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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses contact between English and other languages in the British Isles from the fifth century to the present. Census data and other evidence are examined to assess the impact of migrants on historical and contemporary English dialects in the Celtic regions and elsewhere. As regards the latter, these would include svarabhakti phenomena and fronting devices typical of the syntactic/discourse strategies commonly associated with Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Welsh. Consideration is also given to the extent to which Celtic Englishes retain relic features representing earlier stages of English. Of particular interest is the retention of historical /r/ post-vocalically as well as negative concord and the grammaticality of double modal constructions. There is also some discussion of linguistic innovations in dialects of the British Isles that have been brought about by more recent contacts with newer ethnic minority migrants in large urban areas of this region like Dublin and London.

Keywords: British Isles, Celtic, census, contact, dialect, ethnic minority, Irish, migrant, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh

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