“Living off the edge”: online presentation

October 30, 2020

Soillse Director, Professor Conchúr Ó Giollagáin gave an online presentation for the UHI “The Edge” seminar series on Thursday 29th October, with the title  “Living off the edge: The crisis in late modern ethnolinguistic diversity from the Gaelic perspective”. It draws on findings from the “Gaelic Crisis” publication.

It is now available to view on YouTube:

 

Gaelic Speech Recognition Researcher

October 5, 2020

Lucy Evans is a freshly appointed researcher at Edinburgh University, working on a Soillse-sponsored Gaelic Speech Recognition project led by Dr Will Lamb in a partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands and Quorate Technology Ltd. Here’s her interview for GARG – the Gaelic Algorithmic Research Group:

Agallamh le Lucy Evans / An interview with Lucy Evans

 

“The Gaelic Crisis” published

July 2, 2020

The results of Soillse’s Islands Gaelic Research Project have been published in book form.

The book, ‘The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community: A Comprehensive Sociolinguistic Survey of Scottish Gaelic’, is available from the Gaelic Books Council.

Evaluating the research, the authors’ main findings show that the language is in crisis, and that within remaining vernacular communities of Scotland, the social use and transmission of Gaelic is at the point of collapse.

The authors urge a radical new approach to vernacular Gaelic revitalisation and propose a new agenda and strategy for Gaelic revitalisation in the islands.  They argue for a dynamic language-in-society model that is based on a community development trust for the Gaelic-speaking community and is under the direct control of the community.

The writing team of Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, Gòrdan Camshron, Pàdruig Moireach, Brian Ó Curnáin, Iain Caimbeul, Brian MacDonald and Tamás Péterváry has also compiled a bilingual research digest of the findings and recommendations. This is available here as an online PDF.

Additional statistical data not included in the full book is also available online via these webpages of the UHI Language Sciences Institute.

A highly condensed (3-page) research note can be accessed online here.

Launch of major new study: 02/07/20

June 30, 2020

Researchers from the University of the Highlands and Islands Language Sciences Institute and Soillse will launch a new book on Thursday 2 July 2020.

‘The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community: A comprehensive sociolinguistic survey of Scottish Gaelic’ is the most comprehensive social survey on the state of Gaelic communities ever conducted. The book presents new sociolinguistic research about  Gaelic communities in the Western Isles, in Staffin in the Isle of Skye and in the Isle of Tiree.

In addition to in-depth analysis of the use and transfer of Scottish Gaelic as a community language, the book presents contemporary data on the societal and spatial extent of Gaelic speakers and Gaelic speaking in the remaining vernacular communities in Scotland.

Conchúr Ó Giollagáin

 

Professor Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, Professor of Gaelic Research at the University of the Highlands explained the motivation behind the new book: “It is important that we are clear about the immense scale of the challenges involved in reversing the ongoing decline in the use of Gaelic in these areas”.

The book, ‘The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community: A Comprehensive Sociolinguistic Survey of Scottish Gaelic’, is available from the Gaelic Books Council.

Pre-order: The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community

June 12, 2020

Now available for pre-order from the Gaelic Books Council:

https://gaelicbooks.org/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1688&search=gaelic+crisis

This book presents the findings of the comprehensive sociolinguistic survey of the Gaelic vernacular communities, carried out by the Islands Gaelic Research Project at the Soillse sociolinguistic partnership. The survey modules examined: census demolinguistics; preschoolers’ language practice; teenager data; three indicative communities; speaker typologies, providing qualitative and quantitative information on community, family, school and individual language acquisition and practice.

Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal – Scottish resource

March 17, 2020

The Scottish resource development element of the Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal project is now complete, with 15 hours of community-based video recordings, with Clilstore transcripts, now online on the webpages of the University of the Highlands and Islands Language Sciences Institute. Irish partners are working on a parallel collection of Irish Gaeltacht recordings.

The Scottish recordings feature speakers from four different islands – Lewis, North Uist, Benbecula, and South Uist – with four speakers from each island. They can be accessed via this link:

https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/research-enterprise/res-themes/humanities-and-arts/language-sciences-institute/projects/storas-beo-nan-gaidheal/.

This project receives financial support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge.

“Mediating Multilingualism” Project

January 30, 2020

The UHI Language Sciences Institute, with support from Soillse and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, is leading on this project to develop links with Indian colleagues engaged in researching multilingualism and endangered languages in that country. In the first year of the project, 2018-2019, a colloquium was held at Amity University, Haryana, (the lead Indian institutional partner), as part of a fact-finding tour which also included visits to Centres for Endangered Languages at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. A full account, with links to presentations is available in this Soillse report.

In the second year, the focus is on fieldwork which tests out new recording methods and assistive dissemination platforms, as well as the development of a research agenda with a focus on the societal context of language endangerment.

The Mediating Multilingualism project is supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund.

This video reports on the International Language Fest for Indigenous and Endangered Languages held at North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, as part of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages. The film is multilingual and presented in Gaelic, while being fully subtitled in English. The main film lasts under 12 minutes, and is preceded by a two and a half minute introduction, and followed by a discussion (6 minutes) and brief postscript.

Dà-chànanas, Seargadh Inntinn & a’ Ghàidhlig: Report

December 2, 2019

The Soillse Small Research Fund project led by Strathclyde University on Bilingualism, Dementia and Gaelic is now complete.

The final report is available here.

There is also an article available on The Conversation:  https://theconversation.com/bilingualism-and-dementia-how-some-patients-lose-their-second-language-and-rediscover-their-first-126631

Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal: Hughena MacDonald

November 7, 2019

Here’s another sample from the Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal pilot project in which the UHI Language Sciences Institute with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Soillse, together with Irish partners, embark on recording the natural speech of Irish and Scottish Gaelic speakers in their own communities with user-friendly equipment and techniques. In this example of fieldwork Archie Campbell interviews Hughena Macdonald, from Iochdar in South Uist, in her home. Retracing her life history and involvement in Gaelic community life and events, they found plenty to talk about, and their conversation here is presented in two parts.

The videos can be viewed directly via the links below:

Video Part 1
Video Part 2

The Clilstore transcripts (with embedded video) can be found here:

Transcript Part 1
Transcript Part 2

The project has funding support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge.

Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal – Tommy MacDonald

October 13, 2019

Here’s another sample from the Stòras Beò nan Gàidheal pilot project in which the UHI Language Sciences Institute with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Soillse, together with Irish partners, embark on recording the natural speech of Irish and Scottish Gaelic speakers in their own communities with user-friendly equipment and techniques. In this first example of fieldwork Archie Campbell interviews Tommy Macdonald, from Howmore in South Uist, in his home. Retracing his life history and involvement in Gaelic community life and events, they found plenty to talk about, and their conversation here is presented in two parts.

The videos can be viewed directly via the links below:

Video Part 1
Video Part 2

The Clilstore transcripts (with embedded video) can be found here:

Transcript Part 1
Transcript Part 2

The project has funding support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge.