The Categories Describing the Community in Ethnic and Protonational Discourse in the Irish Language in the First Half of the 17th Century
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The Categories Describing the Community in Ethnic and Protonational Discourse in the Irish Language in the First Half of the 17th Century
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Feliks Levin 
Affiliation: Higher School of Economics
Address: Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Tudor and Stuart periods marked an epoch of great transformations in the history of Ireland which were reflected in the renewed terminological apparatus of the Irish language. Náision (nation) was one of the new concepts adopted in Irish. The paper examines the vocabulary of ethnic and protonational discourses in the texts created in the first half of the 17th century by Tadhg Ó Cianáin, Aodh Mac Cathmhaoil (Mac Aingil), and Geoffrey Keating and contextualizes the perceptions concerning ethnicity in the Irish-language environment. On the basis of the analysis of concepts náision, pobal, cíne, fine, aicme, and sliocht the author demonstrates that when the texts adopted external tradition of using the categories describing community, their supragentile potential actualized; when they used vernacular resources, more familiar gentile aspect of meanings persisted. In spite of endurance of gentilism in the Irish-language environment, the emergence of a new language of description signaled not only discursive acculturation of Irish intellectuals but also the process of territorialization.

Stuart Ireland, ethnicity, protonational discourse, linguistic adaptation, Geoffrey Keating
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