New Speakers, Familiar Concepts?

  • Noel P. Ó Murchadha
  • Michael Hornsby
  • Cassie Smith-Christmas
  • Máiréad Moriarty


This chapter introduces the reader to the concept of the new speaker. The new speaker paradigm is presented firstly as a development on previous paradigms that often considered so-called non-native speech and its users within a deficit framework, and which did not fully acknowledge the full sociolinguistic competence of non-traditional language users. The late modern sociolinguistic landscape in which new speakers function is briefly sketched before focusing on the immediacy associated with research on new speakers of minority languages. Following a discussion of the role of new speakers for the continued vitality of minority languages, the structure of the volume is outlined.


New speaker Native speaker Minority languages Language shift and maintenance 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noel P. Ó Murchadha
    • 1
  • Michael Hornsby
    • 2
  • Cassie Smith-Christmas
    • 3
  • Máiréad Moriarty
    • 4
  1. 1.School of EducationTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Centre for Celtic Studies, Faculty of EnglishUniwersytet im. Adama MickiewiczaPoznańPoland
  3. 3.School of Culture and CommunicationUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  4. 4.School of Modern Languages and Applied LinguisticsUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

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