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Abstract

Standard Irish is the outcome of language planning and as such it significantly diverges from the three main spoken dialects of the language (or traditional Gaeltacht varieties) that provided the basis for its creation. It is also expected to differ, in its codified form, from the way it is actually employed within the small, usually urban communities of bilinguals who employ standard Irish and not some form of Gaeltacht Irish as a second language. The reason why such difference is expected is that the language planners codified as part of the standard many complex structures that had already been abandoned in the spoken dialects, basing their reconstruction on historicity rather than actual usage (especially as the actual usages were far from uniform). In this article, which presents part of the work involved in my currently ongoing research, some such complexities are presented which pertain to grammatical gender.

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