Alan J. Bliss

Life
English-born philologist in UCD; lived at Bray; a special issue of the Irish University Review was devoted to him in 1990.

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Works
A Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases in Current English (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul [1966]), ix, 389pp.; Spoken English in Ireland 1600-1740 (Dolmen Press 1979) [see details].

Miscellaneous, ‘English in the South of Ireland’, in Language in the British Isles, ed. Peter Trudgill (Cambridge UP 1984); ‘Languages in Contact: some problems of Hiberno-English’, in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 72, sect. C, No.3 [q.d.], pp.68-69. [incls. discussion of Carleton’s dialect orthography, as infra]; ‘The Language of Synge’, in J. M. Synge Centenary Papers 1971, ed. Maurice Harmon (Dolmen 1972) [infra].

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Bibliographical details
Alan Bliss, Spoken English in Ireland 1600-1740: Twenty-seven Representative Texts Assembled & Analysed by Alan Bliss, Being the Ninth Volume of Irish Writings from the Age of Swift (Dublin: Cadenus Press MCMLXXIX [1979]), 381pp., ill., front. [woodcuts of Irishmen and women from Speed's map The Kingdom of Irland, 1610; folding map as end-paper showing counties and the regions of the dialects of Fingall, Forth and Bargy], et al.

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Criticism
T. P. Dolan, ed., Irish University Review [Special Alan Bliss Issue], 20, 1 (Spring 1990).

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Quotations
Carleton’s spellings: ‘It is a curious fact that the standardisation of a “wrong” vowel in modern Hiberno-English seems always to involve the substitution of a front for a back vowel, never the reverse, and it is difficult to conjecture why this should be so. [Discusses instances of substitution using phonetic script.] In [William] Carleton these sounds are rendered in the uncorrected beginning of the 1st edition (and sometimes later) “wan”, “beyant”, “crass” [for one, beyond, and cross]. Not is usually contracted to “n’t” ([as in] “wasn’t)” but is “not” if it appears [as a single word]. [Phonetic because] gives one of Carleton’s ambiguous spellings “bekase” which looks to the English eye as if it should rhyme with “case” rather than with “has”.’ (‘Languages in Contact: some problems of Hiberno-English’, in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 72, sect. C, No.3 [q.d.], pp.68-69; quoted in Barbara Hayley, Carleton’s Traits and Stories and the Nineteenth-Century Anglo-Irish Tradition, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1983, p.400 [n.4.].

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The Language of Synge’: ‘The peculiarities of present day Anglo-Irish stem from the exceptional political and social conditions of eighteenth- and nineteen-century Ireland. The only speakers of Standard English were the landed classes […]. The Irish were taught their English from people of their own race, whose English was itself removed from each other and had been learnt in part from books […] Because they learnt from each other not only were the archaisms of seventeenth-century English preserved and propagated, but the influence of the Irish language on on Anglo-Irish speech was cumilative; even in those areas where Irish has long ceased to be spoken, its influence on pronunciation, on vocabulary, and above all on syntax, is paramount.’ (In Maurice Harmon, ed., J. M. Synge Centenary Papers 1971, Dolmen 1972, pp.35-36; cited in Nicole Pepinster Greene, ‘Dialect and Social Identity in The Real Charlotte’, in New Hibernian Review, 4, 1, Spring 2000, p.125.)

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