Language in Society
Ó Riagáin has produced the sort of book that many have wished for but doubted they would see: a scrupulously dispassionate, comprehensive account of Irish language fortunes since the late 19th century, and of Irish language policies and outcomes since independence in 1922. Reading his careful, low-key book, one could easily forget that he is writing from and about a country where language issues rouse strong feelings, and also about the single most discussed case of attempted language maintenance and restoration in our time. His meticulous study allows efforts on behalf of Irish to be seen, appropriately, within a broad general framework of national development, in which the effectiveness of language policies is dependent in good part on their fit or lack of fit with the economic and social conditions of a given period.
© 1999 by Cambridge University Press. Available on publisher's site at http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0047404599321047.
Dorian, Nancy C. Review of Language Policy and Social Reproduction: Ireland 1893-1993, by Padraig Ó Riagáin. Language in Society 28, no. 1 (1999): 127-130.