Dialect Death Or A New Dawn?

NEWS FROM THE MANNIN BRANCH CELTIC LEAGUE

I saw this link to a story about Anglo-Manx dialect which seems to be undergoing something of a cultural renaissance of late – well it’s in the news a bit more. Anyway here’s the link:

https://www.iomtoday.co.im/…/academic-s-study-into-health-of…

Dialect used to be the stamping ground of TE Brown recitations with the odd funny advert on the Radio. Some of my friends who were involved in the Manx language revival in the 1970s positively loathed it but it seems it’s now in store for some TLC as its fate and origins are picked over.

I’m all for academic endeavour and good luck to the guy mentioned in the article but I would suggest four years research is a tad lengthy.

Personally a quick skim through ‘A Vocabulary of the Anglo-Manx Dialect’ (A W Moore in cooperation with Sophia Morrison and Edmund Goodwin) and then a couple of hours respectively in the supermarket queue and the pub would indicate that Dialect is in a parlous if not terminal state.

Let’s be blunt by the late 1950s the Manx population had declined to less than 50,000 and from personal memory not that many of them were going around like bit players from a T E Brown recitation. Since that time the population has swelled by about 70% bringing peoples from a range of backgrounds and cultures.

In the face of that scale of inward migration I can’t see dialect having weathered the storm in other than few hardy exponents. Could it survive with no natural linguistic environment?

Even 100 years ago Anglo-Manx dialect was having a tough time. Sophia Morrison (pictured) set out to ensure the publication of A W Moore’s work following his failure to publish before his death. Then she herself died (in January 1917) while the task was in hand. The work was eventually published by her sister Louisa in 1924.

I feel sure that Sophia Morrison (whose work was commemorated last year at a ceremony organised by Mec Vannin and the Celtic League) would be impressed that 100 years after her death her last project still attracts interest.

Photo: Sophia Morrison commemoration November 2015 – coincidentally Stewart Bennett (background) has a strong natural Manx accent and is also a fluent speaker of Manx Gaelic. Asked to describe his accent for a clip broadcast in the BBC Voices series he described it as ‘Broad Peel Manx’ (link here):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/…/…/manx-stjohns-bennett-stewart.shtml…

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Mannin Branch Celtic League

19/03/16

THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries including our own Mannin branch. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

The link for the main web pages is below:

https://celticleague.net

Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
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