Constructingthe Language: Synge’s IdiolectWithout a doubt one of the most prominent characteristicsof J. M.
Synge’s work is his literary choice of employing Irish myths and talesin his plays. Nevertheless it is the development of his very specific jargon, thatthat distinguishes his plays and raises issues of political, social andcultural impact. J. M.
Synge’s striking language is in fact amosaic consisting of Gaelic words and rhythms, and English. He claims that in”writing the Playboy of the Western World (he) has used one or two wordsonly that (he) has not heard among the country people of Ireland or spoken inhis own nursery before (he) could read the newspapers” (Armstrong, 1996,p.71) The use of those “one or two words” was enoughto disrupt the colonizer’s language andcreate a neo-Gaelic linguistic tradition. The International Dialects of English Archives(IDEA), offers a list of list of Gaelic words that Synge used in the Playboy of the Western World. The incorporationof such words enhanced the idea that the play was in fact site/nation -specificand aiming directly towards the conscience of the Irish audience that could easilyand fully perceive the meaning and the connotations of such words. To begin with Synge performs a literary mapping of the Irish territories.
His characters. Words function as map markers and the Playboy’s characters drawthe lines from Connaught (Did you never hear tell of the skulls they have inthe city of Dublin, ranged out like blue jugs in a cabin of Connaught” (Armstrong, 1996, p112) to Achill, an islandof the western coast and Carrowmore, a town in Northen Mayo Country. Yet the relation to English is quite uncanny: ???given the fact the play resembles to a translation from Irish to English,maintaining the original syntax, punctuation and subsequently intonation. Wecannot but argue that the Irish spectator was listening to new version ofEnglish which was in its very essence closer to Irish.