background of the language; they every one commence with a dialogue of the exterior historical past and place of the Irish language within the interval, sooner than relocating directly to examine the $64000 inner adjustments that came about at the moment. A historical past of the Irish Language makes to be had for the 1st time fabric that has formerly been inaccessible to scholars and students who can't learn Irish, and should be a important source not just for undergraduate scholars of the language, yet for all these drawn to Irish heritage and tradition.

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The best-known case of this in the Western world is Latin. Because of their political and cultural influence, writers like Cicero, Caesar, and Vergil came to be regarded as representing the last word in OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 13/5/2015, SPi  THE ANGLO - NORMANS AND THEIR HERITAGE (–) Latin style and elegance, and the language found in their writings came to be called classical Latin. This classical Latin was based on the speech of educated Romans in the first century BC. Latin continued to be spoken for another – years after that, undergoing many changes in the meantime, but the written language taught in schools in late antiquity continued to be the same classical standard of the first century BC.

As can be seen, then, there was a certain amount of flexibility in the grammatical tracts with respect to what was and what wasn’t allowed. This has led scholars to claim that the language of Bardic poetry is the result of ‘the formal adoption of vernacular speech as the basis for a new literary standard’ (Ó Cuív : ). Some qualification is needed for this statement. As McManus (b) shows in detail, various strands were present in Bardic poetry and the grammatical tracts, some of which were conservative, some innovatory.

In these statutes, the legislators advert to the Gaelicization of the Anglo-Normans: ‘But now many English of the said land, forsaking the English language, manners, mode of riding, laws and usages, live and govern themselves according to the manners, fashion and language of the Irish enemies’ (Curtis and McDowell : ; quoted in Crowley : ). As a corrective, they recommend the following: ‘It is ordained that every Englishman do use the English language, and be named by an English name .

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