Advertisement

New Gaelic Speakers, New Gaels? Ideologies and Ethnolinguistic Continuity in Contemporary Scotland

  • Stuart Dunmore
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter provides an analysis of language ideologies and identities among four adult new speakers of Gaelic who acquired the language through Gaelic-medium education (GME). While GME occupies a prominent position in contemporary language policy, long-term outcomes of immersion education have rarely been examined. New speakers constitute a marked minority among the sample of former-GME students (N = 4/46) I interviewed, and their status as outliers from the overall sociolinguistic picture marks them out as deserving of greater analytic focus. Using an ‘ethnography of speaking’ methodology, I demonstrate that these new speakers’ functional fluency in Gaelic and constant use of the language at work seem not to be accompanied by a strong social identity in Gaelic, or regular use of the language at home, corroborating the view that essentialist conceptions of the language—identity nexus are inadequate.

Keywords

Language ideologies Gaelic Revitalisation Immersion education 

References

  1. Baker, C. (2011). Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (5th ed.). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  2. Bòrd na Gàidhlig. (2012). The National Gaelic Language Plan, 2012–2017. Inverness: Bòrd na Gàidhlig.Google Scholar
  3. Bòrd na Gàidhlig. (2014). Gaelic Education Helps Reverse Decline of the Gaelic Language. http://www.gaidhlig.org.uk/bord/en/news/article.php?ID=474. Accessed 09 July 2014.
  4. Boudreau, A., & Dubois, L. (2007). Français, Acadien, Acadjonne: Competing Discourses on Language Preservation Along the Shores of the Baie Sainte-Marie. In A. Duchêne & M. Heller (Eds.), Discourses of Endangerment: Ideology and Interest in the Defence of Languages (pp. 99–120). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  5. Bucholtz, M., & Hall, K. (2004). Language and Identity. In A. Duranti (Ed.), A Companion to Linguistic Anthropology. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  6. Cavanaugh, J. (2013). Language Ideologies and Language Attitudes. In P. Auer, J. Caro Reina, & G. Kaufmann (Eds.), Language Variation: European Perspectives IV. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  7. Duchêne, A., & Heller, M. (Eds.). (2007). Discourses of Endangerment: Ideology and Interest in the Defence of Languages. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  8. Duchêne, A., & Heller, M. (Eds.). (2012). Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Dunmore, S. S. (2015). Bilingual Life After School? Language Use, Ideologies and Attitudes Among Gaelic-Medium Educated Adults. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  10. Dunmore, S. S. (2016). Gàidheil, Goill agus Coimhearsnachd na Gàidhlig: Ideòlasan Cànain am measg Inbhich a Rinn FTMG. In W. McLeod (Ed.), Cànan agus Cultar: Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 8. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press.Google Scholar
  11. Edwards, J. R. (Ed.). (1984a). Linguistic Minorities, Policies and Pluralism. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Edwards, J. R. (1984b). Language, Diversity and Identity. In J. Edwards (Ed.), Linguistic Minorities, Policies and Pluralism. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  13. Edwards, J. R. (2009). Language and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Edwards, J. R. (2010a). Minority Languages and Group Identity: Cases and Categories. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Edwards, J. R. (2010b). Language Diversity in the Classroom. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  16. Edwards, J. R. (2013). Bilingualism and Multilingualism: Some Central Concepts. In T. K. Bhatia & W. C. Ritchie (Eds.), The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Fishman, J. A. (1991). Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  18. Fishman, J. A. (Ed.). (2001a). Can Threatened Languages Be Saved? Reversing Language Shift Revisited: A 21st Century Perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  19. Fishman, J. A. (2001b). From Theory to Practice (and Vice Versa): Review, Reconsideration, and Reiteration. In J. A. Fishman (Ed.), Can Threatened Languages Be Saved? Reversing Language Shift Revisited: A 21st Century Perspective (pp. 451–483). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  20. Fishman, J. A. (2013). Language Maintenance, Language Shift, and Reversing Language Shift. In T. K. Bhatia & W. C. Ritchie (Eds.), The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism (2nd ed., pp. 406–436). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  21. García, O. (2009). Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  22. Harley, B. (1994). After Immersion: Maintaining the Momentum. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 15(2/3), 229–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Heller, M. (2006). Linguistic Minorities and Modernity: A Sociolinguistic Ethnography (2nd ed.). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  24. Heller, M. (2010). Paths to Postnationalism: A Critical Ethnography of Language and Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Hodges, R. (2009). Welsh Language Use Among Young People in the Rhymney Valley. Contemporary Wales, 22(1), 16–35.Google Scholar
