The current website – Discover Irish – is intended as a resource for anyone interested the Irish language. This includes students at various levels, colleagues from linguistics outside Ireland who wish to find out more about Irish and any other individuals who have an interest in language and in the Irish language in particular.
Apart from general information on the Irish language and the cultural context in which it arose and is currently embedded, there is a special focus in this website on the dialects of Irish and the different pronunciations of the language which they represent. There would seem to be a definite need for a linguistic guide to the dialects because textbooks on the Irish language rarely if ever give any advice about how the language is pronounced in the different Irish-speaking regions. The reason for this is that there are different pronunciations in different parts of the country but none is regarded as the standard. In this website the issue of varying pronunciations is given special attention and many sound files have been included to illustrate realisations in the diverse dialects of Irish still spoken today.
The material in this website is organised into sections, each of which corresponds to a branch in the tree on the left. Each branch then leads to a series of options with texts relevant to the topics in question.
A further means of accessing information is to go to the list of themes and choose a topic there. This list is offers specific information on a particular aspect of Irish. The list of themes can be reached by clicking on the button Theme list at the top of a text window
A companion website to the current one and one which is concerned exclusively with the pronunciation of Irish is also available. It contains much information on the phonology and phonetics of Irish with many sound files illustrating important points about the sound system of the language.It can be accessed via the following link:
Fuaimeanna na Gaeilge / The Sounds of Irish
The information on the present website has been deposited here so that users can access information on Irish with maximum ease in the hope that this will heighten their interest in and improve their knowledge of the language. The material here, the texts, the timelines, the galleries, the bibliographies, etc. have been compiled by the author of this website, Raymond Hickey, and if you use this data for your own work – term essays, publications, presentations or whatever – then you are asked to acknowledge this accordingly.
General Linguistics and Varieties of English
Department of Anglophone Studies
University of Duisburg and Essen