The Ideological Construction of Boundaries Between Speakers, and Their Varieties

  • Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin


It is covert, hidden ideologies that are the real determinants of language practices and sociolinguistic vitality. The research in this volume uncovers a wide variety of often concealed, sometimes paradoxical, always complex, and competing ideologies that surround the ways new speakers of minority languages position themselves in relation to their target language and its established speakers. This chapter argues that hidden ideologies become increasingly overt as speakers take stances on linguistic ownership and authenticity, constructing or breaking boundaries in response to the views and practices of other speakers, or indeed in response to policy makers and researchers. It is argued that minority language speakers have multiple linguistic identities, functioning in diverse, often overlapping communities of practice, perhaps not reversing language shift but taking minoritised languages on new journeys.


Language ideology Authenticity Speech community Language rights Language policy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Culture and CommunicationUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

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