Accessibility navigation


Byrne, A. ORCID: (2022) Irish. In: Radulescu, R. and Rikhardsdottir, S. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Medieval English Literature. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 88-97. ISBN 9780367186494

[img] Text - Accepted Version
· Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 June 2024.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.4324/9780429197390-9


Dialogue between Middle English and Irish takes two principal linguistic and literary forms. A body of writings in the Irish dialect of English (usually termed’ Hiberno-English’) were produced from the thirteenth century onwards. From the fifteenth century, a range of texts are translated from Middle English into the Irish language. In contrast to Wales, there is no evidence of translation in the other direction: from the local vernacular into English. In general, Hiberno-English literary culture has many points in common with that in England and similar Middle English authors and texts appear to have been copied and read in Ireland as in England. The translations from Middle English into Irish have a rather different profile. For Irish-speakers, Middle English seems to have functioned as a bridge to broader European culture, rather than as an area of interest in its own right. This chapter outlines the relationship between English and the other languages of medieval Ireland, both in everyday speech and in the books that survive from the period. It considers the ways in which Hiberno-English literary culture both reflects and diverges from textual patterns in England itself. Finally, it outlines the impact of English on medieval Irish writing, which primarily takes the form of literary translations into the Irish language.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies (GCMS)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:109589

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation