"Múin Béarla do na Leanbháin" ('Teach the Children English'): Migration as a Prism for Viewing Ethnolinguistic Vitality in Northern Ireland View Homepage


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

2014-2016

FUNDING AMOUNT

202114 GBP

ABSTRACT

A majority of research on language in Northern Ireland (NI) has focused on deepening our understanding of the history and contemporary diversity of the languages and dialects spoken by the two major ethnic groups (Roman Catholics and Protestants). This scholarly focus reflects aspects of the social conflict endured by the NI population for much of the twentieth century, and heated debates have surrounded the linguistic heritages of these communities (respectively, Irish Gaelic and Ulster Scots). The recent Peace Process has, on the one hand, ensured greater protection for Irish and Ulster Scots, and, on the other, has made NI more attractive to economic migrants. This has resulted in unprecedented inward migration (particularly from the new EU countries) so that ethnic minorities in the region (and the languages they speak) have become increasingly audible and visible. This has led to new sources of tension between certain sectors of the traditional NI populations (particularly young, working-class males) and the new arrivals. Reports in the media following racist attacks have, for instance, proclaimed that these ethnic minorities 'have become the new victims in Northern NI's post-conflict society' (See Visual Evidence Attachment, p.1 (A)-(E)). This project seeks to understand better the socio-cultural and linguistic impact on NI of its changing population. Another important objective is to compare the experiences of contemporary migrants to NI with those of the NI Diaspora, people who themselves fled abroad in response to historical conflicts, famine and economic depression within the region. By providing insights into the problems with integration experienced by previous generations of migrants from the ethnic majority communities, the lives of future migrants to NI can be improved. The proposal is supported in this endeavour by a research network of national scholars that the PI would lead, its members having interests in bilingualism and social justice. The project will also collaborate with two partners based in Northern Ireland: the Ultach Trust, and the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, both of which have extensive experience of engaging the wider public. Their mission is to ensure that NI becomes an informed community, confidently and creatively engaged with all aspects of the diverse cultures and languages that the region now supports. The project would also benefit from knowledge exchange activities that the PI will lead involving teachers and young people from primary and post-primary education. The research will also support two linguistic investigations: (i) An investigation of historical archival data that will capitalize on considerable recent research council investment in the digitisation of emigrant letters and personal narratives of migration and return, which the PI would lead and (ii) An investigation of new interviews conducted as part of the planned proposal amongst groups of young people drawn from different social, ethnic and geographic backgrounds, which the RA would lead. This study will draw parallels between similar research projects conducted in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland so that comparisons can be made which are both methodological and theoretical in orientation. These two investigations will also be supported by research networks led by the PI that are both international and cross-disciplinary in nature and will result in collaborative outputs including conferences and publications. More... »

URL

http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/project/FD7620EA-CE41-4952-9D6C-367E9CBE1D76

Related SciGraph Publications

  • 2016. Migration Databases as Impact Tools in the Education and Heritage Sectors in CREATING AND DIGITIZING LANGUAGE CORPORA
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