Manx English

Manx Vernacular English may be described as a variety originating as an ethno-regiolect peculiar to the Isle of Man. Today, Manx English is arguably an endangered variety typically spoken by older rural speakers of Manx descent. The variety is characterized by the frequent occurrence of characteristic phonological, lexical and grammatical features, the most elusive yet distinctive of which is intonation. Arguably the most striking of these features testify to the fact that Manx English is the product of a Gaelic language system and various varieties of English. The influx into the Island of non-Manx populations, exogamy, education and work off-Island, as well as the impact of the mass media, have in some ways reduced its use to the well-meaning tokenism of dialect recitations and competitions, particularly of the works of a handful of local vernacular writers such as T E Brown. All members of the local speech community are exposed to Standard English from an early age; some, including political figures, may practise code-switching for ideological reasons linked with nationalism and solidarity, or for humorous effect. Although Manx Vernacular English reflects the influence of Manx Gaelic, the current resurgence of the latter has not noticeably contributed to a comparable revival of Manx English.

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