Like many languages across the globe, the Celtic languages today are experiencing varying degrees of minoritisation and revitalisation. The experience of the Celtic languages in the twenty-first century is characterised by language shift to English and French, but they have also been the focus of official and grassroots initiatives aimed at reinvigorating the minoritised languages. This modern reality is evident in the profile of contemporary users of the Celtic languages, in the type of variation that they practise, and in their views on Celtic language and society in the twenty-first century. In turn, this reality provides a challenge to preconceived ideas about what the Celtic languages are like and how they should be regarded and managed at local and global levels.
This book aims to shed light on some of the main issues facing the Celtic languages into the future and to showcase different approaches to studying such contexts. It presents contributions interested in explicating the modern condition of the Celtic languages. It engages with attitudinal support for the Celtic languages, modes of language transmission, choosing educational models in minority settings, pedagogical approaches for language learners and perceptions of linguistic practices. These issues are considered within the context of language shift and revitalisation in the Celtic languages.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Language, Culture and Curriculum.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Support, transmission, education and target varieties in the Celtic languages: an overview Noel Ó Murchadha and Bettina Migge
1. Celtic languages and sociolinguistics: a very brief overview of pertinent issues John Edwards
2. ‘Is it really for talking?’: the implications of associating a minority language with the school Cassie Smith-Christmas
3. Factors influencing the likelihood of choice of Gaelic-medium primary education in Scotland: results from a national public survey Fiona O’Hanlon and Lindsay Paterson
4. Developing resources for translanguaging in minority language contexts: A case study of rapping in an Irish primary school Máiréad Moriarty
5. Finding an ideological niche for new speakers in a minoritised language community Michael Hornsby
Noel Ó Murchadha is Assistant Professor in Language Education at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He teaches courses on bi/multilingualism, language pedagogy and research methods in language and education. His research focuses on attitudes and ideologies on linguistic variation, especially in minority contexts. He has completed projects on teenagers' and educators’ perceptions of linguistic variation in Irish and on language standardisation. His work examines the changing relationship between self and society in late modernity and the impact that such changes have on language variation and change in minoritised contexts.
Bettina Migge is Professor of Linguistics and Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at University College Dublin, Ireland. She is a member of the research group CNRS-SeDyL (France). She teaches courses in sociolinguistics and contact linguistics and has published extensively on diachronic and synchronic language contact, language variation and change, language documentation in multilingual contexts focusing on lesser-used languages and on identity formation in contexts of migration. Empirically, her research has focused on the Creoles of Suriname and French Guiana, the Gbe languages (Benin) and more recently on Irish English.