This project will address the role of new speakers in Gaelic revitalisation initiatives in two divergent contexts. Gaelic is a minority language, spoken by just over 1% of the total population of Scotland, with another small community of speakers in Canada. New speakers in these contexts have acquired Gaelic as an additional language outside of the home and make frequent use of it in their daily lives. Whilst attitudes to Gaelic have been examined in quantitative surveys, the relationship between bilingual individuals’ attitudinal perceptions of their languages and their actual linguistic practices remains an understudied area of sociolinguistic analysis. This deficiency is certainly true of Gaelic-English
speakers’ language use in modern Scotland and Canada, and an empirical basis
for conceptualising the relationship of Gaelic language use, ideologies and
attitudes is currently lacking. Through a combination of mixed methods, this
project will build on work I have previously conducted to investigate the nature of that relationship among new speakers in both Scotland and Nova Scotia. The award of this fellowship is £252,398.40 over the three years.