The History of Language is a Story of Possesssion and Dispossession

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‘The history of language is often a story of possession and dispossession, territorial struggle and the establishment or imposition of a culture’ (Paulin 1987: 178).

‘In the simplest definition language contact is the use of more than one language in the same place at the same time’ (Thomason 2001: 1). Language contact arises when two or more languages interact closely, thus allowing each language to have an effect on one other (Weinreich 1968: 4). Hiberno-English, as one of the oldest variations of English, expresses various properties which are distinctive to Ireland. It also conveys interesting attributes in utilizing the contrasts within English in general. A great deal of these attributes demonstrate the interacting impact of colonization from Scotland and England, giving rise to components from British dialects, in addition to components now deemed to be no longer in use in British English and the shift of components from the Irish language. In association with the linguistic results of language contact being predictable from patterns of social interaction between speakers of different languages, Irish and English are not considered to be predictable on any level. The English being expressed in Ireland nowadays is an outcome from the impact of the interaction between both the Irish and English dialects. In this paper I will discuss language contact in relation to Hiberno-English............ Hiberno-English, also frequently described as Irish English, is the

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