The Political Production of a Language

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English (Scripps)

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Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature


The assertion that a language is a dialect with an army and a navydraws attention to the fact that the distinction between the two is more likely to be based on political imperatives rather than linguistic features. The aim of this article is to examine a specific example of a form of language, Ulster-Scots, whose status varies between dialect and language. It will be argued that in the context of contemporary Northern Ireland, the distinction has serious political consequences in relation to identity, rights, and the possibilities for a settlement to a deep and extended conflict.

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© 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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