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  1. #1
    discentes discentes is offline

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    Accent, class and society in Dublin

    I've always found linguistics and accents to be an interesting field of study, particularly in relation to what it tells us about the speaker and society at large. I read an interesting piece in a blog called 'dialect blog':

    Dialect Blog was launched in 2011 as a place for hobbyists, actors, linguists and curiosity-seekers to learn about and discuss the dialects of the English language.
    In relation to the variation in accent in Dublin:

    Dublin: A Tale of Two Accents | Dialect Blog

    The author compares a 'suburban' accent in Drumcondra's Aiden Gillen to Damian Dempsey's accent. The author comes to the following conclusion(s):

    It’s a world of difference. Suddenly we’re talking about an accent as inscrutable to outsiders as Glaswegian. Dempsey speaks with a “cramped” vowel system that is so unusual it’s hard to even analyze. Notice the pronunciation of “wiser” as IPA [wəizə] (sounds a bit like “woyzer”). This is a major dividing line between the working- and middle-class accents. This dialect is so different from Gillen’s that they might as well be on opposite sides of the world. And yet both are Dubliners.

    So what is going on here? Well, according to Raymond Hickey, something of an expert in the field of Irish dialect study, Dublin is heir to two distinct linguistic traditions. The first is the Working-Class Dublin accent, which harks back to the earliest days of modern English. The other tradition is that of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy which emerged in the city in the 18th and 19th Centuries. One dialect was largely preserved up to the present day; the other morphed into the “suburban” dialect we hear among most middle-class Dubliners.

    I am not versed enough in the history of the city to offer any commentary on why Dublin remains so divided in terms of dialect. I am a bit suspicious, however, when people of different backgrounds speak with wildly different accents in the same city. It’s an indicator of an educational and societal chasm that has not being bridged.
    So, what do the posters of P.ie think? Is the wide variation of accent in Dublin indicative of social inequality/isolation? Or do you even accept the author's premise? I'm not sure the variation is any wider than say RP in London and what is heard on Eastenders.

    The Author has a blog post on supraregional Hiberno-English:

    Supraregional Irish English | Dialect Blog

    Which is relatively interesting - perhaps Gillen's accent fits better into such a 'prestige' accent category?
    Last edited by discentes; 16th December 2013 at 01:50 PM.
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  2. #2
    greenbacks greenbacks is offline

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    There was a similarly fascinating thread on this recently. Loved what the expert had to say below.

    A leading expert on language, diction and vocabulary believes that the 'affected D4' accent, referring to the distinct pronunciation of people on the 'DART line' will soon disappear.

    ...

    "This absurdly affected speech will probably disappear in the aftermath of the financial turmoil," he explained on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One.


    "The D4 accent is connected with wealth, so if you're rich enough, you can pretend to be really rich through your accent.
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  3. #3
    discentes discentes is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenbacks View Post
    There was a similarly fascinating thread on this recently. Loved what the expert had to say below.
    I'm never quite sure what the D4 accent is. If we're taking about a KPMG girl accent, I find it hard to believe on the basis that there's an entire generation of (mainly) girls and women who speak with the accent.

    Then again, I'm not sure if the above accent is a 'D4' one as it's easily identifiable to on particular school and probably too narrow. I'm open to hearing examples of what a D4 accent is.
    Last edited by discentes; 16th December 2013 at 02:04 PM.
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  4. #4
    John Deere 5820 John Deere 5820 is offline
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    Ye should heard some of the bull************************ that goes on down the country about big houses and small houses , people who are considered nice or rough, the car you drive, how many houses you own, how much land you have, your family etc etc etc
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  5. #5
    ruserious ruserious is offline
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    C'mere la, yer only all a bunch of Langers like.
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  6. #6
    Spirit Of Newgrange Spirit Of Newgrange is offline
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    Whatever about your sociology academic effete tautologies, when one transcends the philosophical and ethnographic musings it all boils down to one thing...."A knacker is a knacker" , even if he is Taoiseach.
    .
    "here Anto, would ya look at da state of yer man !!!"
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  7. #7
    greenbacks greenbacks is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by discentes View Post
    I'm never quite sure what the D4 accent is. If we're taking about KPMG accent girl ([Original Video] - Drunk Rich Irish Girl Ranting "MY DADDY WORKS FOR KPMG" - Videos - MetaTube) I found it hard to believe on the basis that there's an entire generation of (mainly) girls and women who speak with the accent.

    Then again, I'm not sure if the above accent is a 'D4' one as it's easily identifiable to on particular school and probably too narrow. I'm open to hearing examples of what a D4 accent is.
    One thing that drives me mad is country folk trying to emulate that accent. I have one guy from longford in college who ends every sentence with 'like'. "I love that place for coffee like", " The bus was late again like". It is a horrendous accent and that girl on the video was plain embarrassing and rude. Those lads weren't much better either.
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  8. #8
    CookieMonster CookieMonster is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by discentes View Post
    I'm never quite sure what the D4 accent is. If we're taking about KPMG accent girl ([Original Video] - Drunk Rich Irish Girl Ranting "MY DADDY WORKS FOR KPMG" - Videos - MetaTube) I found it hard to believe on the basis that there's an entire generation of (mainly) girls and women who speak with the accent.
    I speak "quite well" as my granny puts it. But, for the most part, I don't have an accent. I went to Uni and lived in South Dublin and was always perplexes on the accent (more of a speech impediment) some people had there. But I recall coming across it long before the rise of the Celtic tiger. I remember one day, and I am beginning to sound like TOB now, in primary school when a classmate said something to me, I didn't understand and she repeated it... eventually the teacher clarified that this poor girl (who, to the best of my knowledge didn't have an actual speech impediment) was trying to say "oven" but has bastardised it so badly it sounded like "iiven".

    I'm not sure it has anything to do with class, among my friends and commentaries none of their parents had the same ludicrous affected accent their children seemed to be afflicted with, I think it was just perception and peer pressure.
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  9. #9
    Seanie Lemass Seanie Lemass is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Deere 5820 View Post
    Ye should heard some of the bull************************ that goes on down the country about big houses and small houses , people who are considered nice or rough, the car you drive, how many houses you own, how much land you have, your family etc etc etc


    Very true JD. I was in a hotel in KIlkenny one time and there was the most obnoxious shower of brats who spend the night roaring about their apartments and drinking toasts to the "Brennans of Castlecomer" and such like. I like to think they all lost their bolllix in the crash
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  10. #10
    discentes discentes is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruserious View Post
    C'mere la, yer only all a bunch of Langers like.
    Cork too, btw. The second link has a clip of JRM's supraregional accent. Britain has similar with RP, but I can't imagine as scenario in America where two people who grow up in the same area and work in the same area etc., end up with accent's as wildly different as JRM and Cillian Murphy:

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