  26. Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations in Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach. London: Tavistock Publications.Google Scholar
  27. Jaffe, A. (1999). Ideologies in Action: Language Politics on Corsica. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jaffe, A. (2007a). Discourses of Endangerment: Contexts and Consequences of Essentializing Discourses. In A. Duchêne & M. Heller (Eds.), Discourses of Endangerment: Ideology and Interest in the Defence of Languages. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  29. Jaffe, A. (2007b). Minority Language Movements. In M. Heller (Ed.), Bilingualism: A Social Approach. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  30. Johnstone, R. (2001). Immersion in a Second or Additional Language at School: Evidence from International Research. Stirling: Scottish Centre for Teaching and Research.Google Scholar
  31. Kroskrity, P. V. (Ed.). (2000). Regimes of Language: Ideologies, Polities, and Identities. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.Google Scholar
  32. Kroskrity, P. V. (2004). Language Ideologies. In A. Duranti (Ed.), A Companion to Linguistic Anthropology. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  33. MacFarlane, A., & Wesche, M. (1995). Immersion Outcomes: Beyond Language Proficiency. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 51(2), 250–274.Google Scholar
  34. Makihara, M. (2010). Anthropology. In J. A. Fishman & O. García (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity: Disciplinary and Regional Perspectives (Vol. I, 2nd ed., pp. 32–48). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. McEwan-Fujita, E. (2008). Working 9-to-5 Gaelic: Speakers, Context and Ideologies of an Emerging Minority Language Register. In K. A. King, N. Schilling-Estes, L. Fogle, J. J. Lou, & S. Soukup (Eds.), Sustaining Linguistic Diversity: Endangered and Minority Languages and Varieties (pp. 81–93). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  36. McLeod, W., O’Rourke, B., & Dunmore, S. (2014). New Speakers of Gaelic in Edinburgh and Glasgow: Soillse Research Report. Sleat, Isle of Skye: Soillse.Google Scholar
  37. Murtagh, L. (2003). Retention and Attrition of Irish as a Second Language. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Groningen.Google Scholar
  38. National Records of Scotland. (2013). Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census—Key Results on Population, Ethnicity, Identity, Language, Religion, Health, Housing and Accommodation in Scotland—Release 2A. www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk /documents /censusresults/release2a/StatsBulletin2A.pdf. Accessed 26 Sept 2013.
  39. Nettle, D., & Romaine, S. (2000). Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Ochs, E. (1979). Transcription as Theory. In E. Ochs & B. B. Schiefflin (Eds.), Developmental Pragmatics. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  41. Pujolar, J., & Gonzàlez, I. (2013). Linguistic ‘Mudes’ and the De-Ethnicization of Language Choice in Catalonia. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 16(2), 138–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Romaine, S. (2000). Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Romaine, S. (2006). Planning for the Survival of Linguistic Diversity. Language Policy, 5(4), 441–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Scottish Government. (2014). Consultation Paper on a Gaelic Medium Education Bill. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/07/5849. Accessed 08 Aug 2014.Google Scholar
  45. Silverstein, M. (1979). Language Structure and Linguistic Ideology. In R. Cline, W. Hanks, & C. Hofbauer (Eds.), The Elements: A Parasession on Linguistic Units and Levels (pp. 193–247). Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.Google Scholar
  46. Valdés, G., Gonzàlez, S. V., García, D. L., & Márquez, P. (2008). Heritage Languages and Ideologies of Language. In D. M. Brinton, O. Kagan, & S. Bauckus (Eds.), Heritage Language Education: A New Field Emerging (pp. 107–130). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  47. Woolard, K. A. (2011). Is There Linguistic Life After High School? Longitudinal Changes in the Bilingual Repertoire in Metropolitan Barcelona. Language in Society, 40(5), 617–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Dunmore
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Literatures, Languages and CulturesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations