Commercialising the cúpla focal: New speakers, language ownership, and the promotion of Irish as a business resource

Brennan, S. and O'Rourke, B. (2019) Commercialising the cúpla focal: New speakers, language ownership, and the promotion of Irish as a business resource. Language in Society, 48(1), pp. 125-145. (doi:10.1017/S0047404518001148)

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Abstract

This article draws on ethnographic fieldwork in two Irish towns to examine the mobilisation of the Irish language as a resource for business by new speakers of Irish. We examine how local community-level Irish language advocacy organisations have implemented initiatives to specifically promote the use of Irish in business, primarily as visual commercial engagement with the language paired with the use of the cúpla focal. The article explores how new speakers of Irish understand what might be perceived as the tokenistic mobilisation of Irish and what value they invest in their efforts to use the cúpla focal. We explore tensions over language ownership that emerge as more fluent proprietors of ‘bilingual businesses’ position themselves in relation to the ‘newness’ of these speakers.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Rourke, Professor Bernadette
Authors: Brennan, S., and O'Rourke, B.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Hispanic Studies
Journal Name:Language in Society
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0047-4045
ISSN (Online):1469-8013
Published Online:16 October 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in Language in Society 48(1):125-145
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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