CMLR Research Seminar: Users and shapers of Gaelic

This is a past event

The Centre for Modern Languages Research invites Dr Claire Nance from University of Lancaster to give a talk on 'The role of language professionals in minority language revitalisation: Users and shapers of Gaelic' as part of the centre's Research Seminar Series at the University of Aberdeen.


In this talk I will consider the language use of 'language professionals' and their role in the revitalisation of Gaelic. Official revitalisation measures in Scotland have led to the development of a middle class of workers, who use Gaelic as part of their jobs for example in broadcasting, publishing, education and language development (McEwan-Fujita 2008). Such speakers are well aware of their position as both users and developers of Gaelic as the language is expanded into new registers and contexts. Here, I examine the speech of these language professionals: are they developing new ways of speaking Gaelic to go with the developing sociolinguistic context? Or, do they conservatively retain traditional forms of the language? I will show that the answer to both these questions is 'Yes'! Through two analyses of language production from speakers in both lowland and highland areas, I will demonstrate that language professionals are a diverse workforce who have highly specific goals for their language use, with diverse outcomes. In the Discussion I explore how these highly motivated and highly educated users of Gaelic are driving the revitalisation movement, and simultaneously shaping the form of the language. 

McEwan-Fujita, E. (2008). Working '9 to 5' Gaelic: Speakers, context and ideology of an emerging minority language register. In K. King (Ed.) Sustaining linguistic diversity: Endangered and minority languages and language varieties. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 81–93. 

Hosted by
Centre for Modern Languages Research at the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture

This event will take place on MS Teams. Please click here to join. Please contact Professor Nadia Kiwan for any queries.

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