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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: Scottish Gaelic
Author: Claire Nance
Author: Roibeard Maolalaigh
Linguistic Field: Phonetics; Phonology
Subject Language: Gaelic, Scottish
Abstract: Scottish Gaelic is a minority language of Scotland spoken by approximately 58,000 people, or 1% of the Scottish population (speaker numbers from the 2011 Census available in National Records of Scotland 2015). Here, we refer to the language as ‘Gaelic’, pronounced in British English as /ɡalɪk/, as is customary within the Gaelic-speaking community. In Gaelic, the language is referred to as Gàidhlig /kaːlɪc/. Gaelic is a Celtic language, closely related to Irish (MacAulay 1992, Ní Chasaide 1999, Gillies 2009). Although Gaelic was widely spoken across much of Scotland in medieval times (Withers 1984, Clancy 2009), the language has recently declined in traditional areas such as the western seaboard and western islands of Scotland and is now considered ‘definitely endangered’ by UNESCO classification (Moseley 2010). Analysis of the location of Gaelic speakers in Scotland and maps from the most recent Census in 2011 can be found in National Records of Scotland (2015). Figure 1 shows the location of Gaelic speakers in Scotland as a percentage of the inhabitants aged over three in each Civil Parish who reported being able to speak Gaelic in the 2011 Census.

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This article appears IN Journal of the International Phonetic Association Vol. 51, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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