[gle] Western isles northwest and southwest coasts; Galway, part of Mayo, Kerry, Donegal, Meath, Cork, and Waterford. Also in Canada, United Kingdom, United States. 72,000 in Ireland (2006 census). Less than 20,000 L1 speakers (Salminen 2007). Population total all countries: 106,210. Status: 6b (Threatened). Statutory language of national identity (1937, Constitution, Article 8(1)). Alternate Names: Erse, Gaeilge, Gaelic Irish Dialects: Connacht (Western Irish), Donegal (Northern Irish, Ulster), Munster-Leinster (Southern Irish). Classification: Indo-European, Celtic, Insular, Goidelic Comments: Taught as an official language in schools and encouraged by the government.
Irish Sign Language
[isg] Dublin and elsewhere. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Dialects: British Sign Language (BSL) [bfi] was formally introduced to Ireland in 1816, but references to signing go back much further in Irish history. Separate schools for boys and girls resulted in strong gender-based differences, but these have diminished with time. In 1846, the Catholic nuns who established St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls went to France, so contemporary Irish Sign Language includes aspects of nineteenth-century French Sign Language [fsl] as well as BSL, with influence from signed French, signed English, and gestural systems like cued speech. The name “Irish Sign Language” (ISL) came into common use following the publication of a dictionary of ISL in 1979 and establishment of the Irish Deaf Society in the mid 1980s. (Leeson 2012). Classification: Deaf sign language
[sth] Also in United Kingdom, United States. 6,000 in Ireland. Population total all countries: 86,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Cant, Gammon, Irish Traveler Cant, Sheldru, The Cant Dialects: Based largely on Irish [gle] with influence from an undocumented source. Classification: Mixed language, Irish-undocumented Comments: The secret language, or cryptolect, of Travellers in the British Isles. Not Gypsies.