Irish Travellers' Shelta - A Future Language or a Future for the Language
Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2.0, University of Potsdam (Anglistik/Amerikanistik), language: English, abstract: Around 86.000 Irish Travellers live all over the world and define themselves by an unusual and unique lifestyle. They see themselves as a distinct ethnic group that lives within settled society. This view is underlined by a language that is only spoken amongst the members of the travelling community. Shelta - a language which strongly withholds the grip of linguistic researchers until today and which also protects its speakers and the community's identity from non-acceptance and feelings of inferiority. In advance I have to make clear that many - though interesting - but conflicting assumptions have been made on Irish Travellers and have yet to be proven. Not only more research has to be done in order to discover the roots of Travellers and their language, but also a way has to be found to make it possible for Irish Travellers to feel like a part of the society they live in. In my paper I will briefly introduce the most important issues on Irish Travellers, go more into detail concerning the use and the structure of Shelta, and discuss the assumptions on its origin and value.
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