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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Emic and essentialist perspectives on Gaelic heritage: New speakers, language policy, and cultural identity in Nova Scotia and Scotland
Author: Stuart Dunmore
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Gaelic, Scottish
Abstract: The concept of the ‘new speaker’ has gained currency in the sociolinguistics of minority languages in the past decade, referring to individuals who have acquired an additional language outside of the home and who make frequent use of it in the course of their daily lives. Policymakers and language advocates in both Scotland and Canada make frequent reference to the role that new speakers may play in the future of the Gaelic language on both sides of the Atlantic, and Gaelic language teaching of various kinds has been prioritised by policymakers as a mechanism for revitalising the language. This article examines reflexes of this policy in the two countries, juxtaposing the ongoing fragility of Gaelic communities with new speaker discourses around heritage, identity, and language learning motivations. In particular, I consider Nova Scotian new speakers’ sense of identity as ‘Gaels’, an ethnonym largely avoided or problematised by Scottish new speakers. (Ethnolinguistic identity, heritage, language revitalisation, new speakers)*


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 50, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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