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(c) Mahesh Radhakrishnan Language use and ideologies in the performance of Irish traditional singing in Australia Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Macquarie University.

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Presentation on theme: "(c) Mahesh Radhakrishnan Language use and ideologies in the performance of Irish traditional singing in Australia Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Macquarie University."— Presentation transcript:

1 (c) Mahesh Radhakrishnan Language use and ideologies in the performance of Irish traditional singing in Australia Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Macquarie University Language & Social Inclusion, 12/10/2012

2 Irish language situation Before 17 th C: Irish language (Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Gaeilge) dominant in Ireland 17 th C: English began to supercede it (Hindley 1991). Late 17th-late 18 th C: Gaelic revival of language and artistic traditions in waves. Last wave closely tied with Irish nationalism (O'Laoire 2005; O'Reilly 2001:79). 20 th C: Irish language still declining. Irish independence- policy of compulsory Irish language education. Despite pronouncements of language death (e.g. Hindley 1991), Irish is classified as safe according to institutional support and demographic factors (McCloskey 2001).

3 Irish traditional singing Important part of Irish language community, Irish cultural scene and folk music scene. SessionsStaged concerts ConversationBanter Image from Image adapted from youtube video of Sydney Gaelic Club Irish session

4 Banter -Regional Provenance (I) -Name of Song (I) -Explanation (E)

5 Banter Oftentimes there are people in the audience who are learning the language and its to sort of throw a little bit to them. Weve also found it sort of interesting too that if you sort of throw it yknow throw out the odd commentary in Irish that there are people there who have the language and you can you can pick them because… you can see a response from them. Theyre always the ones that laugh at the right place... - Judy Pinder, singer, Interview, January 2012.

6 Irish in Australian history Irish prevalent in 19 th C Australia but at the margins (Lonergan 2003:154) and viewed with suspicion by authorities (O'Farrell 2000:27). Possible Irish words in AusE- waddy, brumby, hard yakka, bludger (Lonergan 2003).

7 Linguistic diversity & social inclusion of Irish Challenge to assumed Anglo-Celtic cultural homogeneity in Australia and the monolingual mindset (Clyne 2005). Otherness of Irish- expression of multicultural identity. Irish as a LOTE- Mossie Scanlon, singer. Shift from traditional essentialising language ideologies towards pluralistic perspectives embracing hybridity (Cronin 2005; McCloskey 2001). Resistance to English language hegemony

8 An Cailín Gaelach, The Irish girl Old love song written before the Gaelic revival telling of unrequited love most probably due to difference in status between protagonists. Status difference through language barrier. Song reframed in relation to revivalist concerns with Irish language loss.

9 An Cailín Gaelach, The Irish girl Deireann an cailín - 'Pray sir and let me be' leis. Ní thuigeann sí é. Is strainséar é ina thír féin. Tá air an Bhéarla a úsáid. Cuireann sé brón orm. Transl. The girl said Pray sir and let me be to him. She did not understand him. She is a stranger in her own land. She uses English. That makes me sad.) - Marc O'Conaill, , March 2012.

10 An Cailín Gaelach, The Irish girl

11 now…some peoples have said that all cats are grey in the dark, but … it was also indicative of their different stations in life as well. Banter before song

12 An Cailín Gaelach, The Irish girl Song lyrics- Verse 1 and 2

13 An Cailín Gaelach, The Irish girl Song lyrics- Verse 3 and 4

14 Conclusions Irish traditional singing in contemporary contexts provides interesting perspectives on language use and language ideologies. The use of Irish spills over from song repertoire into talk. Songs are framed through banter in staged performances.

15 References Clyne (2005). Australia's language potential. Kensington. UNSW Press. Cronin, M. (2005). Irish in the new century. Cois Life Teoranta. Hindley, R. (1991). The death of the Irish language: A qualified obituary. Routledge. Lonergan, D. (2003). An Irish-centric view of Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics (Vol. 23, No. 2, pp ). McCloskey, J. (2001). Voices silenced: Has Irish a future. Cois Life Teoranta. O'Farrell, P. (2000). The Irish in Australia: 1788 to the present. University of Notre Dame Press. O'Laoire, L. (2005). Irish music. In J. Cleary & C. Connolly (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Modern Irish Culture (pp ). London. Cambridge Univ Press. O'Reilly, C. C. (2001). Irish Language, Irish Identity: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the European Union. In C. O'Reilly (Ed.), Language, ethnicity, and the state (Vol. 1, pp ). Basingstoke. Palgrave. Radhakrishnan, M. (2012). Irish traditional singing and South Indian Carnatic singing: Performance, language choice and language ideologies, and musicolinguistic artistry (PhD thesis, currently under examination).

16 References Web image sources: and Youtube of Sydney Gaelic Club Irish session uploaded by Lyaksej on 4/03/2011. Images accessed 11/10/12.http://psam.jalbum.net/Triantan/


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