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Languages of Ireland I: Irish

Ailbhe Ní Chasaide, Elaine Uí Dhonnchadha, Denise O’Leary, Jeff Kallen, John Harris, Pádraig Ó Ríagáin, Martine Smith, Clothra Ní Cholmáin

Considerable research activity in the School focuses on Irish.

Leading research on Irish Language teaching and assessment on bilingualism and Irish and on language policy and language planning has played a pivotal role in policy and planning on Irish over the years.

In An tIonad do Theicneolaíocht Urlabhra agus Teangeolaíochta na Gaeilge (ITUT) (The Centre for Speech and Language Technology for Irish), innovative linguistic and phonetic research on Irish has been carried out in the areas of computational morphology and syntax and lexicography and on the intonation of Irish dialects. Research has also been done on the acquisition of Irish Speech technology and linguistic resources are also being developed, including the first text-to-speech synthesiser for Irish, now available at

Future interdisciplinary research collaborations might, for example, link theoretical and technological research to clinical and pedagogical applications. For example, linguistic analyses provide a basis for the development of standardised speech and language assessment materials for Irish native speakers; the Irish synthesis system could be developed to provide speech communication aids for the Irish speaking children and adults, as well as to provide interactive educational tools for those with learning difficulties, or more widely for use in Irish language pedagogy.

College’s Strategic plan: This research theme furthers College’s stated aim ‘to raise Trinity’s profile as a centre or academic and cultural activity in the Irish Language’ (TCD Strategic Plan, Section 5.7), and it involves wide-ranging engagement and outreach with Irish society. Many aspects relate to College’s Digital Arts and Humanities programme.