Language and accent
in Scottishness and Irishness in New Zealand since 1840
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An Irish accent remained a consistent identifier of Irishness in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The reproduction of accent continued to be a key component in New Zealand cinema for representing Irish migrants. Dymphna Lonergan points to connections between the Irish language and politics. Unlike depictions of Irish migrants in New Zealand cinema, however, a Scottish accent was not in early years emphasised for humorous reasons, and subtitles do not reflect the Scottish way of speaking English. By contrast with evidence about the Irish and Ulster Scots languages, more references appeared in sources utilised in the study of Scottish Gaelic being spoken in New Zealand. While Gaelic has attracted some attention by historians in studies of the Scots abroad, the Scots language has attracted little investigation. The Scots language also appeared in poetry in the ethnic press throughout the twentieth century.


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