Yola
Posted: 24 June 2011 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]
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On my wikiwalk I came across this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yola_language

Nevereveneardofit.

Yola is an extinct West Germanic language formerly spoken in Ireland. A branch of Middle English, it evolved separately among the English (known as the Old English) who followed the Norman barons Strongbow and Robert Fitzstephen to eastern Ireland in 1169.

The dialect, which in the period before its extinction was known as “Yola”, meaning “old”, evolved separately from the mainstream of English. Perhaps as a result of the geographic isolation and predominately rural character of the communities where it was spoken, Yola seems to have changed little down the centuries from when it first arrived in Ireland, apart from assimilating many Irish words. By the early 19th century, it was distinctly different from English spoken elsewhere.

The language continued to be spoken in south County Wexford until the early to mid-19th century when it was gradually replaced with modern Hiberno-English. By the mid 19th century, the language was only spoken in remote parts of Forth, County Wexford. It was succumbing to the same set of social, political and economic processes and policies which were extinguishing the Irish language and by the end of that century little remained of its unique linguistic heritage.

[...]

As in the Dutch language and south-western varieties of English, most voiceless fricatives in Yola became voiced. The Middle English vowels are well-preserved, with no evidence of the Great Vowel Shift [my bolding].

It’s a pity it didn’t hang on a few more decades, it would be interesting to hear recordings of it.

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Posted: 25 June 2011 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I was going to say I’d never heard of it either until I saw the footnote

O’Rahilly, T. F (1932). “The Accent in the English of South-east Wexford”. Irish Dialects Past and Present. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. pp. 94–98. Reprinted 1972 by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

As it happens, I bought that book in 1975 in Dublin, where I was studying Irish at the Institute for Advanced Studies, so I pulled my copy off the shelf and found the article, which I’d never read, presumably because it was about English rather than Irish.  It’s very interesting indeed; he writes about the Wexford dialect because it shows the same generalized end-stress (e.g., dineare [di-NAIR] ‘dinner,’ shilleen ‘shilling’) that you get in the southern dialects of Irish (e.g., dinneur [di-NAIR] ‘dinner,’ sicín ‘chicken’):

In either case its starting point was a nucleus of end-stressed words of Norman French origin. In Southern Irish it was doubtless in the mouths of bilingual (or trilingual) speakers of Anglo-Norman descent that the stress was first advanced in Irish words of native, or quasi-native, origin. The similar phenomenon which occurred in the English of S. Wexford was later in date, and resulted from “ the daily intercourse of the English and Irish inhabitants ” (to borrow a phrase of Stanyhurst’s), when the progress of Irish as a spoken language brought it more and more into contact with a population group which spoke a somewhat archaic variety of English. Already familiar with end-stressed words from their own dialect, these Wexford English-speakers were so influenced by the Irish spoken in their neighbourhood, and to some extent acquired by themselves, that they greatly extended the use of long stressed endings, especially by imitating Irish -ér (-eur) and -ín.

He has a great quote from Stanyhurst (1577):

In our days they have so acquainted themselves with the Irish as they have made a mingle-mangle or gallamaulfrey of both the languages, and have in such medley or checkerwise so crabbedly jumbled both togyther as commonly the inhabitants of the meaner sort speak neyther good English nor good Irishe.

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Posted: 25 June 2011 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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He has a great quote from Stanyhurst (1577):

In our days they have so acquainted themselves with the Irish as they have made a mingle-mangle or gallamaulfrey of both the languages, and have in such medley or checkerwise so crabbedly jumbled both togyther as commonly the inhabitants of the meaner sort speak neyther good English nor good Irishe.

ROFL ... he sounds a bit Unwinese himself.

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Posted: 25 June 2011 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Seeing the reference to recent English without the GVS reminded me of The Animated Canterbury Tales In Middle English. I caught the tail-end of this on television about two years ago, and found it very engaging. It was just (as the name suggests) a cartoon of some of the Canterbury Tales but it was read in some scholar’s best effort at Middle English pronunciation. It was a BBC production but I am not sure who made it (or why, really). Bit of fun I suppose.

edit: sadly, no one has thought to illegally put it on youtube for my benefit.

[ Edited: 25 June 2011 07:24 AM by OP Tipping ]
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