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Grant number like: FT-57739-10

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Nicholas Wolf
Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA 23284-9005)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products][Prizes]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010

Hidden Community: A Social History of the Irish Language and its Speakers, 1800-1870

Scholars have used the expression "hidden Ireland" to refer to the Irish-speaking populations of the 19th century, a description that arises from the near-invisibility of this community both to the increasingly English-speaking society of the time and to modern historians as well. Put simply, there have been few attempts to bridge the gap between history, which tends to treat language as an addendum to culture, and fields like sociolinguistics, which recognize language contact as a varied social phenomenon that contribute to how humans conceive of class, gender, and ethnicity. Ireland thus presents an extraordinary case study in recovering the history of linguistic heterogeneity and minority languages. My proposed project aims to advance preliminary findings in Irish- and English-language historical sources that suggest the continued vitality of the Irish language in early nineteenth-century political and religious spheres despite a context of decline.